5 February 2012

This winter in Uppsala

Very pretty afternoon photographs from Ulva Kvarn, Uppsala, 9 km from my house. Compared to the rest of Europe, our neighborhood is enjoying mild weather.


  1. Wow, you were spared. BTW, your last image does not show.
    I thought you lived in Greece, not Sweden.
    Do you teach in English or Swedish?

  2. Well, last year (my first winter in Sweden) we had temperatures hovering MINUS 20 for weeks, and snow (at least a couple of feet) for 5-6 months. So, in comparison, this winter has been mild.

    Except today.... It snowed the whole night so I had to do quite a bit of shoveling this morning.

    I teach (and was hired to teach and do research) in English. I have been in Sweden for 1.5 years. I have not learned any Swedish yet. It's a hard language. No, I don't live in Greece. I was in the US for most of my career, and, around 2004, decided to return to Europe. I passed through Greece, spent a few years in Edinburgh (which I loved, except that I was working in a university which, in my opinion, was fooling students into believing that they learned mathematics, whereas, in reality, I was forced to write exams so that they pass), got a chair in Sweden and moved here with my g/f who is Irish and speaks no Swedish either.

  3. Ah, thanx for the Bio. Perhaps you could do a Bio post and put it up as a link in your right column. You will see that my blog does similar thing under "Table of Contents".

    Sounds like an interesting life.
    I have recently just watch a few Swedish films. Being a Germanic language , it does not sound hard for me. (but then, I have done German, Hindi, Urdu, Japanese and Chinese)

    I would love trying to live in England and Sweden.

  4. Well, that's a chopped off bio. I've also lived in France. In the US, I've lived in CA (Berkeley) and TX (Austin). For looong time. (I didn't like TX.)

    Good idea to add a bio.

    Wish I had the same opinion about Swedish as you. I am amazed at how many languages you can speak! I can handle Greek, English, French, Spanish and German (not all equally well). When I learned a language, one thing that helped me was the affinity towards the speakers. Somehow, I can't find that here. I lack motivation. I look, e.g., at Swedish newspapers and they are *all* tabloids. Page 3 of their national newspaper is often full of advertisements on meat products or diapers. As for actual speaking, Swedes are very reserved. For the first time in my life (I've lived in the US, France, Germany, Greece, Scotland,...) the term "immigrant" is sort of echoed back to me, with a bad echo. Something is wrong. And so, the motivation went from very high in the beginning to very low, at the moment. Strangely enough, I start comparing certain aspects of Sweden to religious dogmas (even though it is, on paper, one of the least religious countries in the world; but so is N. Korea--on paper.)

    So, I need motivation! (Bergman films are not sufficient: people don't speak there much, just as in real life.)

    BTW, I added your blog to my links of my blog. No obligation to reciprocate, although I wouldn't mind :-) (One thing that sort of triggered my attention to your blog is your secular approach to Buddhism--I agree...)



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant