Saturday, February 25, 2006

Some stuff I've been up to

1. Over the past week or so I made a bunch of fairly minor edits to my lectures notes from the Complex System Summer School (CSSS). I have a hard time proclaiming a piece of writing done. But ... let's say that these are now finished, at least until I start revising them for the 2006 CSSS.

2. Speaking of the 2006 CSSS, I read around 50 applications last week. There are around a dozen other readers; each file gets read by three people. March 1 we'll pull together all the reviewers' rankings and start making decisions about who to admit. It will be difficult; I've been quite impressed with the applications thus far.

3. I figured out a nice argument for why the high-entropy behavior of a complexity-entropy plot for the 2d nearest-neighbor Ising model is linear. It's not anything too deep. But it's nice to feel like I figured something out -- it's a different sort of satisfaction than writing memos and emails, which seems to be a large fraction of my work these days.

4. I've been listening to The Saxon Shore lately. "The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore" is one of the CDs I brought with me. It's got a confidently melancholy sound that I like a lot. (Yes, I still carry around CDs. I don't have an mp3 player. )

5. I've watched some of the Olympic men's hockey, and I've found myself rooting against both the Americans and the Canadians. I often root against the U.S. in various international competitions. But I usually pull for Canadians. I don't really understand why I've shifted to rooting against the Canadians, but I've decided to not analyze it too much and just roll with it. So I was pleased that both the US and Canada lost their quarter-final games.

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