A week #8

Things coming together.

School

Things feel like they're slowly coming together. Partly because we're getting deep enough into the semester where I'm starting to see overarching themes, and partly because I've had enough free time recently to take some breaks. Most of this semester has been pure Lie theory with some theory of quantum systems peppered in there. That said last week I was working a lot on a paper for that class, and then we have another homework due this upcoming Thursday. It's odd how little we had in the first two months of this class, and now it's getting piled on. That said, I'm not too upset because it's well presented material, super relevant for my research, and a welcome break from only doing Lie theory.

I think my head has been in the weeds with Lie theory this whole semester. What I mean by that is I've been so focused on the details, I haven't been able to find out where we're going. I think the break I've had from constantly doing Lie theory has been helpful to see where we're going.

In Open Quantum Systems we've been getting into some good stuff like the Kraus and Stinespring representation theorems which are both important mathematically and physically. I thought we would get more into some philosophical issues Emerson mentioned in the beginning of the course, but sadly we haven't as much. I'm looking forward to learning more about representations of quantum channels.

Research

I opened the code I wrote for the $\mathsf{SU}(2)$ decomposition problem this week and did a bit of work on it, but haven't figured out where I'm going wrong. I'm meeting with Joel tomorrow to give him a bit of an update on research, but probably mostly just talk about how I've been so busy I haven't been able to spend much time on research. I'd like to discuss with him how I feel overwhelmed and not really that capable of doing research at the moment just because of the workload. I'd also like to suggest we have more regular meetings so I can get more one on one guidance (see the link below about the effectiveness of one on ones). At Overleaf I certainly had a lot more guidance than I do now, and that personally helped a lot. I would like to have a little more of that with Joel as well.

Life

I'm 99% sure I'm buying a car tomorrow. First time in my life, and I'm 26. It's been a great ride not owning one, but it's certainly going to help get me to Waterloo in May. I've been planning that move recently and there is a lot to do. It's coming along slowly.

Oh also baseball started again this week. Baseball was a great distraction from the pandemic last year, and I think it will serve as such again this year.

Links