Yesterday it was a tougher day. Hard to understand or get something from most of the talks, apart from Brendan Hasset‘s talk, which actually mentioned some of the work of Kostya Shramov did during his post-doc in Edinburgh. 3-fold Fibrations by Quartic del Pezzos. I have worked with this surfaces this year. Nice to see something friendly. I can say little about the other talks in the mathematical side, apart that Bill Fulton is very entertaining:

I was going to tell a story about how I met Joe, but last time I told a story of this kind in another birthday conference but later on other people who witnessed it told me ‘it wasn’t quite like that, Bill’

I had the chance to talk to Olivia Dumitrescu, though. I met her the first time last July in the Cortona conference. I told her about my recent progress in some toric problem in LDP polytopes, but since I have not solved it yet, I prefer not to discuss it here. I worked in some application in the lunch break.

Later I went for Dinner with Dima to some Vietnamese place we had been the day before. Quite good and cheap. $10 a dinner. Dima has the idea that everyone thinks something should cost one number. In the US/UK/EU, the consensus is that a (student) dinner should cost 10, then you just add the local currency in front. We found a comic-book store and I found another volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Paint it Black. Dima’s theory proved right again. It cost 10 too. It seems I’ll have to get the Black Dossier here too, since it has not been published in the UK.

Today it has been a more productive day mathematically speaking. I missed Pandharipande’s talk because I lost my fountain pen and I stayed longer looking for it. I’m sure Ciaran is going to hate me twice for this. I found the fountain pen, though. David Smyth’s talk was very entertaining, combining GIT, moduli spaces and the use of toric-like techniques (mainly one-parameter subgroups) in a very explicit way. The abstract does not do him justice. Dan Abramovich gave some sort of tropical geometry survey of results of Lucia Caporaso and Sam Payne. It started good but got quite confusing towards the end, probably because of my lack of knowledge of tropical geometry. At the end of the talk he confessed he had to go through 500 pages of maths to prepare it, so I guess it is OK. Claire Voisin talk was a bit intimidating and I found it hard to follow. I think that if she does not (dis)prove the Hodge Conjecture nobody ever will. Although Farka‘s talk was of interest for me (K3 surfaces modelling certain moduli spaces) I was unable to follow, mainly due to worries about missing the bus to Hartford.

And I ran and ran, and I arrived on time, even had some time to buy a Sandwich. Now I’m on the bus to Hartford and Corri will pick me up to take me to Berlin. I don’t know how long I’ll stay there for, hopefully I can meet Blanca in New York on Monday. I also don’t know when I’ll have Internet again, so I am not sure if I’ll be able to update the blog. According to El Pais Washington is already suffering the worse and on the road to Hartford (there in 30 minutes) has as much rain as Edinburgh in February. In case anyone is worried, we’ll be in Corri’s house way on time and I’ll be really safe, since it is really far from the coast. By the way, those who are reading that they are evacuating NYC, they are only moving people from the shores of Manhattan to the inner part of the island, still in Manhattan, i.e. a couple of miles, not more. This is not the Katrina situation.

Hopefully see you soon!