Moar CoyneFest

Here are some miscellaneous pictures from CoyneFest this weekend. There will be at least one more installment. Photos were contributed by Andrew Berry, Mohamed Noor and me (first two).

Reader Su Gould and artist Tubby Fleck designed awesome “I can haz retirement” buttons for the attendees and speakers, available for a small donation to Doctors Without Borders (you can also get one by showing me proof that you’ve donated at least $5). Here was the hilarious setup for dispensing the buttons. The postcard at bottom left says “Buttons made in the USA and individually supervised by this uncompromising cat.” Note the fly dangling over the placard in the first picture:



Two of the speakers, Mohamed Noor (Duke) and Amanda Moehring (Western University, Ontario):


Dick Hudson of my department (recently retired), Soojin Yi (Georgia Tech) and Jeff Wisniewki (our departmental administrator, who helped organize the whole bash),  all chilling out at the Log Castle in Indiana:


Mohamed, Katharine Korunes (Duke), and Briana Mittleman (another former Noor student now at Chicago), petting the miniature horses at the Log Castle:


Late in the evening, after dinner, Michael Turelli (aka Karl Marx) gave me a toast, which was touching but also embarrassing, for I felt, as always, that he was lauding somebody else.


Speakers’ dinner after the first day. Clockwise from top left: Brian Charlesworth (Edinburgh), Matthew Cobb (Manchester), me, Greg Mayer (U. Wisconsin Parkside), Doug Schemske (Michigan State), Nick Barton (IST Austria), Daven Presgraves (Rochester), Nitin Phadnis (University of Utah), and, foreground, Manyuan Long, a colleague at Chicago.


A preprandial stroll along the Indiana Dunes seashore:


Left to right: Nick Barton, Mohamed Noor, Katharine Korunes, Brian Charlesworth:


Lunch, Saturday. I insisted on having Chicago-style stuffed pizza which, as you see, is gooey. Background: Greg Mayer (l) and Bruce Grant (William & Mary, retired). Mohamed is infamous for his “thumbs up gesture”, which he promised to stop when he got tenure, but lied big time. . . .


I’ll have pictures of the speakers in action tomorrow or Wednesday.


  1. GBJames
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink


    “Indiana Dunes seashore lakeshore”

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I could go with lakeshore but what if you had a wall. You can’t call it lake wall, it must be seawall.

    • Dominic
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      What is the definition – can an inland sea be fresh or must it be salty?

      • GBJames
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        I don’t know for sure but I do know this… The Great Lakes are lakes! And the Indiana Dunes are a National Lakeshore.

  2. dabertini
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I’d love to make a pizza for PCC(e)!!

  3. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’d love more food pics Jerry. I live in a part of the UK which has just about acclimatised itself to the idea of Subway sandwiches, so the wanton exotica that you seem to have access to in your day-to-day world always fascinates and intrigues me. The pies, the subs, the pizzas…they’re glorious.

    If you’ve ever had a sandwich in Britain you’ll be aware that for a long time it was against the law to insert more than 1-2mm of filling(that was the government’s ‘Protection Against Unseemly Sandwiches’ Act of 1962, heavily backed by the motorway service station industry), and in certain localities they still think a sandwich should be prepared for sale in the same way that a butterfly or a flower is prepared for preservation – by squashing it between two heavy objects until it’s thin enough you can slide it under someone’s door.

    Any enlightenment from your side of the pond is a boon.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Going by my wife’s stories I think my mother-in-law was somehow beholden to the British sandwich laws. She tells the story of how one day at school her friends got a hold of her sandwich and removed the translucently thin piece of ham that was the only thing between the two pieces of dry white bread. She tells of how she had no idea why her friends were laughing at her while she ate her sandwich. She never noticed that she was eating two plain pieces of bread until her friends showed her the pilfered shaving of ham.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I like that.

        Your mother-in-law sounds like my step-father: he would make my packed lunch when my mum was away by rooting around for left-overs in the fridge half-an-hour before I was due to catch the school bus. They were always chaotic and incredibly lazily assembled, and I’d take them over to a quiet corner of the classroom before I looked inside to see what he’d given me, for fear of someone seeing. It wasn’t just embarrassing – I thought that someone might call social services if they saw the stuff he gave me to eat.

        I vividly remember one packed lunch which consisted solely of a ‘sandwich’ made of brown bread slices with cold plain spaghetti in between. Nothing but those two ingredients. A soggy pile-up of bread with pallid strands of spaghetti(unused from the previous night’s supper) dangling out from the sides. It looked intestinal.

