Canadian Math PhDs Far and Wide

25Aug10

Random Canadian Math PhD #1: Last week, I went to the For Noise music festival near Lausanne. That particular night there were three acts: Local Natives, Jonsí (from Sigur Rós), and Caribou. Caribou is a Canadian artist named Dan Snaith (formerly known as Manitoba up until some legal issues arose), who got a math PhD (thesis Overconvergent Siegel Modular Symbols). I did not choose to go to see him because he has a PhD — I just like his music a lot (ever since back in the Manitoba days).

Caribou’s live performance was surprising in two good ways: one, it didn’t consist of just a guy sitting behind a laptop, even though the music has its roots in electronic generation; two, his one-man band had three other guys joining him for the tour. Needless to say both aspects add a lot of stage presence! Check it out here:

If you like the sample above, check out the music video for Sun. Crazy talk. The only other electronica artist I remember seeing in person is Four Tet, which consisted of just the guy with just the laptop in an indoor venue, which was also good but in a different way.

Random Canadian Math PhD #2: In math, science, or engineering, most papers are written using the LaTeX system. The editor I use to write in LaTeX, called WinEdt, came out with a new version recently, which I downloaded yesterday. As it turns out, this software is created and sold by two Canadians… one of which, Aleksander Simonic, has a PhD (Thesis: An Extension of Lomonosov’s Techniques to Non-Compact Operators). This software is of high quality, the new version is very nice and a “shiny thing,” and the fact it is done independently of any big companies is pretty special.

These  facts demonstrate the wide variety of post-PhD career options… maybe this logic is a little sketchy since the PhD is not used directly in their work… although I would probably indeed buy a Caribou album named “Overconvergent Siegel Modular Symbols”.

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One Response to “Canadian Math PhDs Far and Wide”


  1. 1 Better Know a Theorem: Necklace Splitting « Dave a.g.p.'s Blog

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