Small and Large Prime Lecture Times

Is this why blogs were invented? So people could just let off steam.


The glance at the wrist watch.

Whatever the case, I have some steam about academic seminars which needs something to heat. Preferably a department HOD or resident seminar organizer, or the lecture hours manager.

In my lunch hours I get time to hold a mathematics seminar in my office. The audience size is 1, and the guest speaker is not present.

Well I don’t have the privilege of working in a great mathematics or physics department at the moment. So I need to YouTube for all my seminars. This gives up control. So if something annoys me all I have is a blog and a few friends who occasionally do not mind a small buzzing noise in their ears emanating from my general direction.

The origin of my current plume of steam is Terry Tao, Ph.D. Small and Large Gaps Between the Primes (

Here I am enjoying my lunch with coffee listening to Professor Tao explain the sieves, the loglogloglog theorems, the probabilistic number theoretic models and other tricks for deducing the bounds on gaps between primes. Then about 43 minutes into the video he glances at his wrist-watch and clearly wonders if he has enough time to explain the ideas in some detail. He says,

“Zhang’s big breakthrough was that he found a new theorem about primes in arithmetic progressions that was not available before.

[glances at his watch]

Ummm, arrr, or, ok, maybe I, I won’t say exactly what it is … “

Well, damn! That kinda’ spoils the whole movie doesn’t it!

So it’s understandable isn’t it. You have 55 minutes for a seminar and should really stick to it, since lecturers have students waiting for classes and so forth. But then I thought, why?

It’s bullshit. Students can attend the darned seminar. They could learn something. Or at worst catch some useful zzz’s. Classes can be put on hold, or even canceled, did that ever hurt a single student? Then you just go and let a guy like Terrance Tao talk for as long as he damn well pleases without a single clock in sight to distract him.

That’s how to run seminars people!

Not so’s people are all like this …


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