First of all, welcome to the new website! (It still has that fresh new website smell.)
Second of all, if you were accustomed to the look and organization of the old website (for retrieving course information and the like), you should find that the important old material is all here under roughly the same organizational headers. If you had a favorite note and person tidbit you think is missing, please let me know. I will be transitioning my files here over the next few months (they are still hosted elsewhere) but may have missed a few things.
Third of all, there are a few more or less obvious reasons for the switch, which I will briefly describe now:
- Get rid of the ridiculously hideously offensively long URL: Visitors of the old site no doubt noticed that, once redirected from my University of Wisconsin page (https://www.math.wisc.edu/~mjohnston3), the URL box did something equivalent to floating point arithmetic overload. I won’t retype the actual URL (that would take all month) but will mention that this was not in any way intentional. The short story is that I had been hosting the site on one school-supported server, which was discontinued, and they gave me the option of several alternatives, with advertisements of increased functionality, unlimited spaces, real-time back-ups, etc. and… well, I chose poorly. The long story is the one thing which could rival the length of the URL, so I won’t go there.
- More personal and portable: I have a number of problems with department websites. First of all, who really wants to read a CV in bland HTML form, with a stock photo that is a decade out of date? But that’s what a lot of department websites are like due to limited server support for interesting features. These sites are also difficult to update, especially for people like myself who prefer to work remotely. An external site can be updated from any computer, at any time. The main reason for an externally hosted website, however, is portability. My institutional affiliation no longer matters—my research and teaching archives will always be here, but the benefit and enjoyment of all until the end of time. On a cosmic scale, I think this is big deal.
- Blog about research: Research is about communities disseminating, developing, and debating new ideas. And yet we often do not know what people are working on, even within our own research communities, until the results are submitted for peer-review. How many cutting-edge ideas would have been developed quicker if they had gone through earlier vetting? How many potentially great ideas were thrown away, never to be pursued again, because they were never spoken of publicly? I would therefore welcome anybody, who finds anything I say or write here interesting, to contact me and open their arms for collaboration. I plan to write (occasional) paper reviews and musings about ideas and connections within the field if mathematical biology.