March 10 Day 732: Return to the East

The sun is setting to the west as I return east after spending less than 24 hours at home. Some people (my husband included), thought I was crazy for making the trek across the country on two consecutive days. I know I could have taught today’s class remotely and the hopped a plane from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta instead. But it was the last class of the quarter. The students were presenting their final projects. If I want them to prioritize being present as a sign of respect for their classmates, shouldn’t I do the same?

Presentation day is a wonderful experience. Students get to share what they have learned about an application that is important to them. There is an air of celebration and appreciation for putting the theory they have been learning all quarter long into a concrete context. I wouldn’t want to miss that. We saw presentations on cryptography, computer graphics, ranking algorithms, data science, and recreational topics. There were chalk talks, PowerPoints, and prerecorded presentations.

I will see the students again for their oral final interview but this was their last opportunity to see each other. It’s been a weird quarter, no doubt. A weird quarter we experienced together.

My students did a marvelous job. I was happy to share the moment with them.

Returning home also gave me the opportunity to experience the 53rd SEICCGTC as a remote participant. I watched Steve Butler’s plenary lecture while finishing laundry and repacking for the next adventure. I could toggle between the camera view with the slides as the picture-in-the-picture or the slide view with the camera as the picture-in-the-picture. I even private text-chatted with other participants viewing remotely. It’s definitely not the same as being in person but it was an improvement over just watching a streamed feed.

Next up: the Spring meeting of the Southeastern Section of the MAA. I should arrive in Atlanta close to midnight. I’ll get to my hotel in Rome, GA ASAP. A little rest and another two presentations tomorrow. That makes for a grand total of 4 since Monday. All different. It’s going to be a blast.

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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