Tuesday, September 20, 2016

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: A View from Park 40

Well, after knowing for more than half a year that I'll be leaving, we've now finally reached the end. It's been fun, and I'll be back early and often to visit. (And I am ever available electronically.)

Tonight is my last full day in Oxford. I fly out to LA tomorrow. I came to Oxford on 1 October 2007, so it's been almost a full 9 years. (And that was almost a full year after getting my job offer after interview escapades, which you can read about here and here. (And as a note to junior scientists, I strongly recommend blogging about your interview before the hiring committee makes its hiring decision. Seriously: This was an excellent idea on my part. :P)

This is a view from my Somerville office (Park 40) from the past 7 years.

I have chosen an angular view so that the main entrance to Penrose is in the picture. (I used that entrance for my first year in Somerville, and after a year I moved into an on-site flat, with its own entrances, that is attached to Penrose.)

And that other thing in the picture? Well, that is my gift to Somerville College, to be passed along over the generations from one tutor to another (preferably one in mathematics) and to be displayed in a prominent place in the College. And maybe in a few decades I'll read a history of Somerville College where the author will wonder where that piece of College lore came from.

(And maybe somebody will eventually find the other Screamer, which staff members somehow managed to lose early on in my time in Somerville when they moved my stuff from one office to another. So, yes, this one was actually purchased by the College to replace the original, and I am sure the second one must be around here somewhere.)

Also, I originally got the idea for a Screamer from Predrag Cvitanović, who has had one in his office at Georgia Tech for many years. I bought one when I got to Caltech as a postdoc, and I took that one with me to Oxford.

I am going to replace the Screamer, but I think it's time to pick a different figure for my UCLA office. I'll need to see who's available. I'll probably check if Poincaré is available, but I'm sure there will be many interesting choices.

Update: You can also see some discussion and a few more photos on the Facebook version of this post.


Douglas Araujo said...

Good luck on your move. May I suggest a Magritte figure to replace Screamer in LA?

Mason said...

Magritte is a solid option. Thanks for the suggestion! I am not restricting myself to artists and will consider scientists such as Poincaré (if he is available).

Douglas Araujo said...

You're welcome, Mason. Keep on writin'.