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Keeping Your Research Alive
It feels good to discuss a topic which I have thought a great deal about and for which I have a great affection for. As if it were yesterday (now almost twenty--five years ago!) I remember the transition from graduate student to faculty member, the stunning new demands on my time, the responsibility for curricular matters I'd never thought about, the energy level necessary to do my job. The foremost question I had about my professional career was whether I would even have one! And I wanted one!!
Before introducing the panelists I'll give a definition (for local use only) and make three observations.
During my first few years this meant my niche within the community of research real analysts and it still has that meaning for me. But my niche has grown to mean much more, and I'll discuss that growth in my remarks below,
Live in two worlds, but be of one spirit.
the teacher--scholar model is far more dynamic and effective.
And this is because by living in two worlds you become the link between the excitement of cutting edge mathematics and your students. It is through you that mathematics comes alive, not just the mathematics of one-hundred years ago but the mathematics of today and the mathematics of the future. And it is precisely because you embody that link between past and future mathematics that your students can see themselves becoming part of the mathematical enterprise. This is one reason why a lively professional career is important. (It can also help with getting tenure!)
the program I've outlined above is manifestly impossible to attain!
But you can make a good approximation and have a great deal of fun doing it. Set yourself some high goals, but be tolerant of yourself and most important, have a good time with what you do.
Today's panel consists of a variety of mathematicians from a variety of schools. The common denominator is that everyone of these folks takes their teaching and their professional work very seriously. (They also take themselves not seriously at all!) They are