October 29 Day 600: Not Normal but Still Good

I marvel at what we can accomplish in our expanded digital world. Even though I have traveled to Phoenix to attend an in-person meeting, I had 6 hours of scheduled Zoom meetings today. How is that possible? I flew here for a reason. I should be attending the in-person talks.

I started the day enjoying the Phoenix sunrise, including spying a red balloon whose occupants must have been doing the same thing.

Queue Zoom Meeting #1. Interviews for a editorial position.

In person meeting #1. Informal check-in with presidents of Math Societies–hosted by AMATYC president Kate Kozak. Take home: this has been a rough 1.5 years. Many societies saw significant financial losses due to meeting cancellations and COVID. But everyone is still committed to their mission and values and ready to serve their membership.

Zoom Meeting #2: AWM We Speak Panel. How incredible to share the screen with other leaders of mathematics and statistics associations. This might just be the best attended event I have participated in all month. Certainly it was the best attended virtual event I have attended in a long while.

Afterwards, I reconnected with Dave Taylor and we checked out the AMATYC Hospitality suite. There was nerf axe throwing and cornhole–but not in a competitive way. I love the joy and play that is built into this meeting.

What can I tell you about the IGNITE session? Yes it was 90 minutes of lightening talks–some serious, some silly, and some amazing. I had heard this was not to be missed and I was not disappointed. From Amanda Davis’s exploration of Mathematics, Einstein, and the Music of Phillip Glass to Kate Kozak’s presentation of a StatPREP Little App; From Luke Walsh’s haunting spoken word presentation on the opposite of mathematical poverty to the loving retirement tribute to Fred Feldon (and let’s not forget the Gilligan’s Island parody), the ideas, vulnerability, and community were inspiring.

April Strom as “the movie star”

You might have noticed that I attended only 4 of my 6 hours of Zoom meetings. I decided to prioritize the here and now. It was a good call. What a thoroughly enjoyable adventure today. Tomorrow will be more serious.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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