What mathematics folks often do on breaks. . .

When a break in the steady demands of teaching, committees, students in the office, administration, hall conversations, etc. comes over a holiday break mathematicians often have a feeling of mindfulness about things that have been set aside in the rush of the semester. We consider questions to which we did not or could not devote time. We invent new mathematical notions, try slight twists on things we know well just to see what happens,  or revisit old problems we had worked on but just were not going anywhere. And because of the let up in the pace, the "light air" of the disruption in the pace, the action, the demands, we can dig deep, go broader, explore more cases, and discover, which is what real mathematics is. Perhaps you have had this feeling and it would be good to share it with others, here, even. I have had it happen to me all too often and by the way just because we free ourselves up for discovery it does not mean the muse of creativity is at work and we may not advance anything. However, we often generate ideas for the next "break in the action." So take time to be creative to reflect, to discover, to advance, and relish the change of pace. Sure, spend time with family and friends, but also spend with mathematics.

  1. creativity
  2. discover
  3. relax

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