Compassionate mathematics

I am a postdoc at the Topos Institute, Berkeley. I graduated in 2021 with a PhD thesis in category theory and quantum mechanics. Not long after my graduation, I was at a small math conference which still happens to be my favorite. By that time, I was used to math talks flying over my head where, at times, the only words that I had followed were “is”, “was”, “of” and so on. That day, at this conference, I was listening (or at least was trying to listen) to a speaker at the board. However, every word the speaker uttered was flying over my head. I looked to my side, and I saw my colleague who was also a Master’s student at that time, in distress and looking outside the window. When the session ended, I came out of the room and told my PhD advisor, Robin Cockett, “I want compassionate mathematics”.

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