Hey, you look like a mathematician!

ICM is held in a fairly remote conference center near the airport. The organizers had the good sense of not recommending the hotels next to the conference center but rather a number of hotels midway between there and the city center, so one can get to the conference with a short subway ride and also not be in the middle of nowhere. The recommended hotels, however, were still quite out of the way, and, by the information I found online, they sounded big and anonymous. So I got a reservation in a nice smaller hotel that is not far from Plaza Real and other touristic attractions, and it is also in what seems one of the cool neighborhoods, with a lot of bars and restaurants, including many gay bars. It takes, unfortunately, a good 45 minutes by subway to reach the conference center.

So this afternoon, as I was checking in at the hotel, being very proud of my choice, wearing an A&F shirt, faded jeans and Kenneth Cole shoes, and feeling as non-nerdy as I can get, the person behind me in line waves hello and asks: “Are you here for ICM too?”

8 thoughts on “Hey, you look like a mathematician!

  1. Maybe the person recognized you from your excellent work on complixity and was trying to make conversation? 🙂

  2. Breaking News:
    Jon Kleinberg won the Nevanlinna Prize.

    The first question is:
    Who the heck is he?

  3. A press release from ICM 2006 confirms that Jon Kleinberg has in fact won the Nevanlinna prize—see http://www.icm2006.org/press/releases/. For information on his work, look at


    He also got a MacArthur “genius” award.

    Fields medals go to Perelman and Tao (very much expected, I guess). The other two Fields medal winners are Andrei Okounkov (Princeton) and Wendelin Werner (Paris 11 and ENS).

  4. When I arrive early at a conference hotel, I often end up playing the game of “spot the fellow nerd.” In general, it’s extremely easy to tell, no matter how well the nerds try to disguise themselves.

  5. A low point in my life many years agow was when I arrived in the Salt Lake City airport on my way to a workshop in Park City, and someone came up to me in the baggage claim area, saying “you must be here for the workshop..”

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