Another remark on travel

Because I’ve recently begun posting links to conferences or seminars I go to, I thought I’d add a clarifying comment. The purpose of it, at least consciously, was not to show off that I’m a busy guy or something of that sort. It’s rather that for any serious mathematician, a complex web of obligations makes demands that oftentimes take time away from efforts aimed towards the direct benefit of students at his or her home institution. For example, I was absent for several days of this week because my two post-graduate students at Purdue were having their thesis defense, the last step in the process of obtaining their doctoral degrees. But then, by making the nature of such activities transparent, I hoped that my immediate absence might be rendered more understandable. In fact, I thought it might even create a better sense of global connectedness for the students at UCL in that teachers, after all, are shared the world over, hopefully to the benefit of the whole global community. (Probably I flatter myself.) This is also why I encourage students at UCL to come to lectures delivered by visiting academics or to try in general to take part in academic activities that go beyond the classroom.

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