If I were Garrett Lisi, I'd postdoc at Nottingham

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If you were in Garrett's shoes where would you go?

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  • #26
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18 people have responded so far, and here are the results:

marcus says Nottingham (1)

marcus and NerfMonkey say Penn State (2)

cristo, Dense, Energex42, marcus, random3f, and william donnelly say Perimeter (6)

nobody says Marseille (0)

Bloody Beaver, gogins, and random3f say Utrecht (3)

kanato says Davis (1)

francesca and william donnelly say Riverside (2)

CarlB, Count Iblis, Dense, Ivan Seeking, wildman, and william donnelly say Maui (6)

alex caps, Astronuc, and vicnice say Other (3)

The only place specified in the Other category was Christchurch NZ whose vicinity is said to have not only excellect surfing but also (Astronuc points out) the University of Canterbury.
There were actually 24 preferences stated, because some of the 18 people took advantage of the multiple choice opportunity. I'm glad so many of us expressed their preference because it helps understand who we are. SIX of the 24 votes were for Maui---CarlB and the others clearly value independence: working on your own in a place you like, without having constant face to face with other smart researchers.

The groundswell for Maui surprised me. I automatically think that being able to spend time at the blackboard or whiteboard with others would be immensely beneficial. The present E8 theory is a beginning, call it an incipient proto-theory if you want (with a chance of making nearterm predictions). What a joy to be with other people working together to fill in the missing pieces! So that was my take, and maybe it was wrong. Anyway I was surprised so many said Maui.

Francesca and William Donnelly showed real respect for John Baez as a mentor and mathematician.

I guess I should stress that I don't think we are giving anybody guidance. Garrett Lisi will make his own way, I think, regardless of what anyone advises. By saying where we would go in his shoes we only find out about ourselves, and how the world looks to us.

Right this moment, if I asked myself that question, I would answer differently from how any of us did so far. I would choose to spend some time at Marseille as a visiting researcher if Rovelli invited because if anybody would have constructive insights to complete the picture, that's who. Odd no one picked Marseille.

The Mediterranean there is as beautiful as the Napali coast on the west side of Kauai, there are the Callenques. And it is also not so far from CERN.
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  • #27
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In this Forum, Beyond the Standard Model, there is a thread that already discuss Lisi's work.

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything!

So the physics or the implications are being discussed.

I think marcus hit upon an interesting topic - what is an appropriate environment in which to develop one's ideas?

The internet has greatly expanded the possibilities. I work in the NE US for a company based in the far SW US (Pacific Coast). We do a lot of collaboration via the internet, including file sharing (sharing desktop), so collaboration is possible anywhere in the world.

I would consider Penn State, which is essentially in my neighborhood, and I know some faculty there (but in nuclear engineering and materials science). I would also entertain a position at Unversity of Canterbury, but in my case, they'd have to be interested in a nuclear engineering program, although I suppose I could do something in applied physics.

IMO, Christchurch, NZ offers a nice environment, lower cost of living than most places mentioned, and access to some nice places outdoors. The place I was thinking about has high speed internet access. Besides, Ernest Rutherford studied there, although that was 1890-1894 when he attended Canterbury College, University of New Zealand, in Christchurch.

Here is the page on research in theoretical physics - http://www.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/research/theoretical.shtml

Unfortunately the program in High Energy (Particle and Astroparticle) Physics isn't as strong.

Wherever Lisi goes, hopefully there will be strong theoretical and experimental programs, but since the experimental programs will likely be anywhere and everywhere, the only immediate need would be a strong theoretical and computational program to support the development and confirmation of Lisi's theory.
  • #28
If Dr. Lisi wanted a postdoc, he would have taken a postdoc somewhere by now (he's 39!). I don't think that just publishing a (hopefully!) important paper changes anything in how he wants to live his life. That is why I voted for Maui.

Now if Cern finds his predicted particles and he becomes World famous, then things may change. It may be very difficult for a pennyless surfer to turn down hundreds of thousands of dollars from some private univeristy.
  • #29
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http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/14391 [Broken]

Thanks to ChrisW at Not Even Wrong blog, we learn that BBC/Public Radio International
has a program about Garrett's work. An edition of PRI's "The World"
One of the main commentors is a professor at Oxford named Marcus du Sautoy

The program was broadcast 30 November. I missed it but may be able to get the online version from theworld.org website.

http://www.theworld.org/?q=taxonomy_by_date/1/20071130 [Broken]

looks like if you scroll down a ways there's some audio to click on
Well, it didn't work for me. Clicked on the audio button and nothing happened. It's only about 5 minutes anyway.
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  • #30
Have you been to Nottingham ?
I imagine if you stay on the campus it's reasonably nice - but seriously have you been into the town?

Nottingham is one of the finest cities in the UK! I live 17 miles from the centre and it is one of our favourite shopping, restaurant and theatre haunts, not to mention Nottingham Forest!
  • #31
Well, I don't think that Dr Lisi would put up with the British weather. But that aside, can I suggest Liverpool University.

The high energy physics department comprises some brilliant experimentalists. To search for the monopole, one has to consider something amazing.

By all accounts, Garrett is an amazing theorist, who would complement this group
  • #32
I liked living in Nottingham.. both the campus and city were nice. I don't like big cities, Nottingham is just the right size. And they have a lake on campus.. with boats. Fun.
That said, Christchurch is lovely too :-)
As for the actual academic side, ah well it's up to him isn't it..

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