Everything Old is New Again

by malmskog

You know: grunge, vinyl, Twin Peaks… In particular, my old home is now my new home again.  I am back in Colorado, starting a new/old job at Colorado College.  Classes started Monday (Linear Algebra for me), so of course it’s a little crazy right now.  But in a good way.

So many good parts of being here: love my new/old colleagues and students at CC, love the giant mountain, love having many of the most important people in my life a whole lot closer.  I am also sad; I miss Philadelphia, my students and colleagues at Villanova, and some of my other most important people, who are now much too far away.

Other news: In teaching news, this spring Katie Haymaker and I co-taught a Core Mathematics course at Graterford Prison.  It was an intensely positive experience, and I wrote a bit about it on the PhD+Epsilon blog.  I also had really good Algebra and Number Theory classes this spring.

Research projects are moving along.  Functions for solving the S-unit equation over general number fields have been submitted to SageTrac and are almost ready to be incorporated into Sage! We still need a few documentation fixes, but the code works well and we’re close.  I have computed bounds for about 80 small degree number fields with the code, which will be available soon in a table on my Research page.

Other milestones or near milestones: The quilt problem paper, which started as a post here, seems like it’s maybe been kind of accepted.  Meaning, I submitted revisions, but haven’t heard the final OK.  A paper on a variation of the McEliece cryptosystem will soon appear in the proceedings volume of Algebraic Geometry for Cryptography and Coding Theory.  Revisions are nearly done on a paper about locally recoverable codes using fiber products of curves.  About to submit a paper with psychology department collaborators about using graph theoretic algorithms to help determine what cues people use to recognize speech sounds.  And finally, I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but part of my work on Suzuki curves could be drawing to a close.  This particular piece of the project began in 2012, but it seems like we have been working on it actually forever.  Can’t wait to let go of this very interesting but long-simmering project, so I can then go get stuck on a new problem, or a new part of this same problem.

I went to some wonderful conferences this summer, too.  So perhaps I will end here with  some pictures, of conferences and other good stuff that has happened since December:

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Chris Rasmussen, me, Christelle Vincent, Mckenzie West, Alejandra Alvarado, and Angelos Koutsianas hard at work during an ICERM working group on implementing an S-unit equation solver in Sage.



Katie Haymaker and I at the AMS Southeastern Spring Sectional at the College of Charleston. We rode a train 12 hours each way for this meeting, and it was great.


Villanova math students Amanda Brady and Shantel Silva, showing off their original proof that any 4 erasures can be recovered by a locally recoverable code with 4 disjoint recovery sets.


Great signs at the March for Science in Washington DC.  I walked a hole in my shoe that day.  


 Museum of Math in NYC with Villanova AWM Student Chapter.  We also visited Google that day!


Above Lake Louise, during the conference on Diophantine Approximation and Algebraic Curves at Banff International Research Station in July.


Our Lake Louise adventure, human side.

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Les Calanques, near Luminy, France, during the conference on Arithmetic, Geometry, Cryptography, and Coding Theory in June.


With math friends, headed back to the talks after a swim.


Field with thistle and sunflower, outskirts of Denver, July.


Bonding with the Jackalope–my favorite magical creature–at Death Valley’s Little Brother, a Jackalope-themed coffeehouse and whiskey bar in Waterloo, Ontario, during the AMMCS conference.  The special session on Computational Number Theory was great, as was the local escape room!


The view from the Math and Computer Science Department at Colorado College.  I work here again!