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 →

Cute little cookies

I’ve been owing a chocolate post for quite some time now, one that I promised you could use the Best Chocolate Frosting Ever for. When I was young we would get a bag of these little bite-sized cookies from a bakery; they were a big childhood favourite of mine. I always thought they would be way too much effort to… Read more →

My wealthy poor childhood

As a child I was enrolled in music lessons, after-school art classes, swimming, ballet and ballroom dancing lessons, and math and chemistry coaching for competitions. My parents would sign me up for anything I showed interest in. We had season tickets to the opera, the ballet and the symphony. From age 10 to 18 I went to a prestigious school… Read more →

Custard cups

I had promised that the next chocolate post would be about cute little cookies that you can fill with the best chocolate frosting ever, but that post takes some work to write (just like the cookies take some work to make). In the meantime, here is a way to make something that looks fancy with very little effort. I’ve just… 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 →