About my 2022 Mathematics A-to-Z


I don’t plan to have one.

Some context. Since 2015 I’ve run a series of A-to-Z essays. This is writing a short glossary about various mathematics terms. Most years they were a complete pass through the alphabet, with some fudging to allow for there being fewer terms that start with ‘X’ than you’d think. For 2021, I changed the format up a little, writing instead one for each letter in the phrase “Mathematics A to Z”. You can read all 198 of the completed essays at this link.

Hard as I thought 2021 was, 2022 has been worse, in wearing down my energy and enthusiasm for big projects. Or projects at all. And an A-to-Z is a big, worthwhile but exhausting project. I am already too late in the year to run one essay a week and complete the full alphabet. Given the lead times necessary even a partial alphabet would be hard to fit in. (I don’t want to run these projects across years, although I accepted that for the 2021 project.) In 2015 and 2016 I was able to write three essays a week, a commitment of time and energy I can’t imagine making now.

So rather than sit idly hoping something will turn up, I accept the situation. I am not up for an A-to-Z this year. I hope that 2023 will be a happier year, one in which I can do a project of that magnitude. I suppose we all hope for that.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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