We started at 8 am pacific time on June 18 with our youngest driving Mark and me to the SEA airport and ended June 19 at 5 pm in Irish summer time with our arrival at the Hardiman Hotel on Eyre Square in Galway. The time here is 8 hours ahead of our home zone, making the total transit time 25 hours door to door.
I’m excited to be in Galway for so many reasons:
- My mathematical siblings are gathering because there is a special session at this conference to celebrate our advisor, Richard A. Brualdi. He currently holds the record for advising the most math PhD students at U Wisconsin Madison (37 progeny).
- This conference was originally scheduled for June 2020. The COVID postponements are coming to fruition. That means we are one step closer to normal, right?
- I have always wanted to visit the country of my ancestors. Both of my Dad’s parents immigrated from Ireland to the United States. I’m half Irish.
- It is my first truly international conference.
You read that last one right and no one is more surprised than me. Despite 29 years since earning my PhD, I have never attended an “international” conference outside of the United States. I have attended several international conferences inside the US. I have given invited talks outside the US (Question: do talks count as international if they are presented virtually?) But this is the first time in all those years that I have been able to combine the two.
Mark and I explored Galway on foot this evening—just a little. We found Oscar Wilde, a delicious tapas restaurant, and a lot of charm. I’m ready to hit the hay early and be well-rested before the conference starts tomorrow.
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