Interesting facts about Rényi

Perhaps I should say “facts” since I got them from his Wikipedia page (corroborated by more official accounts):

  • “He was prevented from enrolling in university in 1939 due to the anti-Jewish laws then in force, but enrolled at the University of Budapest in 1940 and finished his studies in 1944. At this point he was drafted to forced labour service, escaped, and completed his Ph.D. in 1947 at the University of Szeged, under the advisement of Frigyes Riesz.” Hardcore!
  • Rényi said “A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems,” not Erdös.
  • He passed away at the age of 48!

Banff blog

I figured I would blog about this week’s workshop at Banff in a more timely fashion. Due to the scheduling of flights out of Calgary, I will have to miss the last day of talks. The topics of people’s presentations varied rather widely, and many were not about the sort of Good-Turing estimator setup. Sometimes it was a bit hard to see how to see how the problems or approaches were related (not that they had to be directly), but given that the crowd had widely varying backgrounds, presenters had a hard time because the audience had to check in a new set of notation or approach for every talk. The advantage is that there were lots of questions — the disadvantage is that people insisted on “finishing” their presentations. By mid-week my brain was over-full, and a Wednesday afternoon hike up Sulphur Mountain was the perfect solution.

The view from Sulpur Mountain

The view from Sulpur Mountain

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