Update since the update

The last time I posted something meaningful here (not counting the 2014 year-in-review and the most recent claim of attempting necromancy), it was June 2014 and I was about to embark on a summer of traveling. Around that same time, my son was 21 months old, I was working part-time at Wolfram, and I was a pre-doctoral candidate whose academic situation had gone (apparently without being blogged about) from two doctoral advisors with two separate projects to a single advisor plus a second non-advisor faculty colleague.

Typing that out makes me realize how much has changed.

For those of you keeping score, it’s now August 2015, and 13 months after the last update, lots and lots of things have changed. For example, my son is now one month away from being three years old. There’s also a lot of professional stuff, too. Let’s go somewhat chronologically.

  • I spent summer 2014 traveling.
  • Afterwards, I was offered a full-time position at Wolfram as Math Content Developer. I accepted and took the year off from teaching.
  • I landed a lead role in a really awesome math-related project at Wolfram.
  • I went to a great conference at Yale and really enjoyed New England. New Haven is absolutely incredible.
  • I passed my advanced topics exam (ATE) and became a doctoral candidate. My work was on Gabai’s colossal (first) work on Reebless foliations in 3-manifolds, and while I definitely learned more significant math than I’ve ever learned, I feel like there’s so much in that paper than I’m years away from understanding.
  • I went to the Tech Topology Conference soon after becoming a candidate.
  • Not long after, FSU had a pretty gnarly conference on Clifford analysis.
  • I flew up to Baltimore to interview for an NSA gig. I didn’t get chosen.
  • I went to the 40th annual spring lecture series at the University of Arkansas and had a complete blast. I ended up slipping on ice, busting my ankle up pretty badly, and having some travel woes near the end but when all was said and done, I met some cool people (Benson Farb, Allen Hatcher) and saw some really great talks. Oh, and great coffee!
  • I went to Rhode Island College and gave an invited lecture on limit sets and computer visualization. It was an honor and I couldn’t have hoped for a better first invited lecture experience.
  • I finished a pretty uneventful spring semester at FSU. Lots of work. Lots and lots of work.
  • Once summer (2015) rolled around, I got accepted to some pretty great things:
  • I was fortunate enough to be awarded a pair of scholarships from the FSU math department.

And now, here we are! It’s officially September 1 (1:07am now): That means Fall semester has started at FSU (which means I’m now a fourth year doctoral student; eek) and things are back in full swing. It never gets familiar, really, no matter how many times it happens. C’est la vie, I guess.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff going on, professionally:

  • I’m still trying to make progress on my dissertation research (3-manifolds and, eventually, foliations).
  • I’m studying Dirac operators / spin manifolds / hypercomplex structures / supermanifolds / miscellaneous things that seem to get more and more into the realm of theoretical physics as we progress. This is with my non-advisor faculty colleague.
  • I’m trying to get a small research project going with an undergraduate at FSU on topological quantum computing (maybe Microsoft will take interest?).

Non-professionally, things have also happened. I got pretty serious into working out for a bit; later, I lost track due to travels, though I’ve since made some pretty considerable body transformations due to a healthier diet. I’ve also tuned back my Wolfram hours to give me more time to do student things; I’ve upgraded my workstations (desktop and mobile); I’ve made the switch from Windows to Linux (full-time rather than as a hobby)…

…that may actually be about it!

So there! Now we’re caught up! That means that I can pick up next time with an actual update / piece of newness / whatever. And who knows – maybe there will even be some math thrown in here! gasp

Good night, everyone.

PS: Oh! I was also introduced to Mnemosyne by a mathematician considerably better than myself! So far, I’m a pretty big fan.

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Reading, and reading, and teaching, and reading, and reading, and…

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.

Continue reading

Wonderment, or The Passage of Time.

Today is the first day of the eighth week of the semester.

The middle of the semester was officially last Friday.

Some people may read that and deduce that it’s all downhill from here. Any time I hear that phrase to describe midterm, I’m always a bit blown away. Really, it makes me wonder: Is this what downhill feels like?

I really hope there’s more to it than that. Heh.

Anyway, so here’s the usual rundown:

  • FSU’s Math Fun Day 2013 was Saturday. It was pretty okay. Here’s a .pdf copy of my poster, for anyone interested.
  • Apparently, I’m the speaker at Wednesday’s Complex Analysis seminar. Abstract and other info can be found here.
  • Our next topology exam is scheduled for next Friday. I’m also anticipating an exam in Galois theory around the same time.
  • I’m on a short deadline for picking a presentation topic for my Riemannian Geometry presentation.

So, I said all that to say: (a) I still exist. (b) Life is hectic. (c) I’m not sure when I’ll get around to posting more of Hatcher 2.1, but I’ll probably be moving on to Hatcher 2.2 here in about…30 seconds. Also, (d) I really need some down-time. And a haircut. And a drink.

