Der Zauberberg

Two days ago, in the evening, I finished reading “Der Zauberberg” in German. I had started in early June, a bit before the previous post, so it took about seven months. This is comparable to the time it took me to read Proust, but it is certainly the longest time I’ve spent reading (without long interruptions) a single work. Much of this reading was done in the tramway, using heavily the Leo app and it’s excellent English-German dictionary to get through the more philosophical parts (I was told by friends who saw me sometimes that I was particularly absorbed…)

And although I had claimed that I wouldn’t buy a second copy, I actually did get one (second hand, from a 1926 printing) to have one


where the French dialogue in the crucial Walpurgisnacht scene is not translated (in modern German editions, such as that of the GFKA, these parts are printed as in the original text within the main body of the novel, but a translation is appended at the end of the book). By the way, I learnt from the Kommentar that Thomas Mann wrote the French dialogue directly in French (not in German that he would later translate), but that they were re-read and corrected by a more fluent friend.

Monte Verità registration open

The registration for the Winter School on trace functions at Monte Verità can now begin. As explained on the web page, because the number of participants is limited, you should send an email to this address to indicate your interest. For the most part, the school is for PhD students, so please indicate who is your PhD advisor, and if you are a postdoc, your motivation for attending the school.
We will then send to the selected participants the link to the official registration page.

Postdocs at ETH

Like every year, the mathematics department of ETH offers some postdoc positions. This year, a slightly different organization has been chosen, combining some resources with the FIM. The positions are now called “Hermann Weyl Instructors”, and the main change (besides slightly earlier deadlines) is that the teaching duties are clearly stated upfront: the postdoc should teach 50% during two semesters of the three year position. (So if we compare with the Veblen Instructorships offered by Princeton and the IAS, for example, we request one year teaching/two year research, instead of two year teaching/one year research for the Veblen position).

The web page with information on the positions (including salary, which follows a standard ETH scale) is available on the FIM website. The deadline for application is November 1 (for full consideration — slightly later applications are permitted, but depending on the schedule of the committee meetings, they might be too late). Finally, the application can be done using this form.

Winter School at Monte Verità

Philippe Michel and myself are organizing a Winter School in January 2019 on the topic of trace functions and their applications to analytic number theory. There is a very basic web page for the moment. Most importantly, the application form, which will be setup by the conference center where the school will be held, is not yet available.

The setting is the CSF (Congressi Stefano Franscini), which is a conference center of ETH located in Ticino (so this will be a good occasion to practice italian). The school is intended essentially for current PhD students, together with a smaller number of recent PhDs ; the total number of participants should be around 50. There will be five minicourses, given by T. Browning, Ph. Michel, L. Pierce, W. Sawin and myself. A more detailed programme will appear in due course…