Categories and Conferences and Colloquia, oh my!

About two months ago I got word of a job opening at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).  Their preferred start time did not match my schedule, unfortunately, but it sounds like my academic brother and good friend Blake Pollard got the position.  In the meantime, I went to Philadelphia for a couple of days at the beginning of September to give a presentation and to meet with some of the people I would be working with if the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) position gets finalized.  I haven’t heard back since then, aside from a new contact from Penn.

Late July through early September saw me doing quite a bit of travelling by air.  First from Los Angeles (LAX) to Toronto–Pearson (YYZ) and back, then LAX to Princess Juliana Airport (SXM) via Atlanta (ATL) and back, and, one week later, LAX to Philadelphia (PHL) and back.  While waiting to board my flight back from PHL, I looked at the monitors that showed the current weather.  I was taken aback a bit by the fact that where I was one week prior was now inside the eye of Hurricane Irma.  The amount of damage sustained by Princess Juliana Airport and the rest of Sint Maarten / Saint Martin is almost unreal.  Neighboring Anguilla got thrashed as well.

This semester my teaching load is quite light – 3 units, versus the ~10 units I was consistently getting last year.  It has been a mixed blessing.  While it is financially tighter when I get paid by the units I teach, it gives me a bit more time to work in earnest on job application materials and other writing projects.  My plan is also to use some of that time checking out what colloquia hosted by those places are open to the public.  I have already identified Harvey Mudd as a place where I can see myself applying, and where I can definitely attend multiple colloquia, both in mathematics and in physics.  I also noticed a postdoc opening at the Perimeter Institute about a month ago.  While I can’t visit there every week like I can with Harvey Mudd, I did enjoy the week I spent there three months ago.  I’m keeping it on my radar, though perhaps a bit wary of what weather the winter months might muster.

Next weekend, the sectional meeting for the AMS will take place at UCR.  My abstract for a contributed talk in the Applied Category Theory session was accepted, and I have been scheduled for 9:00 – 9:20 on Sunday morning, November 5.  I’m reworking the talk I gave at Penn in order to address a different kind of audience about roughly the same kinds of things, but in 20 minutes instead of an hour.  Hopefully it’ll come off as more polished as a result of the tinkering.

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