First Week of the Fall Term 2011 – Mathematics Graduate School

Gradient Flows by Luigi Ambrosio

It’s the second week of school, but with a bank holiday last Monday (09/12/11), graduate school started up slowly. It will take until next week until everyone is finally registered to all of their classes. It took me a while to do so as well, because they changed up the system from a program that you installed on your computer to an online version. The online version is better, but you need to know where to go. I finally registered to my classes last Tuesday. I have three this semester:

Topics in Geometric Analysis: This class is with my thesis advisor and we will be exploring gradient flows in metric spaces. We will be using Luigi Ambrosio’s book of the same title. It promises to be an interesting class. Although, it’s not exactly what I’d like to do in my thesis, it’s getting there. I’d like more measure theory, but luckily, my advisor is doing research in the field. There are six students in the class, but only 4 were registered on Monday. I don’t know if the other two will be registering, my guess is yes. Two of my classmates are the other graduate students of my advisor. We are all going to a workshop in Hsinchu in Differential Geometry  on Saturday. Since I work most Saturdays, it’s not really a problem getting up. It will be a break from the norm, and I have a keen interest in Differential Geometry.

Homological Algebra: Last semester, I took Commutative Algebra, which is basically the study of commutative rings. It’s a challenging subject and a challenging class. When I was an undergrad, they wanted to change the Mathematics program to make a Commutative Ring Theory class mandatory, much to the dismay of the undergrads, especially those who wouldn’t be doing a graduate degree. I took it on because the subject has interested me for a while. Initially, the professor didn’t want me to take the class, but it fit my schedule and I had a keen interest so I persevered. I hadn’t taken it during the Fall 2010 semester, and it was a 1-year class, so I had a lot of catching up to do. It was a hard class, because the students took turns doing 3h lectures each week. Not easy, especially when the prof asks you questions about the demos you worked on by yourself. This time around, there weren’t any issues. I checked and there were only two students enrolled in this class, including myself. I was expecting at least 4. It came as a surprise, as I know that the professor had 4 graduate students in algebra. It turns out that 2 of them aren’t there anymore. One of them had to go back to teach at her school. I don’t know what happened to the other one, but probably something similar. The prof had no problems starting his class an hour earlier to fit my schedule. He had also found another student to take the class, so we are 3.

Enumerative Combinatorics or NTU Partial Differential Equations Class: I’m trying to register for a class at NTU. It’s not an easy process since just registering to my normal classes at NTNU was somewhat problematic. If I can’t do that or the format doesn’t really work, then I will have to take the Enumerative Combinatorics class given at NTNU. It’s not really my field, but it’s the only class that will fit my schedule that’s left.

I was a bit anxious last week, dealing with the registration and ensuring that all my classes fit my busy schedule, but now that this is almost done, I’m looking forward to a good last year and finishing my thesis in 2012. Once that’s done, I will do a PhD in the US.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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