Update, January 2023

I had a blog once, right?

Long story short, I have been attending to other priorities. This career has not been great for my health: it was a matter of chronic nuisance issues rather than anything immediately life threatening, but nonetheless there came a time some years ago when I had to step back and recalibrate. The blog had to take a back seat to, for example, my actual paid job. The hiatus took longer than I had expected, for various reasons. But here we are in 2023, and I expect to get back to posting here on a more regular basis.

As some of you already know, I have had to cut back significantly on professional travel. I expected this to be a temporary adjustment, to be reversed in a few years. Then came the Covid pandemic, bringing widespread travel restrictions, safety concerns, and further deterioration of the already abysmal air travel experience. Everyone has their own cost-to-benefit calculation. If you are happy to get back to conference travel, I’m glad for you. But I do not expect that I will be able to do it often.

Which brings me to blogging. There’s been an explosion of online conferences and Zoom seminars in the last couple of years, and I’m very happy about that. I hope that we do not abandon those even as in-person conferences return in some measure. But my preferred medium is writing, and that’s how I would like to stay in touch with everybody. Twitter and Mastodon are great for short posts. There’s arXiv for actual math papers. For everything in between, I guess you still need a blog – which is why we are here.

Several posts on integer tilings and related questions are overdue and I have already started working on the first one. Other work is, hopefully, coming along. I will also come back to equity-related topics. Comments will remain closed on this blog. That did not work in the past and I have no reason to expect that it will work better this time. However, since this blog will have to replace in-person interactions to a certain extent, I will make sure that there are venues open for conversation. I’m still on Twitter. I have signed up for Mastodon, which so far feels a little bit like Google+ did, but let’s see. I have also set up a Discord server for math discussions. It allows longer posts and has good LaTeX support.

If you’ve visited this blog previously, you might notice a couple of tweaks. The theme I was using (Pilcrow) has been retired by WordPress, so I switched to a newer one. I also updated the widgets. Sadly, I have had to give up on keeping a blogroll. Too many of my links were outdated, too many blogs and sites have never been added. It’s much easier to just promote specific posts from other blogs on social media, and that’s what I will continue doing. I have also cleaned up the “categories” a little bit, and I’ve deleted some of the early “could have been a tweet” posts. (For example, posts whose only purpose was to link to a YouTube video that no longer exists.) There might be more tweaking when I get around to it, but this should do for now.

About the photo: I’ve found that the new format allows a “featured image” for each post. Of course, some posts will come with images related to the post content. I have decided that, for posts without such images, I will add a random photo I’ve taken, usually from somewhere in British Columbia. This time, you get a photo of Georgeson Island taken from Mayne Island.

Author: Izabella Laba

Mathematics professor at UBC. My opinions are, obviously, my own.

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