ROBERT WALKER


Hello! I'm looking forward to several great years at Telluride. Although I'm a typically stoic, aloof, even-keel type, I can be lively and talkative when inclined. 

I'm a doctoral candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in pure mathematics (started in Fall 2011), originally hailing from Urbana, IL (which is where Calculon was built, according to the final season of Futurama). While staying in my hometown, I earned a dual degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from UIUC and wrote a senior thesis concerning Aristotle's answer to the question "What is happiness?" These days, I am advised by Karen E. Smith at the intersection of two sibling areas of mathematics: commutative algebra and algebraic geometry. When I tell people that I'm a Math PhD student, I am usually prodded to explain what roughly that means, in a "A Day in the Life of..." sense. I usually just say that a pure mathematician is an observational comedian/storyteller of logic, musing about VERY abstract protagonists. 

When I'm not "math-ing" (yes, mathematicians use math as a verb), I am usually online watching some form of comedy (especially Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the "DBZ: Abridged" YouTube series). My favorite TV comedies are "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," my favorite drama is "Suits,"  and my favorite anime is "Yu Yu Hakusho." My favorite comedian from my 90's childhood is Jim Carrey (especially in "Liar Liar"), my favorite comedian overall would be Dave Chappelle, and my favorite "Comedy Central Roast" comedian is the late Greg Giraldo.