The Wisconsin math department has hired four terrific new assistant professors this season (rah rah countercyclical hiring!) We will be joined next year by: Melanie Matchett Wood, an arithmetic geometer and an AIM 5-year fellow, who shares my love of counting number fields and of the arithmetic fundamenal group; Philip Matchett Wood, who does probabilistic combinatorics, especially related to random matrices; Jun Yin, another random matrix guy, just finishing up a BP at Harvard; and our own postdoc Brian Street, who works on the geometric side of harmonic analysis.

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Awesome. Melanie would be a great addition to the department, so would her husband. I’m not sure how you folks convinced them to move from sunny palo alto to freezing Wisconsin but good job, UWisc is doing a pretty good job at attracting the best and brightest in math. I’m not sure how “countercyclical hiring” deserves any credit for this, though. I’m surprised one can even use this sort of strategy in the current economic climate.

Surely the point is precisely that this is what one should do (if one can afford it) in the current economic climate?