Mother’s Day

After this late Valentine’s Day post, here is the next in the series of badly timed holiday writing – published with my mom’s consent. The week before Mother’s day in fourth grade, my teacher suggested that we make the day special for our moms by preparing a nice breakfast for them. I loved to cook and bake, in fact, I was… Read more →

Body Image

(TW: Weight-related feelings and some mild behaviours described. No specific numbers.) One of my friends in university was writing a psychology essay on the effects of the internet on young women suffering from eating disorders. She told me about forums and message boards she read as part of her research, where anorexia is encouraged as a “lifestyle choice”. Women and… Read more →

These surprising advantages of post-doc existence will amaze you

Post-docs inhabit the nether-land of academia between completing a PhD and landing a permanent, or tenure-track, job at a university. They work on fixed term contracts that could be as short as four months, or, in exceptional cases as long as four years; on average two to three years. They are better off than sessional instructors in that they stand… Read more →

Chocolate snails

These little pastries are an Eastern European version of pain au chocolat. I like them just as much as their more famous French cousin, but they are easier to make due to a lower butter content. When I was growing up chocolate snails were a breakfast treat, but they take a few hours to make and taste best fresh out… Read more →

How to fail at relationships

I should have written this post for Valentine’s day. A little while ago a good friend of mine, who has been happily coupled to his now-wife since they were 20 years old, asked me how one messes up a relationship. (I hope he wasn’t looking for practical advice.) More specifically, he said: At the beginning, all you want to do… Read more →

Being a woman in math and academia

A few months ago one of the strongest research universities in Australia advertised a continuing (like tenure-track) position in mathematics for female applicants only. Shortly thereafter, two other first-tier universities followed suit. I wasn’t privy to the politics behind the decisions, but I heard gossip that at my university there wasn’t much of an opposition. It seemed people treated it… Read more →

Young love

After the recent death of the great Leonard Cohen, I binge-listened to his songs for about a week. Music, like scents, can bring up a lot of memories. I came to know Mr. Cohen’s music when I was about 17, and many of his songs resonated well with my teenage anxieties about love and intimacy. When I think about my… Read more →

How I became a mathematician

TL/DR: I became a mathematician because I was a socially awkward five-year-old and things just kind of snowballed from there. The early days My mathematical career started in kindergarten. Until I was five years old I stayed home with my mom and two younger siblings, even though a free full-day pre-school and kindergarten program was available from age three, and… Read more →