Years ago, on one of my birthdays back in college, I got an e-mail from my mother. “We paid your tuition. Happy Birthday.” Reading this was about as exciting as hearing, “Merry Christmas! Here’s a new sweater.” Well, Gerard Unger is in the department again this week, and last night I heard another Matthew Carter lecture in London. This is a far more exciting way to spend my birthday; at least I’m getting what I want this year.