A week #2

Simultaneously busy and relaxed week.


Technically we were on “reading week” this week. I think that normally would mean there are no lectures, but you probably still have all your normal workload? I'm not totally sure, but the “no lectures” thing wasn't even respected which was a little frustrating. It was in Lie theory, but not open quantum systems (OQS). Perhaps since there were so many technical difficulties at the beginning of the course, the prof felt like he needed to make up, but that seems like something he should bare, not the students.

I spent some time watching the lectures for OQS, and starting the homework for that class as well. The questions I've done have been pretty simple, but proving operators to be positive semi-definite really tripped me up. So much so to the point where I even asked a question on physics.SE which I haven't done in ages. It's really simple in hindsight, but I was computing traces incorrectly for a while. I even sent some of my partial homework write ups to Kevin (math PhD student at Boston College) and he reminded me how crazy physicists are for both not specifying sum limits, and playing with objects with 4 indices. It's a good reminder that even in some areas of math, that would be way too complex. Funny how that works.

I also made some progress on my Lie theory homework, and thankfully the prof put some questions on this homework that are actually quite simple. At least I hope so. It's making me realize the importance of simple questions as means of confidence boosters. The past two assignments have me struggling on almost every question, and it feels nice not to have that here. Solving a problem without resorting to asking around is really rewarding.


I worked quite on this $\mathsf{SU}(2)$ problem, and did some writing about and some coding. I'll be sharing the notes I'm writing internally for some feedback soon. Hopefully I don't write too many basic things for them. Either way it's really helped me understand the problem so that's great.

Also been fun coding in python again. I'm using sympy which I've never used before and good ole numpy which I like, but haven't used in a while.


Pretty slow week work wise, but it was welcomed to go along with my reading week. I have my annual review tomorrow so did some prepping for that, and in the meantime just kept chugging along with deleting data.