17. My Dad is a Mathematician
The Institute was kindly gifted a series of four panels of oil on canvas art work by Natalia Rojkovskaia. The series describes the state of mind of a mathematician focused on his research:
The first panel shows the scientist at the beginning of the project; a lot of expectations and hopes to get results quickly.
The second panel is at night time, when the scientist continues to think about his problem, even while he is asleep - although that does not really work.
Sometime later the researcher realizes that the problem is not as easy as he thought in the beginning, and he experiences a crisis, which is reflected on the third panel.
After making some decisions, the mathematician is determined to continue the research and now he is so absorbed by his idea, that the days and nights become indistinguishable to him.
About the forumla: The formula in the background is an example of q-character of the quantum affine Lie algebra of type A2. The Drinfeld polynomials of this example are P1=(1-u)(1-q2u), P2=(1-q3u), and the dimension of representation is 18. These characters can be computed using Frenkel-Mukhin algorithm.