Academic careers

The road to divorce is lined with societal expectations

Pink, Pixie and I have just returned from a two-month tour of the world where we caught up with countless friends and family members, many of whom are parents of young children. When you only see someone face to face once or twice a year, there is always an element of surprise: bellies have turned into babies, last year’s infants… 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 →

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 →

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 →

Two sides of the two-body problem

I have had the good fortune and privilege to experience both sides of the infamous academic two-body problem. For those not in academia, the term refers to the situation where a dual-career academic couple is looking for jobs and wishes (indulgently) to live in the same city. Carrying out this ambitious plan usually requires one of the following: One of… Read more →