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 Testing out the wplatex package

  • February 3rd, 2010
  • 5:38 am

Eric Finster, over at Curious Reasoning has built a python script to allow you to write WordPress posts entirely in LaTeX , and upload them. The script parses the LaTeX code and generates HTML that expresses the same structure.

This, here, is me trying it out. With any luck, the appearance of a new toy will get me back to actually blogging some more – it’s been winding down a bit much here lately.

 Dr rer nat, Magna cum laude

  • July 17th, 2008
  • 2:43 pm

After about 5 semesters, one paper, one erratum (submitted to JHRS) and one thesis, and after taking two oral exams and delivering one 30 minute talk on my research, I am now (modulo the week or two it takes to produce my certificate) entitled to the title of doctor rerum naturalium.

Next stop is the topology in computer science workgroup at Stanford, where I have accepted an offer for a postdoc research position up to 3 years (conditional on my good behaviour :-).

 On purity and essence of mathematics

  • June 15th, 2008
  • 12:06 pm

I seem, lately, to be so densely planned that all I can do for my blog is to react on blog posts from Ben Webster at the Secret Blogging Seminar.

He has, recently, written a post inspired by the xkcd comic on purity in the sciences. The comic is funny, and rings true, but Ben brings up a severe criticism of the premises of the comic that rings back to my own years as a hotheaded undergraduate.

You should read all of Ben’s post, but if you don’t, you should at least read the following:

And I think one of the key points here is this: mathematics is not science. Mathematics is often lumped in with science, and is often used by scientists. Mathematicians often know more science than normal people, and certainly scientists know more mathematics. But mathematics and science are fundamentally different activities, as different as making a gun and fighting in a battle. I mean, no one would claim there are no links between those occupations, or that gun-makers don

 AMS and are made of awesome

  • June 11th, 2008
  • 11:36 am

I like the Mathjobs website that AMS are running. It’s a good source for math jobs, and seems to have just the right selection for me to get interesting stuff out of reading it.

Now, in a post just a day or two ago, Ben Webster of the Secret Blogging Seminar called for RSS feeds for the Mathjobs listings.

Imagine my surprise – and probably that of most the readers of the Secret Blogging seminar – to see, the day after posting, the following reply from Diane Boumenot at the AMS:

Hello all. First of all let me say, thank you for the kind words. Also, if you want to send suggestions to Mathjobs.Org, that can be easily done through the web site. However, thanks to Google Alerts and a willing programmer, your request has been received and acted on. As of this morning you can get an RSS feed through the View Jobs page of the Mathjobs website.

 JMM Blogger Meetup!

  • January 7th, 2008
  • 4:30 pm

There’s a bunch of us math bloggers on site in San Diego. Hence, here, the call for a blogger meetup. We’ll convene by the entrance to Hall B (the one with the registration and the exhibitions) at 6pm on Tuesday 8th.

I’ll be there, and so will bit-player. Join in you too!

 The year 2007 in review

  • December 19th, 2007
  • 12:57 pm

From each month, the first sentence of the first post.

January: I decided on a whim to look in at the Dilbertblog, where the top post at the moment has Scott Adams calling all atheists that discuss on the net irrational, using a rather neat strawman carbon copy of most discussions of faith between believers (i.e. mostly Christians) and atheists he has seen on the web.

February: The second carnival of mathematics is up over at Good Math, Bad Math.

March: I just met up with the workgroup in the Deutsche Mathematikervereinigung (German Association of Mathematicians) with interest spanning

 Reaching for the postdoc world doorknocker

  • December 5th, 2007
  • 12:13 pm

The last postdoc carnival for 2007 is coming to town, and given my current position in my career, I thought I’d try to slowly edge into that arena as well.

A short background blurb for those who haven’t read this blog before – and for those who haven’t heard the story: I’m a mathematics PhD student from Sweden in Germany, living apart from my wife for about 2

 Synaesthesia and cognition

  • December 3rd, 2007
  • 8:52 am

So, there is this one condition called synaesthesia, where basically perception gets crosslinked. Most commonly, numbers, letters, and words get colours coupled to them. This way around, I have a few friends who I know have it.

The more exotic varieties couple more or other senses to each other.

The whole thing gets Really Interesting, and ties in to quite a bit of philosophy as well, when you start coming near the really odd cases. Qualia are the philosophical term for “how things are perceived by us”. Basically, it boils down to the following: if I see something red, is this intrinsic to the object, or something existing in my perceptive neurons only?

