Monica Agana – The classical theory of rearrangements

July 16, 2017

Monica was my last masters student at Boise State, completing her thesis in December 2015, while I was already at Mathematical Reviews. My colleague at Boise State Zach Teitler coadvised her for the last few months. The following picture is from graduation day.

Monica Agana


Monica’s thesis, The classical theory of rearrangements, discusses Riemann’s famous rearrangement theorem for conditionally convergent series of real numbers, prior results, and some extensions and related topics. This previous blog post discusses some of these.



September 23, 2012

Writer’s block

February 10, 2011

This is from an actual refereed journal, “Journal of applied behavior analysis”, vol 7 (3), 1974, pg. 497. By Dennis Upper.

The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “Writer’s block”

Very nice news from Google

January 21, 2011

See here:

Maths is very important to Google. It’s the basis of everything we do: from the algorithms that deliver answers to your search queries, to the way in which your Gmails are grouped in conversations, to the technology advances which are enabling us to develop driverless cars.


And so yesterday, together with the Advisory Board of the International Mathematical Olympiad, we were proud to announce that we are making a gift of one million euros to the organisation to help cover the costs of the next five global events (2011-15).

“The shadow scholar”

November 16, 2010

A must read (but depressing) article in The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Shadow Scholar. The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story. By “Ed Dante”.

Two examples:

From my experience, three demographic groups seek out my services: the English-as-second-language student; the hopelessly deficient student; and the lazy rich kid.

For the last, colleges are a perfect launching ground—they are built to reward the rich and to forgive them their laziness. Let’s be honest: The successful among us are not always the best and the brightest, and certainly not the most ethical. My favorite customers are those with an unlimited supply of money and no shortage of instructions on how they would like to see their work executed. While the deficient student will generally not know how to ask for what he wants until he doesn’t get it, the lazy rich student will know exactly what he wants. He is poised for a life of paying others and telling them what to do. Indeed, he is acquiring all the skills he needs to stay on top.


The 75-page paper on business ethics ultimately expanded into a 160-page graduate thesis, every word of which was written by me.

Edit: The article has been commented at the always interesting Making Light. Here is the link, read the comments.

Mathematical Ancestry

September 13, 2010

This thing of beauty was my Father’s day gift this June. The gigantic poster is in my office at home.

Besides its being obviously intimidating and fun, it adds to my usual angst with an odd sense of responsibility. Here is a link to The Mathematics Genealogy Project.


August 27, 2010

As a mathematician, this was a relatively eventful Summer.

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