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.