And so far, arguing about it has been more or less all there was. At least known to me.

 It’s carnival time!

  • December 1st, 2007
  • 10:54 pm

Issue # 21 in the Carnival of Mathematics series is up now over at the (not so) Secret Blogging Seminar.

The resulting discussion there amuses at least me.

 Checking email 4000 times a day

  • November 20th, 2007
  • 6:12 pm

In a recent column at The Chronicle of Higher Education, the columnist writes

I’m a latecomer to it, in part because I have a very hit-or-miss interest in new technologies. (I still don’t own a cell phone, for example, though I check my e-mail 4,000 times a day.)

Now. There are 24 hours in a day. 1 440 minutes. 86 400 seconds. Thus, checking e-mail 4 000 times in a day would require you to check your inbox every 21.6 seconds. Day and night.

Either the author is innumerate or hyperactive.

 Advertising policy

  • August 1st, 2007
  • 4:38 pm

Today I received an email kind of convincing me that my blog gets seen. It offered me $35 to put up an add for a phone service on one of my old blog posts.

What differentiated this offer from all other spam I get was that it was actually written well enough, and tailored enough, that I believe this guy would even go through with it. Only …

I am not interested.

I run this blog because I like running it. I do system admin myself too. The domain name is mine since my family wants it, and my parents chip in. The net connection also is something that the family chips in on, and is handled without significant cost.

All in all, I do not NEED ads to keep this place up and running.

 New additions to the blogosphere

  • July 29th, 2007
  • 10:20 pm

… or another bout of more-or-less shameless self-promotion.

I took the initiative, and invited some of the relevant Powers That Be to start an *_\infty-themed group blog: The Infinite Seminar.

I also perceived a lack of blog aggregators, so I started Planet Math Blogseminars to aggregate group blogs in mathematics.

While I was at it, I bought the domain. I’d be happy to allocate subdomains of this to decent enough blogs that wants in on it.

 13 on a friday

  • July 27th, 2007
  • 10:35 am

The new carnival of mathematics is up over at PolyMathematics.
Yours truly is featured, but other than that, there seems to be heavy overweight on the educator side.

Do we have the volume for a Carnival of Research Mathematics?

 Today seems to be a day for posting…

  • July 12th, 2007
  • 8:20 pm

ComplexZeta asked me about the origins of my intuitions for homological algebra in my recent post. The answer got a bit lengthy, so I’ll put it in a post of its own.

I find Weibel very readable – once the interest is there. It’s a good reference, and not as opaque as, for instance, the MacLane + Hilton-Stammbach couplet can be at points.

The interest, however, is something I blame my alma mater for. Once upon a time, Jan-Erik Roos went to Paris and studied with Grothendieck. When he got back, he got a professorship at Stockholm University without having finished his PhD. He promptly made sure that nowadays (when he’s an Emeritus stalking the halls) there is not a single algebraist at Stockholm University without some sort of intuition for homological algebra.

So, my MSc advisor, J

 Slumps and crunches

  • July 12th, 2007
  • 7:59 pm

This term of teaching ends next week.

When I got back from T’bilisi, just over a month ago, I had research leads that I expect will end in three different publications.

I was slated with writing one LARP report for a swedish gaming magazine, and a series of various popular mathematics articles for the local student-run mathematics magazine here.

All in all, very many things converged this June/July for me.

It has started paying off though – the gaming article is published, and yesterday I submitted the first of the T’bilisi articles to the Journal of Homotopy and Related Structures as well as to the arXiv.

I now am listed on the arXiv with three papers, out of which one is already published, one is rejected (not unjustly so), and one is just submitted for review.

 Blogging seminars – a new fad!

  • July 6th, 2007
  • 11:46 pm

They simply do not end. Now, Cornell grads and pre-grads have started the Everything Seminar – which has absolutely brilliant discussions about the forbidden minor theorem in graph theory as well as a fascinating overview over constructing homological algebra as embedded in the theory of modules over \mathbb C[\epsilon]=\mathbb C[x]/(x^2).

Connected to this comes the observation that by constructing calculus using the tricks used in synthetic differential geometry, we end up with – again – modules over \mathbb C[\epsilon], and some very fascinating discussions are sparked as to subtle and interesting connections between these two viewpoints!

How on earth I am going to keep up with the interesting sprouting discussion group blogs I shall never know. Maybe it’s getting to the point where we’ll start an A_\infty-blog?

