So, I’ve added to the sidebar a new conference: The National Forum of Young Topologists in new Orleans next month. This actually sounds like a somewhat intriguing conference, concentrating on a mix of math and what I would call “professional development,” for lack of better word. Rather than a laser-like focus on the most recent stuff, it sounds like the math talks are supposed to be more historical in nature, and apparently the lectures by junior people are supposed to also “have the effect of showing examples of success stories starting out as graduate students through obtaining a tenure track position.”
While this all sounds very nice (I’ll admit that as a graduate student I never felt “isolated with [my] entire mathematical universe being [my] Ph.D. adviser,” and thus never felt the need for a conference to correct this, I know some people who’ve had that experience), I just can’t help but mock the name. I mean, I cannot imagine what on Earth the organizers were thinking when they came up with that one (and this comes from a guy who freely admits that the name of this blog was arrived at under the influence of spirituous beverages). I mean, did they put that in the grant application? It sounds like the world’s oddest Stalinist youth organization. The website could really use a couple of posters of square-jawed youths with sickles (or maybe just this guy) with a diagram of the Kirby calculus on the flag. I’m glad they want to have more such conferences (or at least, so they claim on the website), but I hope they don’t feel obligated to stick with the name.