I’m home now, as I have been since the 21st. I somehow managed to survive the avalanche of work that was the end of the quarter. We selected our choice of candidate for CCS math and wrote a letter to influential people in the math department. Although our letter was well-received, it appears that they ignored our advice, although I only have some nth-hand information on that, where n is a sufficiently large positive integer that I need not trust it fully. I’ll bug Bill Jacob or Bruce Tiffney next week and find out what really happened.
I decided to apply to the Göttingen arithmetic geometry program after all. (Not being technically qualified or meeting prerequisites for programs I attend has never stopped anything in the past, and I have no desire whatsoever to change that.) But since they still haven’t sent me anything, I decided to apply for another program, this time in Brazil. I actually satisfy the expected audience for this one, so I think I have a better shot at getting in. For the record, I don’t have any particular need to get out the country. I just didn’t find any completely satisfactory programs in the country. They all either start too early or don’t look particularly interesting. Then again, I am interested in seeing other places, especially Europe. But I wouldn’t go to a program without a much better reason than just that.
On the offchance that I actually get accepted to the artihmetic geometry program, I would like to be as prepared as is possible given the lack of time between now and July, so I have been trying to work through a book on arithmetic geometry. A (not particularly unexpected) side effect of having taken a class in algebraic number theory but not in (commutative) algebraic geometry is that I already know the majority of the number theory he is talking about but am confused when he starts talking about varieties. I haven’t looked at that many books on algebraic geometry, but each book seems to take a completely different perspective, so it’s difficult to read multiple books simultaneously (which is what I generally like to do). Maybe I’ll bug Bill Jacob about that too since he’s an algebraic geometer. Has anyone read Eisenbud’s Commutative Algebra Book? Is it good?
I suppose I’ll have a shockingly light quarter in the spring. Hopefully I won’t die of boredom, but I’m supposed to do some research in complex analysis or operator theory, and I should hope that will require large chunks of time.