Inspired by other bloggers on Planet
Haskell, I thought I'd just sit down and
write a retrospection post, reviewing the past year - primarily from
angles such as mathematics, computers and my generic life situation.
It divides neatly into two different sections: the months as a
commercial programmer and the months as PhD student and academic
The year began still working for Teleca Systems, and with security
consulting for Stockholm-based firms and frequent trips back home.
Then as the year went on and my PhD applications grew more and more, I
started getting results. I got invited to Bonn for an interview with the
Homology and Homotopy graduate school program - which was in the end
turned down because I was more of a homological algebraist than a
topologist. And the week after that, I was invited to Jena for an
interview for a position doing PhD work on computational homological
algebra. The interview went well, the potential advisor was nice (and a
once-roleplaying gamer to sweeten the deal more) and I got the position
just a few days later.
While in Switzerland.
On a weeklong luxurious conference in operad theory at a skiing resort
in the western part of the swiss alps. Lots of skiing, fantastic food,
lots of REALLY COOL people (I'm looking at you, pozorvlak, among others)
and lots of fascinating mathematics.
As I returned there, it was time to wrap up my position with Teleca,
disengage from all my duties, document everything I had done, train
everyone else in my stuff, and get out of there. Preferably before the
summer term started. Oh, and get through the bureaucracy involved in
getting hired at a German university. It's a fascinating experience, I
can tell you. Especially when you get asked whether you were involved
with the Stasi during communist east Germany.
Freshly hired, I had a week to get my affairs in order, and then got
thrown on my first bunch of students. Teaching and reading up on
cooooool mathematics for several months, leaving a little bit for visits
to Sweden, and then hitting the vacation hard with a long relaxing visit
to Sweden, and a marriage proposal.
The summer also saw the Pirate Bay raid, my heightened interest in the
politics of privacy, and membership in the Pirate Party, the election,
and following the election results explicitly with attention to the
Pirate Party results.
After the vacation came conference summer, stretching August through
September, with between 2 and 4 conferences depending on how you count
them, and a little bit of research. At the end of this, a new term
started and with that a new direction for my PhD research. This was, at
the same time, the period when I got enamoured with Haskell, read up on
it, grew more and more interested, fascinated, captivated.
During the time in Jena, I got involved in a roleplaying troupe, in a
mathematical magazine (with two articles published by now!), in a group
organizing math camps (participating in one camp), and getting hold,
slowly, of a decently sized social circle.
And then the end of the year hit before I knew what happened. It ends
tomorrow - and I have things hanging in idle loops swarming my head like
angry bees and waiting to be channeled through my consciousness out on
paper and code, and get me running with my research.
That's my year in review. How was your?