academiamarginalia

The life and self-reflections of a professional mathematician

Month: April, 2012

All That’s Left

The Spring Semester is almost over. All that’s left is to create a final exam (this is on my side) and (for students) to solve it. What is next on the table? Travels.

Math 245 – Mathematics of Physics and Engineering
April 27, 2012

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Seven Years After

Prof. Dr. Alexey Chernov and I
Raleigh, NC, April 5, 2012

How small is our small world today?

In 1967, Stanley Milgram of Harvard performed an ingenious experiment, demonstrating that, although our world is highly clustered, it is still very connected: everyone is on average approximatrely six handshakes away from any other person on the planet; six degrees of separation. It would be interesting to repeat Milgram’s experiment in our days. How small is our small world today? On the one hand, thanks to globalization, the world is becoming more and more interconnected. The average number of friends (what the last word means) of a randomly chosen person grows with time. On the other hand, the total population of the planet grows much faster than exponentially. What is happening with our world? Is it expanding or shrinking in the Milgram’s sense?

Raleigh

April, 2012

Sedona

March, 2012