So, to summarize the direction of my most recent mathematical endeavors: I woke up and decided that part of my aspiration was to become a geometric topologist, and I did that despite the fact that topology is (far and away) my worst subject.

That sounds precisely as terrible as it probably is.

# Week 3, Day 1 or Properties of Lie Brackets

Today is the first day of the third week of the semester. I know that counting down like this is going to make it seem longer than it already seems, but it seems so long that I can’t seem to help remaining conscious of the precise time frame I’m dealing with.

Such is life, I suppose.

I’ve noticed an amusing trend in my page views involving solutions from Dr. Hatcher’s book, namely that I’ve been receiving an abnormally-high level of page views lately, almost all of which seem to center on those solutions. I guess that means that the semester has started elsewhere too and that people find topology as difficult and frustrating as I do.

For those of you who fit this bill and who are reading this right now: My plan is to start doing more problems ASAP, so that page might get its first update in quite a while.

Today, though, I want (read: need) to talk about differential geometry. In particular, we spent some time in class last week discussing the Lie bracket and its properties, and because we have a derivation of one particular property, I wanted to take the time to put that here for my own benefit.

# One week in

So, I’ve officially survived the first week of my (second) second year as a Ph.D. student. It’s hard to imagine sometimes that I’ve been a grad student for over three years.

I’m such an old man.

It’s been even less easy than I’d anticipated, too, which is nicht spaß; sadly, too, this is the first week where teaching responsibilities are actually a thing (we get week 1 off from such things), so now it’s difficult and time-consuming. Jajajajaja.

Rather than making this entry all about Yours Truly, I figured I’d pit stop in and use some of my (*gasp*) unoccupied time write up a little spiel I saw for the first time in my Riemannian geometry class last week.

In topology, there’s an idea called invariance of dimension which can be stated in many different contexts, situations, etc. This can be modified in the case of manifolds with differential structures, and because the idea of the proof seemed a bit cool, I decided to throw it up here for you guys. Throughout, the notation $M^m$ denotes a manifold $M$ of dimension $m$ with an associated differential structure.

# Study plans, or Why it’s embarrassingly late into the summer and I still haven’t finalized a good way to learn mathematics

So it’s now creeping into the third (full) week of June. School got out for me during the first (full) week of May. Regardless of how woeful you may consider your abilities in mathematics, I’m sure you can deduce something very clear from these facts:

Generally, that fact in and of itself wouldn’t be too terrible. I mean, big deal: Half the summer’s over, and I’ve been working throughout. How big of a failure can that really be?

In this case, it’s actually a pretty big one.

Despite my having read pretty much nonstop since summer began, I haven’t really made it very far into anything substantial. Compounded onto that is the fact that I’ve had to abandon a handful of reading projects after making what appeared to be pretty not-terrible progress into them because of various hindrances (usually, a lack of requisite background knowledge).

It’s been a pretty frustrating, pretty not successful summer, objectively.

# Some Exercises from Lee’s Introduction to Smooth Manifolds

These are exercises from the first few pages of Lee’s Introduction to Smooth Manifolds. These are pretty elementary from a topology perspective – maybe the middle-to-late part of a semester on point-set topology – but I decided to put them here to (a) remember some of that stuff, and (b) force myself to not delay doing them any longer. As it turns out, I struggled more with these than I should have and even had to consult the internet for a couple thing; in instances of internet borrowing, I provide links.

Note, finally, that if you’re trying to hunt these particular exercises down within Dr. Lee’s book, they’re actually dispersed throughout the text; suffice it to say, I’m not a fan of that particular method of delivery. Nevertheless….

# Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Yesterday was a day filled with reading.

Also, by and large, yesterday was a day consisting entirely of (differential) geometry / topology, so it’s really no surprise that – again – my dreams were all math related and tied to that general realm of theory. More precisely, I spent my entire sleep cycle pondering the Poincaré Conjecture (can we call it the Perelman Theorem yet?) and Ricci Flows. That’s certainly a night well spent.

Unsurprisingly, my day today will be largely similar. I downloaded a bunch of resources concerning the aforementioned topics (Poincaré-Perelman and Ricci Flows), as well as some (more) texts on Riemanninan Geometry (which I started perusing yesterday). Also in the works: A colleague of mine (who I’ll call DW2) and I have decided to work through Atiyah and MacDonald’s Introduction to Commutative Algebra, and I’m pretty sure if I don’t spend a significantly-larger amount of time on my professor’s Clifford paper, I’m going to have zero things about which to ever talk with him…

…then there’s the algebraic geometry stuff I’m working on in Eisenbud and Harris / Dummit and Foote, and the material from the seven or so other books I’m reading through concurrently right now….

Every day I’m huss-uh-lin’….

I have some things I want to write here later – expository things and what not – but for now, it’s just this check-in. Auf Wiedersehen!

# The Half-Week That Never Was

As I type this, it’s 2:45am on a Wednesday. I haven’t been around these parts since Sunday night (actually, 3:30am Monday morning), so one would think I’d have accumulated a ginormous list of professional doings to post proudly about here.

I regret to inform: That is not the case.