michiexile: (Default)
I will start my doctorate in Jena in April by Prof. David Green. This will, as one of the side effcts, give me a trail of thesis advisors of thesis advisors that tracks back through, among others, Epstein, Lefschetz, Klein, Plücker, to Gauss, over Lipschitz, Dirichlet, Poisson and Fourier, Lagrange to Euler and the Bernoullis and Leibniz and with a side trail to Jacobi.

I will be working on some track along the lines of computationally determining the Group Cohomology Algebra of a p-group over Zp. Quite interesting and very computation heavy.
michiexile: (Default)
So, today I was there for the interview. And ... it went quite well. Really well, even.

Some amusing tidbits:
(1) Normally, when I geek out on mathematics, most people look at me blankly, but when I geek out about RPGs, most people join in the discussion. In the workgroup in Jena, when mathematics was discussed, everybody knew what was going on, but when me and my possible future advisor geeked out on LARPs and RPGs (he used to D&D some 20 years ago... ;) everybody else looked blank.
(2) For those with maths wiz among my beloved readers: I would be doing computational group cohomology research. Which is seriously cool and close enough to everything else that I'm really looking forward to it.
(3) They referred to my exchange Gymnasium, the Leibnizgymnasium in Altdorf b. Nürnberg, as "The famous Leibnizgymnasium?"
(4) Not only did they read my thesis, scrutinize my CV and grill me on my RPG hobbies - they found my blog and this LJ, and based quite a few questions about my future plans on my comments here. Maybe I should start protecting some posts again - either that or just say:
"Hi, Prof. Dr. Green!"
(5) A normal PhD in Sweden involves 20% lectures and correcting tests et.c. and expects you to do 50% coursework and 50% thesiswork on the remaining time. You normally finish in 5 years. A PhD in Jena expects me to do teaching/corrections/et.c. for 50% - for which I draw my salary - and expects me to do my PhD in the rest. A PhD in Jena means three "tests" at the end. My disputation, an oral exam in my profile subject (group cohomology) and an oral exam in an "sufficiently remote" subject, such as analysis, or computer science, or latin, or linguistics, or .. basically anything that can demonstrate that I didn't nerd out too deep. And I'm supposed to finish in, say, 3 years. I'd have a contract for 2 years, but it'd be prolonged by a year or two once we get there and they still believe I can finish at all.
(6) In Jena, Topology is not sufficiently remote from Algebra, since it's traditionally been viewed as a part of Algebra. Theoretical CS however is NOT a part of Algebra. Don't ask me why.
(7) Things about me that they seemed to value: I know homological algebra; I know computers, computer programming and program production and CAS; I've been involved in support efforts to heighten the educational throughput; I've been involved in youth mathematics; I'm a roleplayer.

And finally. So far, there are two interviewed candidates for two positions. Any other candidates have until friday to outshine us.
michiexile: (Default)
I've done a little research on the Jena offer, and its ramifications. I would be getting half of a salary which in its fullness actually is a bit higher than my current. Which would, it seems, put me down for a monthly total of just over €1000.

Further calculations show that if I assume a not-too-expensive apartment in Jena, and cut my Nürnberg presence as well as my Stockholm presence (leading to me actually only paying 1 (ONE!) rent each month...), I could very well come through on that money. It'd even be better payment than what I'd get at a Stockholm PhD position...

And looking at alternatives for Susanne, it seems quite possible - supposing she gets funding for it - to support us both with her commuting to either Erfurt (½ hour away) or to Leipzig (1 hour away) where the interesting linguistics departments in the vicinity are.

All in all, if I do get the Jena position, I think it's doable to start a fulltime PhD on that halftime salary. Probably why they give the position as they do too...


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