In my last post on the Ecole Normale Superieure, I had mentioned that I am at its Department of Mathematics, for a two-month exchange programme with my undergraduate institution (Chennai Mathematical Institute). I have now been here for two weeks, and while I haven’t still explored the whole of the ENS, I have attended the seminars of some of the people here, and there were a few interesting things I noticed about the way talks are given at the ENS.
The first thing I noticed was that in the 3-4 talks I attended, the speaker gave the talk like a series of points. Basically something like Point number 1: (some part of the talk). Then Point Number 2: (another part of the talk). And so on. The talks didn’t seem to have an introduction, conclusion etc. in the conventional sense. Moreover, each point was focussed on examples.
Another thing I noticed about the way the French speakers talked, was that they in general were a lot more expressive than those people whom I have seen talking in India. Though my lack of knowledge of French impaired me from understanding anything but the basic outline of the talk, I could figure out that the speakers were using quite a bit of idiomatic language.