The Unapologetic Mathematician

Mathematics for the interested outsider

About the UM

I suppose I should say something about myself.

I’m a recent (May 2006) Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University, staying on for a year as a visiting instructor while I look for a job. I’m not above some self-promotion, so if you happen to know someone on a hiring committee please pass on the link.

My primary field is knot theory, but I approach it with a heavily algebraic slant. Accordingly, I’m interested in all sorts of different fields — category theory, representation theory, theoretical physics, and more — as well as in making mathematics more accessible to the general public. I’m sure I’ll talk about my work in particular as time goes by.

This space is mostly about publicizing mathematics and in part about publicizing my own interests. I believe that mathematics does have an abstract beauty which can have universal appeal once the surface is peeled back. All too many people have been scared away from it by horrible teaching experiences, to the point that it can be discomforting to tell someone what I do. But at the end of the day I am a mathematician, and I don’t apologize to those who find that alien.

There’s a hell of a universe over here. Let’s go.


January 18, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Is this blog’s name based on G.H. Hardy’s “A Mathematician’s Apology”?

    Comment by Joe | February 1, 2007 | Reply

  2. Yes, it is. I’ll probably get around to reviewing the book for a post sooner or later.

    And yes (in case you’re about to ask), I know that they’re two different meanings of the word “apology”. It’s a pun.

    Comment by John Armstrong | February 1, 2007 | Reply

  3. Actually, I had forgotten that.

    Comment by Joe | February 1, 2007 | Reply

  4. GH hardy is a great mathematician. he not only introduced number theory but also being an author of A Mathematician’s Apology. his purpose of the book is explain the beauty of maths and distinguish the pure and applied maths. i agree with him that pure maths is useless but beautiful. but i disagree with some of his point. he said that applied maths is dull and ugly because of its usefulness.
    whatever, this book is worth to buy and to read.

    Comment by arene ng | March 19, 2007 | Reply

  5. I’ve got a copy of the book, actually, but I haven’t gotten around to posting a review of it. There’s just so much really cool active mathematics to spend much time on book reviews.

    Comment by John Armstrong | March 19, 2007 | Reply

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