Monday, April 19, 2004

Asian Food for Thought?

Many years ago, an Israeli graduate student made the rounds and gave talks at several US universities. When he arrived in Chicago, he asked me if Americans only eat Chinese food. I told him he hadn't seen a random sample of Americans and took him out for some good Chicago ribs. Afterwords he told me he preferred the Chinese food.

At a logic conference at Notre Dame, I ate dinner with a small group at one of the few Chinese restaurants in South Bend. Surprisingly no other mathematicians were eating in the restaurant. Just as we noticed this, the waiters started putting tables together and about five minutes later in walk about 20 logicians for dinner.

Why do mathematicians and computer scientists eat so much Asian food? Not just Chinese but Japanese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Ethiopian (not Asian but close enough) and of course Indian (northern and southern). Not that I don't enjoy Asian food but what's wrong with a good hamburger?

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