Posts tagged category-theory
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29th
Mar

2020

Simplicial Chern-Weil theory

29th March, 2020

This week just gone I uploaded two preprints to the arXiv:

  1. Simplicial Chern-Weil theory for coherent analytic sheaves, part I;
  2. Simplicial Chern-Weil theory for coherent analytic sheaves, part II.

Both have been extracted from my PhD thesis (which I’ve just sent off to the referees) and contain about 90% of the main mathematical content of my thesis, but with about 90% fewer inane footnotes and digressions. There are also a few appendices in my thesis which explain the background of some of the subjects in a bit more detail, which I think are quite nice, but I’ll probably turn the good ones into blog posts at some point in the coming months.

So what are these two papers about? And why is it split into two parts?

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14th
Jan

2020

Categorical translation for mathematical language (Part 2)

14th January, 2020

After my previous post, I got the chance to (a) spend a bit of time thinking about things, and (b) talk to Jade Master on Twitter. Rather than going back to edit my original post, I decided to turn this into more of a series. Here are some new thoughts (but not really any visible progress) on the whole kit and caboodle.1

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7th
Nov

2019

Categorical translation for mathematical language (Part 1)

7th November, 2019

Being unable to ever properly finish any project that I start, but loving starting new projects, has made getting around to typing up this blog post quite an effort. Not only that, but it’s also unsatisfying to me how much I’ve failed to understand the categorical framework behind my translation project, so it’s mildly intimidating (to say the least) to present this stuff to the whole internet (although, in actuality, it’s really just to the one (mabye two) reader(s) of this blog), but I’m doing so in the hopes that somebody who actually knows about this sort of applied category theory can help me get somewhat closer to a solid understanding.

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5th
Sep

2019

Weighted limits, ends, and Day convolution (Part 3)

5th September, 2019

Finally, I find myself with enough motivation to start writing the last part to this series. It’s been a while, but hopefully nobody has actually been waiting… This is where we will finally see some of the exciting applications of (co)ends, including tensor products, geometric realisation, and Day convolution. One reason I’ve got around to writing this post is because coends (or, really, cowedges) appeared to me recently in a tweet about Stokes’ theorem, which I found pretty neat indeed — more details can be found in this post.

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4th
Sep

2019

Everything is Stokes'; everything is coend

4th September, 2019

For category theorists, the idea that “everything is a Kan extension” is a familiar one, as is the slightly more abstract version “everything is a (co)end”. For differential geometers, the idea that “everything is Stokes’ theorem” is sort of the equivalent adage. In an entirely typical turn of events, it seems that these two seemingly unrelated aphorisms can be linked together, as I found out today on Twitter.

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14th
Aug

2019

Mathematical motivation and meagre contributions

14th August, 2019

I find myself in a mathematical rut more often than I would like. It is very easy, especially as a PhD student, I think, to become disillusioned with maths, the work that one can do, and academia as a whole. I realised only the other day, after talking to my family, some of the things that can contribute towards this. Hopefully this post can serve as a reminder to myself that I am human being who is trying to be a mathematician, and not the other way around.

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29th
Jul

2019

Graded homotopy structures

29th July, 2019

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently saw a talk by Rachel Hardeman on the A-homotopy theory of graphs, and it really intrigued me. In particular, it seemed to me that there was some nice structure that could be abstractified: that of a “graded homotopy structure”, as I’ve been calling it in my head. Rather than trying to type out everything in #math.CT:matrix.org, I’ve decided to post it here, in the hope that I might be able to get some answers.

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26th
Jul

2019

Twisting cochains and twisted complexes

26th July, 2019

This week was the Young Topologists Meeting at EPFL in Lausanne, and had courses by Julie Bergner (on 1- and 2-Segal spaces) and Vidit Nanda (on the topology of data), as well as a bunch of great talks by various postdocs and PhD students. I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk about twisting cochains and twisted complexes for half an hour, and you can find the slides on my GitHub here.

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15th
Jul

2019

More-than-one-but-less-than-three-categories

15th July, 2019

What with all the wild applications of, and progress in, the theory of \infty-categories, I had really neglected studying any kind of lower higher-category theory. But, as in many other ways, CT2019 opened my eyes somewhat, and now I’m trying to catch up on the theory of 2-categories, which have some really beautiful structure and examples.

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14th
Jul

2019

Cauchy completion and profunctors

14th July, 2019

An idea that came up in a few talks at CT2019 was that of ‘spans whose left leg is a left adjoint’. I managed (luckily) to get a chance to ask Mike Shulman a few questions about this, as well as post in #math.CT:matrix.org. What follows are some things that I learnt (mostly from [BD86]).

