I get the feeling that my pledge to write the weekly reports regularily has been less than successful. So I’ll try to renew that pledge: I shall try to keep up the regularity of my weekly report.
Since last authored, I have been running a mathematics camp for 10th grade kids in mathematics-oriented schools. There are (apparently) 3 or 4 of those in Thüringen, and we had a good portion for each. As a new camp leader, I was very much the odd one out trying to get into the social circles; since kids and leaders alike tend to meet at least two-three times a year for math camps, math competitions et.c. It was fun, though, as expected, and a LOT of alien culture to get into. They do it so very much not like the swedish Unga Forskare.
I have also digested the thoughts and ideas I had in august into a highly technical 6-page report for the benefit of me, my advisor, and the two leaders of our field – and condensed that one into a first draft for an article to publish. We’re looking for a good journal to put it in right now – “Experimental Mathematics” looks quite sexy right now – and I have gotten a problem description from my advisor for something that hasn’t been studied at all so far, and which should contain interesting results that may even help with all the other question we are asking ourselves. It still boils down to looking at ring-theory on group cohomology rings, and finding group-theoretical reasons for the ring-theoretical invariants.
In the future, I’ll read up on -algebras and see what can be done with those and group cohomologies – I did a reading plan draft which now is being read by my advisor.
In non-academic use (also known as The Distractions), I discovered hot blingbling for editing LaTeX with emacs, I keep reading more and more about Haskell (I’m getting highly interested in learning typed lambda calculus – I’m not certain whether this really is a good idea, but it seems to be firmly lodged in my mind…), and I’ve started to make noise at lectures, conferences and debates. Once on a one-day-meeting in Jena on Computer Algebra Systems, where I claimed to the face of one of the academic hotshots in german computer algebra that the syntax of computer algebra systems could not reasonably be claimed to have it’s main basis in actual mathematical notation, but rather is a historical and convenience-dictated byproduct. And then, on a panel debate on “Are computer games turning our kids into brutal idiots?”, I spoke up at least once (bringing the first audience comment into the debate!!) when online RPGs where described as “sucking the kids into a virtual world” and trying to point out the rampant social aspects of online RPGs.
After the panel debate, I got more or less invited to go for a coffee with a Jena researcher, specialising in analysing the computer games business, to talk about gaming, Sverok, youth, side-effects, the lack of academic studies on possible non-negative effects of gaming et.c.
Today, I’ll go on a tour of the north-eastern outskirts of Jena together with my RPG friends; then during the week to come, there’s a birthday party, an RPG session, a movie visit, the editorial meeting of the local mathematical magazine, and preferably a kickstart of this new research project before the teaching hits like the sledge hammer it is.
I’ll be running one examples class in Linear Algebra 1 with first-term students and listening in on the lectures on computational group theory during the next couple of months. The term ends in february, and mid-april, the summer term starts.