A Day in the Life of a Canadian Mathematician

If you have been following me since 2004, you’ll know that not only is Jeffery Shallit one of our Array Language Jedi with some mighty impressive honours, he also has the largest collection of APL Press Buttons. He has more buttons than anyone else, ever.

My favourite, of course, reads:

A good woman will last a year, but APL is forever.

Actually, now that I think about it, I should ask him if I can sell them on eBay to support this project.

But I digress… Because Jeffrey also has the gift of gab and blogs, I know what he did today! And guess what he did today? Yup. Put his money on the table, and bought a new version of APL. 

Just in case you’re one of those guys worried that I’m gonna say… Okay, I won’t say it…. Anyway… here are some of the juicy bits from Jeffrey’s day

My sabbatical is over and it’s back to a teaching term. Classes start next week…

9:30 AM Working on the first assignment for my algorithms course. It’s not easy to create good, interesting problems about big-O notation. And I want problems whose solution isn’t on the web! I had a good one last year but I don’t want to reuse it.

10:15 AM Got a couple of problems written, but still looking for a really hard one. Time to go check my (physical) mailbox on the second floor. Most mail comes electronically these days, but still…

11:50 AM A colleague from another country was denied a visa to visit Canada and present a paper at a conference. This is really outrageous. I’ve got an appointment with my MP next week to discuss this case. I’m printing out the documentation that the colleague sent me.

12:00 Noon There’s a new version of the APL I use on my mac, APL X. Paid $160 Canadian for the update through paypal.

12:30 PM Spent the last half hour trying to submit a paper to Information Processing Letters. Gone are the days when you could submit a paper by e-mailing some files to the editor. Now you have to go through a web-based form where you attach files, etc. These nearly always are terrible, offering way too many options for some things and not enough for others. I’ve spent 30 minutes on it so far and am still not done….

Oh, Jeffrey, if you need an ass kicking Canadian Immigration Lawyer, let me know.

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1 Response to “A Day in the Life of a Canadian Mathematician”


  • A button I liked was “APL is for the symbol minded”. But I think it came from Interprocess Systems, not APL Press.

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