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Another life update

25th June, 2021

Hello. Yet again I haven’t been blogging in quite a long while, which is, yet again, due to an unexpectedly hectic couple of months. Let’s have a look at what I’ve been doing, shall we?

  • Artur and I have been working hard on the online quantum information book, as well as the accompanying lecture videos (the final three of which have been filmed, and just await my editing now). There are still a few things left to write for the notes, but these should be finished soon (famous last words), and then we’ll look at hosting them on their own domain and making a nice-looking homepage — fun!

  • The Topos Institute Colloquium has been running weekly since it started, which means we now have nearly 20 recorded talks, with just over another 15 to come this year before a winter break.

  • Other Topos Institute news is on the way too, with Em-Cats now properly underway, and a big website redesign for topos.site in the works…

  • Lots of teaching took place these last few months (and oh yikes is it true that online teaching is oh-so-very time consuming), so I finally got around to putting up all of my class notes etc. on a webpage. Since I’ll have more teaching after summer too, this should hopefully grow as a resource as time passes.

  • Why will I have more teaching after summer? Because I’ve been offered a postdoc position at Stockholm University! Hopefully I’ll have some more information to share about this soon. Either way, it’ll be a big change from my “postdoc” this year, which has been very much light on the research aspect, but has given me lots of time to work on some of my side projects.

  • Side projects! Oh man does it feel like I’ve done a lot of translation this year. I’ve finally made the switch over from doing my translation in LaTeX to doing them in Markdown (using RMarkdown, to be precise, so I can use the wonderful Bookdown, built on the even wonderful-er Pandoc, to get lots of output formats). Most of the small translations that I’ve already done (mainly seminar notes, and shorter articles) I’ll just leave as they are, but the bigger ones (and all future ones) are now available in HTML versions, which has a bunch of accessibility plus-points, and is also just quite neat. For example, Grothendieck’s “The Theory of Chern Classes” is now available as an HTML page, with a PDF automatically generated from the same source. Have a look at my translations page to see what’s now there!

  • Still on the topic of translations, but deserving its own bullet point: I’ve moved my FGA translation over to its own webpage: thosgood.com/fga. (I’ve yet to sort out the PDF version, but that’s right near the top of my to-do list). I’ve not quite yet finished all the chapters, but there’s only FGAs 3.IV, 3.V, and 3.VI left, so the end is in sight! (And worry not: I’ve almost finished a big section of EGA II (but the server builds for this are currently broken, so the pdfs haven’t been updated with the latest content yet — sorry!)).

  • Not a translation exactly, but very much “translation adjacent”, is the maths dictionary, which has had a bunch of submissions in lots of languages (especially in Basque, Catalan, and Polish). I know I’ve been saying it for a while, but I really do intend to find (or, more properly, make) the time to get back to working on categorical translation for mathematical language (especially since reading Tai-Danae Bradley et al’s preprint, where they make a passing mention about how translation sort of looks like a change of trivialisation, or something similar to this, making me think that some of the ideas I had in the past maybe weren’t so entirely crackers after all (…but only maybe)).

  • Surprisingly, I have actually been able to get some research done as well! Nowhere near as much as I would have liked, but hey ho, c’est la vie. My research with Mahmoud Zeinalian on simplicial presheaves and coherent analytic sheaves has come along lots, but is now waiting on me to sit down and carefully check some of the more technical proofs (and one of them even involves checking that we’ve got a bunch of signs right… oh dear). When it’s done I’ll try to make a nice blog post about it all!

  • Finally, I moved my videos on “Connections and curvature” over to Vimeo from YouTube, simply because YouTube isn’t that great really (re video quality, advertisements, etc.). I had really wanted to make some more videos, especially some that covered things I’ve talked about on this blog before (but in a better way, now that I (apparently) know more about certain areas of maths), but I just really haven’t had the time for this at all. It turns out that actually I’m just really bad at time management, but also there just isn’t actually that much time in the intersection of “I don’t have to be doing anything right now” and “I want to be doing something right now”…

For those reading: thank you, and hopefully I’ll be back writing things again sooner rather than later!