First things first. My name is Páll Melsted,but others will spell my first name as Pall since nobody knows where á is on their keyboard. I’m a math graduate student at CMU and I come from Iceland. When I pronounce my first name (correctly) all I get is a blank stare as if I were speaking Klingon. I guess that’s not so surprising, since the “ll” sound in my name is quite close to the “tˡɬ” sound in Klingon, or so the internet tells me. Come to think of it, Klingon and Icelandic have about the same number of speakers, and certainly more people have heard Klingon spoken so I guess that’s quite natural.
When people ask me what I do, I usually reply “random stuff in random graphs” because (a) it’s funny, (b) an accurate description of what I do. All kidding aside I work in Probabilistic Combinatorics and Theoretical Computer Science, usually average case analysis of graph algorithms and that sort of stuff. For papers and preprints visit my academic site.
Anyway, the idea for this blog is just yet another research blog where I talk about research, things that I find interesting and stuff that’s happening in the research community. In the next week or so I promise to give a detailed description on how to do cool animations with ipe and beamer and tell you where to find good coffee for those of you going to ICALP.