Next week I’m off to Calgary, where I’m giving a talk at the category theory session of the Canadian Mathematical Society’s summer meeting, and then a (completely different) talk at FMCS. I’m not too worried about the FMCS talk, because I’ve been to a few theoretical computer science meetings before so I reckon I know roughly what to expect. My topic is reassuring too: it’s simple enough that I’ll have time to explain it pretty carefully in half an hour, yet unexpected enough to be interesting, and reasonably relevant to at least one area of computer science.
The CMS meeting is a different matter. I’ve never even attended a purely mathematical conference, and I confess I’m feeling rather daunted at the prospect of talking at a meeting that includes so many eminent category theorists who I’ve never met. Also my topic is a bit more off-the-wall, though at least there’s a bit more substance to it now than when I wrote the abstract: I’ve worked out a two-dimensional version, which in the special cases where it applies makes it possible e.g. to describe a symmetric monoidal bicategory both rigorously and concisely. I’m working on the slides for the talk right now, but sadly I won’t have time to say much about the bicategory version. (I expect I’ll write a paper about it at some point, where I’ll be able to give all the details.)