      • Posted October 17, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        As we say in such situations, why was the ham cut on the microtome?

        • Christopher
          Posted October 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          and is the filling measured in microns?

          Honestly, as much as I would consider myself to be an Anglophile, I cannot support the Brit idea of a sandwich. Yeah, yeah, Lord Sandwich and all that, but seriously, if you’re not having trouble fitting your mouth around the bread whilst simultaneously attempting to keep half the fillings from pouring out the backside, you’re doing it wrong!

    • tubby
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Be aware that Chicago style pizza is quite different from New York/Brooklyn style pizza, and some people are very, very devoted to one style or the other. There is no in between, you must pick one side, and be very careful about who you talk to about it. It’s like the Yankees/Red Sox thing, but I don’t think anyone kills each other over it. Yet.

      BTW, chances are anything you find in a chain described as Chicago or Brooklyn style pizza is probably nothing like the real thing. They’re pretty much unique to their city/borough.

      • Posted October 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        There are other large American cities where places which aren’t chains do claim one or the other. I seem to remember one in Pittsburgh, but I cannot for the life of me remember any details.

      • Christopher
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        What if I opt for St. Louis style pizza? Or a proper Neapolitan pizza? Really, all styles have something to recommend them. Even crappy pizza is better than no pizza, or perhaps I’ve been a bachelor for too long.

        • tubby
          Posted October 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Brooklyn style pizza or go home. There, I drew the line. I await the army of Chicago style fans coming to stuff me into their deep dish pies. I will defend myself with my foot and a half long thin crust slices!

          • Christopher
            Posted October 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Well I’ve never been to Brooklyn, so I can’t honestly comment. I’ve settled for the knock-offs. I have had Chicago-style, and I’ve had perhaps the best pizza of my life made with imported Italian ingredients by a elderly woman from Napoli, long since departed. She took such simple ingredients and made them into mouth-watering works of edible art.

          • Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            I’ve had Brooklyn pizza and NY pizza, and I can say without reservation (since I’m older and have eaten more pizza) that both the Chicago style deep-dish or stuffed pizzas outshine the grease-laden cardboard purveyed as pizza in NYC.

            • tubby
              Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

              If I still lived in Brooklyn that would have been the ideal Presidential Race Bet: A hometown/borough pizza tour for the winner.

              And I’d have to prepare by… research into the best pizza places to hit up.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      LOL. There never was any such act.

  4. darrelle
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    You really know how to party Jerry. I have got to get to Chicago someday and get some authentic Chicago style stuffed pizza. That last pic has disrupted my morning.

  5. Teresa Carson
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    What an impressive group! It looks like you had a wonderful time and some great pizza too. It doesn’t get better than that. Happy Coynefest! And may you haz delightful retirement yearz.

  6. rickflick
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    What a great “send off”. When I “retired” it was just a simple affair. I was shown the door.😎

    CoyneFest is really the right way to transition to a new phase of life.

  7. Dominic
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Very nice🙂

  8. Mark R.
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    What a great way to retire! I’ve heard of retirement parties, but this one takes the cake…or the Chicago-style pizza.

    My state geography isn’t that good (except for western states), I had no idea Indiana enjoyed a shore of Lake Michigan. I wonder if the sand is natural or man-made.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      The sand is very much natural.

  9. Posted October 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see Dr. Noor. His Evolution Coursera was awesome.

  10. Posted October 17, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    What’s wrong with the “thumbs up”?

    (Some of my international students innocently use their middle finger for pointing. Talk about cultural differences! They seem not to believe me when I tell them that in my country, they can literally get beaten for it.)

  11. Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    When I lived in Chicago, years ago, I got Chicago style pizza from Pizzaria Uno. Amazing! I wonder if it is still around.

    • Posted October 18, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      It is indeed, and they have another branch, Pizzaria Due, a block away. Awesome pizza, especially with fresh garlic and homemade sausage.

  12. Avis James
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on being celebrated, Jerry! (I bet you hated being the center of attention the whole time, but I am sure this celebration was wonderful!)

  13. SA Gould
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    CoyneFest was a lively roast and send-off for the Prof, as well as a reunion for those who hadn’t seen each other in years. All presenters were great speakers: entertaining and informative, had well-done slide shows and made their topic easy for follow for someone (like myself) with a non-science background.

    They were lively, passionate, and… above all funny. Never had anyone that engaged when I was in school or *I* might have gone into sciences.

    Everyone should haz their own “CoyneFest” when they retire!

  14. Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Congratulations again, Dr. C, and thanks for sharing the great photos.

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