What’s on this blog
In this blog I write about
- My physics and math hobby. This was initially focused on Geometric (Clifford) Algebra, but is now usually associated with the undergrad physics courses I’m taking at the courses I started taking at UofT 2010 as a non-degree student.
- Tricks and tips of a career C++ Unix software developer, including debugger and text manipulation tricks that seemed notable.
- Occasional home improvement stuff.
- Occasional random rants.
Most of what I write on physics and math is essentially for my self. I find that my comprehension is improved significantly by the exercise of writing. While much of what I write is targeted at a virtual audience that happens to know what I did at the time before I wrote it, I’ve still shared it since there’s a chance that it could also be useful to somebody else. If you do find any post helpful (or unhelpful or spot an error, …), please leave a comment or sent me an email (peeter dot joot at gmail dot com).
The content on Geometric Algebra that I’ve posted was all based on self study (primarily from the books Geometric Algebra for Physicists, and Geometric Algebra for Computer Science). The UofT courses I’ve recently taken include Quantum Physics I and II courses (PHY356H1F, PHY456H1F), Relativistic Electrodynamics (PHY450H1S), Continuum Mechanics (PHY454H1S), and Advanced Classical Optics (PHY485H1F). I’m currently enrolled in Basic Statistical Mechanics (PHY452H1S). A fairly extensive set of notes, lecture notes and problems for those classes, most originally posted piecewise on this blog, can be found listed on my current google sites page.
My occasional programming related posts are usually related to work problems in some way. If I want to write something for internal use, it can be found a lot more easily on the web than on any of our disjoint internal IBM Lotus Notes databases, or ‘IBM Connections’ blogs.
Some random stuff about myself
I’m a dad, and have two awesome kids.
I enjoy my ’06 Shadow 750 as much as Canadian weather allows. Sadly I use it primarily for commuting, and not for pleasure riding.
Regular expressions are beautiful things. I’m a scripting junkie, and have wasted large amounts of productivity writing perl code to “save time”.
My ’97 ‘Engineering Science: Computer Engineering’ undergrad days seems like a very long time ago now. I envision myself as the old man in most of my classes.
I’d eventually like to have learned enough that I could apply for a masters in physics, and am getting close. With my programming experience I think that a job in a scientific computing field would be ideal once I fill in the gap in my science background. I’m imagining a day where going to work would require both actively learning science and the application of what I’ve learned and find interesting.
I have been working as a computer programmer for IBM Canada on the Unix/Windows version of DB2 since 1997 (and an internship before that in ’95-’96). My years of database programming have been in the lowest levels of guts of the product, doing system level stuff like asynchronous IO implementation and exploitation, Linux and 64-bit porting, concurrency infrastructure (lockless reader/writer mutex implementation, …). My current work is focused on the DB2 interface to the pureScale server, providing an interface to the higher level DB2 code that allows developers to know as little as possible about the details of the associated redundancy and failover logic as possible.
I’ve been a student of martial arts for a few years, and took Tae Kwan Do long enough that I earned a black belt by Canadian standards (despite the fact that our school did no competitive sparring, and I have very little flexibility). I’m currently taking Wing Chun Kung Fu at Chung’s Arts Academy in Markham. I’m still green enough at Wing Chun that most of it seems very non-intuitive, but I’m starting to at least be able to go through some of the motions in a less clumsy fashion. It’s interesting how different the spirit of Tae Kwan Do (stand back and kick) and Wing Chun (up close and personal) are.
I was raised in a Scientology family, but haven’t practiced or studied it since I was a teenager. This background gave me a curiously non-rational acceptance of ideas like ‘past lives’, and ‘out of body experience’ despite not having any personal observation of either. I don’t have any immediate desire to reconcile these ideas with the science that I am actively studying, but find the dichotomy amusing and ironic.
As an IBM employee I have to say: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions”. (In particular my two rants about IBM security policy)