Last week was the first of the big 3-manifolds events at IAS and overall, it was spectacular. The highlight, without a doubt, was Dave Gabai being amazing during the last talk of the week, but there were some other great moments too…
…and some not-so-great ones, including some woman whom I don’t know interrupting Genevieve Walsh‘s talk no fewer than 10 times to say random rude things about how it was not-good (which was untrue), unoriginal (only true in the sense that Dr. Walsh spent some time talking about general background that she didn’t claim to have invented), and a waste of time. I was pretty blown away that such things happened at pure math talks, but I guess pure math people are people too and – at the end of the day – people just look for a way to disappoint and/or bring down other people.
I learned a lot, though, and I came away with a new direction for my own research, so that’s going to be the goal moving forward: To balance the somewhat-regular yearly 3-manifolds talks at IAS with the stuff I need to figure out to get my own stuff knocked out.
Oh, and plus side: I actually got a full week of salaried work done! YAY FOOD! But the downside is that I’m having to drop $2k on random car things (making our tires able to withstand rain and snow and making it so that our heat keeps hypothermia at bay), so…YAY CREDIT CARD DEBT! ::wink::
Alright, well I’m awake for some dumb reason so I guess I’ll…try to do something…constructive. Or something. Hah.
Welp, I haven’t been around these parts in a bit. That’s not to say I haven’t been working, though; I’ve just been working through things that don’t necessarily make good reading…
Okay, so maybe that’s not entirely true. I have, however, been spending a lot of time on just a couple projects for my advisors and so there hasn’t been an abundance of topics to post about here. I think I’m getting to a point, though, where I can start posting some things here and maybe use that to reconcile the fact that I can’t understand most things I read, etc. We’ll see.
So yea…the semester’s over. It turned out not to be a terrible one for me in the end despite being pretty terrible throughout. The upshot: I managed a 4.0 that semester and ended up with advisors. That’s a victory for sure.
I’ll do my best to come back around these parts in the next day or two and post something of substance. I’d like to try to do some sort of expositing on geometric topology things (foliations, laminations, universal circles) and maybe some Clifford things too; I’d also like to attempt to reconcile my previous goal of learning how to do things from Hatcher.
So, I knew it had been a while since I’d been around here, and even longer since I’ve posted anything of substance. Little did I know, however, that it had been almost a month since I’d been around and almost two months since coming here and posting anything even remotely of substance.
That’s definitely not how I envisioned this blog thing going.
Here’s a small list of what I’ve been up to:
I snagged that gnarly internship at Wolfram that I posted about back in the day. It saddens me to say that today is the beginning of week seven there; the contract I signed was for eight weeks which, as I’m sure you can deduce, means that my time is almost up. Never in my life have I done something that’s made me enjoy working as much as this internship has. I’ve loved every single second of it and just thinking about it ending makes me tear up a bit.
I took a summer class in foundations of math. That class has already come and gone. We covered nonstandard analysis, basic set theory, cardinals, ordinals, and a bit of other stuff throughout, and despite the fact that the overall course wasn’t the most well-oiled, beneficial thing I’ve ever experienced, it was enjoyable overall. The workload was intense, though – like, seriously, intense – and there were weeks that that class + my TA duties + my Wolfram internship had me logging 120 hours of work. I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy hard work, though, and in this instance, it paid off: I managed to secure an A in this course and bring my overall graduate GPA up to 3.71. That’s a victory I’ll take.
I applied and got passed over for a really gnarly graduate fellowship offered by my department. I was really excited leading up to it and was really really down afterwards. I haven’t thought about it since, though, so I guess that means it wasn’t too detrimental to my existence.
I’ve been in frequent conversation with one of the professors in my department who I most admire and he’s helped me schedule a study-plan to better myself for the potential of working with him / working in his area. He does work in Geometric Topology but has expertise that spans lots of other areas, too, including dynamical systems, chaos, and geometric group theory. I’m hoping to have an adviser picked by the end of fall and as of now, he’s in my top-3. Working with him would be an honor, and that is in no way and overstatement.
There are many things missing from that list that sadden me a bit. For one, I got to spend very little time with my family over the break. I also got to spend very little time maintaining the independent studies I’d lain out and begun earlier in the summer. School starts back in just a couple weeks and one of the things I’m most glad about is being able to spend a little more time working towards that goal. I’m also pretty excited about my classes this semester, and about getting more acquainted with professors in the department so as to narrow down my list of potential advisers.
I’m excited about my career right now. That’s always a good thing.
I’m going to try to get myself back into the swing of updating here. Perhaps that’s something I can work on tomorrow, say, but there’re no promises.
Good night, WordPress. I hope this is delivered to peaceful eyes and rested minds.
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.
"A good stock of examples, as large as possible, is indispensable for a thorough understanding of any concept, and when I want to learn something new, I make it my first job to build one." - Paul Halmos