1. TwoPi says:

    I’d add #6. Sleep.

    For myself, an evening spent flailing around on a conjecture is fairly likely to lead to a flash of “Ah-HA!” the next morning as I shower the cobwebs away. Somehow sleeping on a problem gets the creative juices going in a way that nothing else does.

    But then again, I suppose sleep is just another variation on your #1 and #2.

  2. Good point! It can go either way, though. A “solved” conjecture one night can come crashing down from an easy counterexample during a shower the next morning.

  3. Robert says:

    I’d be interested in your ideas as to how to procure #1 and #2, especially under teaching duties averaging 12-14 hours per semester.

    1. Hmmm…. Yeah, I’m still working on that. I have a sabbatical coming up in a year and a half…

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