The narrator in this work of mathematical fiction attends both a music festival and a math research conference. This allows the author, a math professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, to compare and contrast them. However, this is done in a humorous way by swapping descriptions that one would expect for one of them for the other. For instance, the folk concert is described as a dry affair where the audience does not understand or really appreciate what the musicians are doing, while the math conference begins with a "jam session" where a group of researchers improvise a proof.
I must say that I enjoy math conferences much more than the narrator enjoys the music festival in the story. Of course, each person has the right to their own opinion, but I worry that this story will give people who do not have their own experience with math conferences an undeservedly negative opinion of them.
This work was published in the *Mathematical Intelligencer* Volume 37, Number 3. |