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13th
Jul

2019

CT2019

13th July, 2019

I have just come back from CT2019 in Edinburgh, and it was a fantastic week. There were a bunch of really interesting talks, and I had a chance to meet some lovely people. I also got to tell people about #math.CT:matrix.org, and so hopefully that will start to pick up in the not-too-distant future.

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12th
Dec

2018

Twisting cochains and arbitrary dg-categories

12th December, 2018

Having recently been thinking about twisting cochains (a major part of my thesis) a bit more, I think I better understand one reason why they are very useful (and why they were first introduced by Bondal and Kapranov), and that’s in ‘fixing’ a small quirk about dg-categories that I didn’t quite understand way back when I wrote this post about derived, dg-, and A_\infty-categories and their role in ‘homotopy things’.

This isn’t a long post and could probably instead be a tweet but then this blog would be a veritable ghost town.

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25th
Aug

2018

Localisation and model categories (Part 1)

25th August, 2018

After some exceptionally enlightening discussions with Eduard Balzin recently, I’ve made some notes on the links between model categories, homotopy categories, and localisation, and how they all tie in together. There’s nothing particularly riveting or original here, but hopefully these notes can help somebody else who was lost in this mire of ideas.

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16th
Aug

2018

Categorification of the Dold-Kan correspondence

16th August, 2018

So I’m currently at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany, for a conference on ‘Higher algebra and mathematical physics’. Lots of the talks have gone entirely above my head (reminding me how far behind my physics education has fallen), but have still been very interesting.

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26th
Apr

2018

Derived, DG, triangulated, and infinity-categories

26th April, 2018

This post assumes that you have seen the construction of derived categories and maybe the definitions of dg- and A_\infty-categories, and wondered how they all linked together. In particular, as an undergraduate I was always confused as to what the difference was between the two steps of constructing the derived category of chain complexes was: taking equivalence classes of chain homotopic complexes; and then formally inverting all quasi-isomorphisms. Both of them seemed to be some sort of quotienting/equivalence-class-like action, so why not do them at the same time? What different roles were played by each step?

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12th
Mar

2018

Loop spaces, spectra, and operads (Part 3)

12th March, 2018

This post is a weird one: it’s not really aimed at any one audience, but is more of a dump of a bunch of information that I’m trying to process.

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15th
Feb

2018

Weighted limits, ends, and Day convolution (Part 2)

15th February, 2018

Using the idea of weighted limits, defined in the last post, we can now talk about ends. The idea of an end is that, given some functor F\colon \mathcal{C}^\mathrm{op}\times\mathcal{C}\to\mathcal{D}, which we can think of as defining both a left and a right action on \prod_{c\in\mathcal{C}}F(c,c), we wish to construct some sort of universal subobject1 where the two actions coincide. Dually, a motivation behind the coend is in asking for some universal quotient of \coprod_{c\in\mathcal{C}}F(c,c) that forces the two actions to agree.

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11th
Dec

2017

Loop spaces, spectra, and operads (Part 2)

11th December, 2017

In the previous post of this series, I talked a bit about basic loop space stuff and how this gave birth to the idea of ‘homotopically-associative algebras’. I’m going to detour slightly from what I was going to delve into next and speak about delooping for a bit first. Then I’ll introduce spectra as sort of a generalisation of infinite deloopings. I’ll probably leave the stuff about E_\infty-algebras for another post, but will definitely at least mention about how it ties in to all this stuff.

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8th
Dec

2017

Weighted limits, ends, and Day convolution (Part 1)

8th December, 2017

A motto of category theory is that ‘Kan extensions are everywhere’. As a simplification of this, ‘(co)limits are in a lot of places’. By rephrasing the definition of a limit we end up with something that looks invitingly generalisable. This is how we can stumble across the idea of a weighted limit. In this post I’m going to assume that you are already convinced of the usefulness and omnipresence of limits and not talk too much (if at all) about why they are interesting in their own right.

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8th
Dec

2017

Loop spaces, spectra, and operads (Part 1)

8th December, 2017

I have been reading recently about spectra and their use in defining cohomology theories. Something that came up quite a lot was the idea of E_\infty-algebras, which I knew roughly corresponded to some commutative version of A_\infty-algebras, but beyond that I knew nothing. After some enlightening discussions with one of my supervisors, I feel like I’m starting to see how the ideas of spectra, E_\infty-algebras, and operads all fit together. In an attempt to solidify this understanding and pinpoint any difficulties, I’m going to try to write up what I ‘understand’ so far.

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