 Carnival of Mathematics 10

  • June 15th, 2007
  • 2:49 pm

Is now up at Math Notations. The current host further suggests a split in undergrad+ and undergrad- categories – with the simpler and didactics focused posts in one carnival and the research and/or advanced mathematical posts in another. Personally, I think the momentum the carnival has is a good thing, and that a split should wait until we habitually turn away more posts than we’re comfortable with. This volume is not yet actually there – wherefore I’d be against a split.


 And the published version is…

  • June 12th, 2007
  • 10:19 pm

right here – at least if you’re wondering what happened with my recent interview.

 Linking in hushed voices

  • June 12th, 2007
  • 6:49 pm

All the cool kids are doing it, so I’ll tag in too.

There’s a secret blogging seminar going on. And the people seem to be writing interesting things – what little they managed to write before the hushed rumour mill started.

 T’bilisi and Carnival # 9

  • June 2nd, 2007
  • 10:35 pm

First off, I have a travellog of sorts over at my Livejournal.

Further on, jd2718 just posted the newest Carnival of Mathematics, as so often otherwise, I do feature.

 8th Carnival of Mathematics

  • May 19th, 2007
  • 9:40 am

Is up at the GeomBlog.

This fortnight has a lot of goodies, among those a call for reading Grothendieck and a blogpost by Ian Stewart.

Go read.

 7th Carnival of Mathematics

  • May 4th, 2007
  • 7:15 pm

I have been somewhat remiss in announcing these lately – but over at nOnoscience, the 7th Carnival of Mathematics just got posted.

I’m featured again – as are many other very readable bloggers. Go. Read.

 Interview with a blogger

  • April 30th, 2007
  • 4:40 pm

The website/forumsite Mathetreff, run by the Bezirksregierung (region government) D

 4th Carnival of Mathematics posted

  • March 23rd, 2007
  • 1:05 pm

The fourth Carnival of Mathematics is up at EvolutionBlog.

Featured this time around are homological algebra, representation theory, Rubik’s cube solutions, Bernoulli processes, topology, number theory, and much much more.

 Carnival of Mathematics #3

  • March 9th, 2007
  • 10:52 am

And it is with pride that I welcome you all to my first issue, and the third issue all in all, of the Carnival of Mathematics. I probably should apologize as well – my announcement stated March 8th, but that was before I really looked at the dates involved, so we did, alas, miss the international women’s day. We haven’t had quite the rush that Mark CC enjoyed, but we’ll make a good one even so.

First out, from the first half of our submissions, we have a grand tour of didactic topics, starting out with Michael Tang, who shows us why negative times negative is positive, with a touch of ring theory into the mix. Following that, Rebecca Newburn discusses equation solving strategies and Laurie Bluedorn takes a historical view on the age of introduction of formal arithmetic. To finish it up, jd2718 tells us about teaching complex numbers and your humble host has a manifesto of sorts about stimulating strong students.

 Carnival of mathematics, issue 2

  • February 23rd, 2007
  • 10:14 pm

The second carnival of mathematics is up over at Good Math, Bad Math. It’s again a nice, good read. Go.

The third carnival of mathematics is to be hosted by yours truly on the International Women’s Day (maybe we can get a theme going? Women in mathematics, anyone?). Submissions to me directly or over the submission form.

 First carnival of mathematics is up!

  • February 9th, 2007
  • 1:47 pm

Over at Alon’s place, Abstract Nonsense, the first issue of the forthnightly Carnival of Mathematics is up.

Go there. Read. There’s a LOT of good blog posts there.

 Announcing the Carnival of Mathematics

  • February 2nd, 2007
  • 11:09 am

Alon Levy, over at Abstract Nonsense has just announced the first issue of a brand new Blog Carnival: the Carnival of Mathematics.

Go take a look. Submit your own blog posts. And then check it out in a week – the carnival is scheduled for the 9th.

 Why Blog?

  • November 16th, 2006
  • 4:38 pm

The Community College Dean has written about why he blogs, and asks any and all readers to tack on to his effort.

My blog is not very anonymous. It is occasionally personal, occasionally political and throughout a venting location for thoughts, and a place where I formulate myself in higher detail – so to speak a scratchpad, but public enough for me to allow others to read it.

I write it to formulate my own thoughts further, find possible errors, start discussions, or just jot down the viewpoints that illuminated some point of some argument for me. I do it in public because I thouroughly enjoy the conversations it sparks.