Monday, March 03, 2008

Call for Eccentricities

I heard about this mathematician who had a reputation for speaking fast, and was about to give his talk at the colloquium. The host requests him to define everything in English as well as in Russian, hoping to slow him down by a factor of 2. The mathematician says, "No problem. I was not going to define anything anyway."

We academics are eccentric (so are other professionals, but that is a different blog post). Eccentric in how we write papers, give talks, or just be. If you know good episodes of academic eccentricities, seen live or heard secondhand, let me know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live: Professor E was giving a 25-minute talk on a complicated work in a miniconference. He has lots of transparencies for it. He began by saying that he used the exact same set of transparencies in a 2-hour talk and no one understood much from that talk because it was too long. He hoped that this time around we would be able understand better because the talk was shorter.

9:31 AM  
Blogger tejas said...

Seen live, I wouldnt call it eccentric, but it was one of the best lighter moments.

Speaker looks at mysterious symbol in own slides, "How does one say this symbol?".

Milena offers "psi". (Ofcourse, a second later, the rest of the audience pipes up "psi").

Speaker still cant bring self to say it - "OK. Slash-pee-ess-eye equals ..."

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the light moments happened in a talk: when it finished and it was clear no one had any questions, the host says, "I have a question." He pauses and goes, ""

3:54 AM  

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