- Presentation

"I once taught in a summer program for middle school students. One day the director asked me to tell them a little about my experience doing a PhD. It made a big impression on them to learn that as a PhD student I had worked on a math problem for three years. How could somebody work on one problem for three years? What would you do? A lot of that time is spent being stuck, and an important way to get unstuck is to come up with simpler problems -- problems that feel more tractable but help us understand the bigger problem we started with. In this talk, we will explore this process of looking for simpler problems. I will bring with me a hard math problem, and we will talk about finding approachable things we can do to understand it better."