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.
- I went to an absolutely amazing topology conference at Cornell (and met a Fields medalist).
- I spent a month learning how to use Mathematica better at a Wolfram summer school.
- I went to an okay topology conference at CUNY Staten Island.
- 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:
- An MSRI program on Geometric Group Theory. I eventually had to decline this one.
- Moduli Crossroads Retreat; also had to decline this guy.
- A Berkeley summer school in diffeomorphism groups. I went there and had an absolute blast.
- The first annual Chicago summer school in geometry and topology. I can honestly say that this was the best mathematical experience I’ve ever had, and man: What a beautiful city Chicago is!
- 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.