I really need a drink.

Goodnight, Monday.

And, it’s Sunday….

Tomorrow is Day 1 of Week 7.

You thought I’d stopped counting, didn’t you?

Today, I posted a couple more solutions from Hatcher. I also got the okay from Dr. Petersen on my poster for Math Fun Day. I’ll probably post a .pdf image of the poster as the big day gets closer.

For now, I’m going to come study some Riemannian Geometry: I have to (very soon) pick a topic for a presentation in that class, and so it’s getting more and more necessary that make sure I know what’s going on now. Maybe I’ll surprise myself and know a lot.

I don’t expect to surprise myself. 😛

Update, briefly

I’m about to have to get ready to meet some friends, but just FYI: I’ve added a couple new Hatcher solutions from section 2.1. I’ve got several more written down, but this surely isn’t a speedy venture. Just FYI.

Woot, progress!

Quick in-between-TAing-assignments Update

I have another TAing duty starting up in about 20 minutes, but I decided to spend the rest of my time putting something here.

(I spent the time before this doing differential geometry computations on the blackboard)

Things are going. I made it through exam week(s) volume 1 without too much pain (other than the preparation therefor), and though I’m still waiting to hear back on how I performed on my homology exam, I think I managed to do pretty well overall. That’s a plus.

I also managed to finish the rough draft of my poster for FSU’s math fun day! That’s also a plus.

Now, I’ve begun looking to the (near) future. Indeed, I have some presentations coming up and I’m in the process of learning material and picking topics, etc. etc., to try not to put that stuff off until the last minute. Overall, I’m pretty excited: At the end of this semester, I’ll have grown quite a bit as a mathematician and will have done some of the “most meaningful work” of my career in the direction of being a professional mathematizer.

I like it.

I plan on spending some time this weekend putting Hatcher solutions up, as well as trying to finish catching up in do Carmo so I can be prepared for my Riemannian Geometry presentation.

Things right now are pretty not-terrible, though, despite my ceasing to exist here every now and again.

I hope to have some big things to roll out soon. Keep me honest, interwebz!

Peace.

Edit: In all this talk about my career, I forgot the most exciting news to happen in recent weeks! On September 23rd, my son turned the big zero-one! Yep, that means my wife and I managed to raise an amazingly awesome bag of awesomeness for an entire year without killing or seriously maiming him! We’re both as excited as that last sentence seems to convey we would be!

Another Sunday, or Awaiting Week 4

3 weeks.

I’ve officially survived the first three weeks of my second year of grad school (twice, actually). Again, I know keeping count of the days is a terrible thing to do to myself, particularly when there’s been a very small amount of good to come from my weeks thus far, but at this point, I’m sort of using that countdown as some sort of badge of accomplishment. Or something.

The coming weeks are going to be very very stressful and busy and stressful. Besides my usual load of stuff (I’m enrolled in 6 classes, I have a reading class in algebraic geometry starting up on Tuesday, I’m TAing for 1 lecture and 7 labs, and I’m trying to pick advisors / plan presentations I’ll need to give some timem soon), I also thought it was a good idea (remind me why?!) to make a poster to present at FSU’s upcoming Math Fun Day. That particular endeavor shouldn’t be especially difficult, but it requires time and time, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what I have zero of.

Daunting is the adjective that comes to mind.

Also daunting is / was / has been the thought of continuing my goal to do all the problems in Hatcher. As you may recall, I spent the first half of summer slaving to acquire the information needed for the Chapter 0 exercises, only to have my plan for Chapter 1 totality derailed by that little piece of awesome that was my Wolfram internship. Long story short: The obsessive-compulsive part of me wants to not move forward until I hash out a Chapter 1 plan, but the This will benefit me in the class I’m taking now which, subsequently, hinges on my ability to understand Chapters 2 and 3 of Hatcher part wants to press forward.

I’m pleased to announce that the second guy won out.

In particular, my Hatcher Solutions page is showing signs of progress. It didn’t take as long as I’d predicted it to take to build that framework, and due to a random, unforeseen bout of sleeplessness at 3am this morning, I had precisely the opportunity needed to seize the moment. Right now, all those are empty pages, but I’m pleased to report that I seem to have accumulated approximately six solutions; if everything goes as planned, I’ll be taking time to update by including those as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to hash out what to do about this paper. And what to do about the professors I’m emailing regarding potential advisor-hood. And what to do about the fact that I severely cut my weekend work time by spending yesterday ballin’ out of control in celebration of my wife’s birth. And what to do about….

Au revoir, internet. I bid thee well.

Oh, I just remembered: I have my first exam of the semester Friday. It’s on field theory. I’m less than pleased. :\