Looking Back

February 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm (Icepick)

While working on our taxes tonight (yeech) I thought of a couple of people I knew from my time in the University of Florida’s Mathematics Graduate program in the late 1990s. So I looked them up. One, a former professor of mine, has apparently dropped off the face of the Earth. This isn’t completely surprising, as he was a complete and total wild man.

The second was another graduate student who went on to get her PhD. She’s doing alright, but not so well that it’s making me wish I had continued on and earned one of my own. The same for several of the other students I knew who got PhDs in mathematics.

However, there were three interesting cases. The first got his PhD in 1998. Since then he went on to work for Fannie Mae, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and is currently a VP at a very well known investment bank. Presumably he is making a lot of money. He’s also one of the guys responsible for nearly destroying the world economy in 2008. (And yes, based on his job description at Fanny Mae and a knowledge of how the bureaucratic world works, that is an entirely justified statement.)

Huh. Now that may or may not make me a little envious. I’m honestly not sure which.

The other two guys are more interesting. I happen to know that after they got their PhDs they went to work for a certain government agency, which cannot be named. But it was easy enough to figure out what they were doing and where they were going. The interesting thing (at least to me) is that they have almost zero online presence AFTER going to work for the government. One of them was also a musician on the side, and a couple of articles published after he got his PhD mention his name, but that’s pretty much it. I do believe the musician/mathematician may have been the most brilliant student I knew at UF. But these guys got their PhDs in Mathematics and just vanished as far as the internet is concerned.

Some things should just be left alone, I suppose.

But enough goofing off. Back to our inordinately complicated taxes.


  1. mockturtle said,

    Hope you use Turbo Tax. It certainly makes itemizing easier. Can’t believe I used to do it the hard way.

  2. Icepick said,

    MT, I do, but itemizing isn’t the problem. The problems are with the HSA feature (not terribly well done in previous years), and with an smidgen of investment income I get every year. The income means I have to spend $20 to get the premium service. Which means my investment income is going to net me about $1.09 this year after taxes. And that only because someone else paid the property taxes on the damned thing this year.

    On the other hand, I can legitimately claim to have oil and gas claims, and that I am thereby profiting from the destruction of the environment. Woo hoo!

  3. Icepick said,

    I’m also interested in seeing if this post disappears. It should probably be safe, though, as I didn’t mention any names and left the agency name out of it. (It’s been in the news a lot lately for what it does, and not in a good way.)

  4. Icepick said,

    And yes, if anyone figures out the names of any of them and posts them, I will redact them. I want to see how good they are!

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