Random thoughts, daily life, being a student, quantum computing.


Quantum Mechanics and Cobordisms

In last weeks post, I noted that I was planning to do work every day, starting by getting up at 5:00 AM, put in a couple of hours on research and then go to work.

Did not pan out. Physically, I'm finding it tough to keep up that schedule. Since that is very important to me, I am doing something about it.

I did still manage to tackle a few things. I've started watching the excellent introduction to Quantum Mechanics by James Binney on iTunesU. While so far it is all review, it is nice to have it as something to watch on the bus into work or coming home.

As well, I have completed chapter 1 of Frobenius Algebras and 2-D Topological Quantum Field Theories (available as a Kindle eBook).

Finally, I did get the Message Passing Language to work on Linux. Interestingly, at the same time that I was struggling with wxHaskell on the mac, there were numerous posts about the issues with GUIs for Haskell (on Mac etc.). No real resolutions, a few pointers on getting wxHaskell and GTK2HS working on the Mac and lots of posts on Haskell Café.

The biggest thing not done is that I still haven't chosen a topic for FMCS '11. I would really like to start talking about coproducts in inverse categories, the next phase to my research on reversible computing and its relationship to quantum computing. The issue with that is that I haven't done any research on it yet.

So, main plans for this week include:
  • More on Frobenius Algebras.
  • Decide on FMCS '11 topic. Potentials include Coproducts in inverse categories, Cobordisms and their relationship to Frobenius Algebras, or possibly something on LQPL.
  • Don't be tempted and watch 3 sessions of the Quantum Mechanics course.


Back in the saddle...?

After a few months of huge time commitments at work, I am once again making some time for research. I did a kickstart in a great way - the U Calgary Grad Studies faculty had a free seminar entitled "The seven secrets of a successful PhD student".

Being a sucker for all of these time management and self-improvement seminars, I went for it.

The seminar was good, highly entertaining, but most important, I was reminded of two gems:
  • Do some work on the PhD, first thing in the AM, EVERY work day.
  • Create weekly, monthly and longer plans and review them
This is the old common sense world coming back in and it makes such a difference. In the couple of weeks since the seminar, I've made more progress that I did in the previous 6 months.

Current upcoming plans include:
  • Prepping a talk for FMCS '11
  • Studying "Frobenius Algebras and 2-D Topological Quantum Field Theories" by Kock once again
  • Submitting the paper on inverse products for publication
  • Updating LQPL to break the presentation code from the emulator code
  • Attending some upcoming conferences
Check back later, I'll update this in a couple of weeks.