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A Slight Wrinkle In The Definition

, , , , , , | Learning | September 29, 2017

(I’m talking to some of my students in a tutorial. The conversation goes from the topic of the course, Markov chains, to population genetics, an application of Markov chains, to experimental testing of population genetics, to a rather neat result where colonies of bacteria oscillate between being free-living and forming colony mats on the top of the nutrient solution. These colony mats are known as “wrinkly spreaders”.)

Me: “If you want to learn more about this, do a web search on ‘wrinkly spreader.’”

Student: *with disgust* “I am not Googling ‘wrinkly spreader’!”

Me: “Um, that interpretation had not occurred to me.”

(The student need not have worried; I’ve just tried the web search, and gerontological p*rn was completely absent.)