Things achieved today so far: Parents and sister got in town, showed them around some, got the apartment I was trying to get, and handed in my signed & sealed offer letter to Google.

Pretty good start for a day… (knock on wood) more amusements to follow, most likely.

Published in: on June 13, 2003 at 15:13  Comments (2)  


The new job is starting to feel real. I got asked yesterday “What username and machine name would you like?” (Yes, that makes things more real. The answers were zunger and hasufel, respectively. And anyone who can recognize the latter picks up some geek points.)

Published in: on June 7, 2003 at 08:34  Comments (11)  

This just got sent out to the physics department mailing list…

Well, no turning back now…

PhD Thesis Defense

Candidate:  Yonatan Zunger
Advisor:  Leonard Susskind

Tuesday, May 20, 9 AM
Varian 3rd Floor Conference Room

Building Branes Out of Matrices

We examine the set of objects which can be built in type IIA string theory by
matrix methods using an infinite number of D0-branes. In addition to
stacks of ordinary Dp-branes and branes in background fields, we find
exotic states which cannot be constructed by other means. These states
exhibit strongly noncommutative geometry, (e.g., partial derivatives on them
do not commute) and some are conjectured to have Z_N–valued
charges similar to those of the type I D-instanton. Real-valued charges are
forbidden by Dirac quantization, leading to a nontrivial relationship
between noncommutative topological invariants.

Published in: on May 14, 2003 at 14:57  Comments (12)  
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Alright, let’s go…

Off to the interview at Google now. Here goes…

Published in: on May 1, 2003 at 13:45  Comments (5)  

…And the clock begins.

Well, I now have a final schedule: Oral defense May 20, final copy of thesis due June 4, commencement on June 15. Thesis is looking good, needing only acknowledgements, an intro and possibly a preface. (When does one need both? What should the preface contain? Hmm…)

Wow. This is starting to seem (frighteningly) real…

Published in: on April 28, 2003 at 15:21  Comments (5)  


Well, I just finished the preliminary assembly of my thesis: the papers have been stapled together, the master TeX files designed and carefully tweaked to meet university standards, and so on. All that’s really left to do is to write the intro and similar stuff, and print it out nicely. Oh yes, and defend. And find a job.

But draft 1 now exists, 118 pages. The final version should be somewhat larger, maybe 130. Very short for a doctoral thesis, but those are very dense pages. Fortunately, nobody will ever have to read them.

Published in: on April 25, 2003 at 14:36  Comments (3)  

Step 1, complete.

First interview (with the HR people) went well. This Thursday: Technical interview.

So now: Going to go pick up the Big Book O’ Algorithms and read through it. And refresh my memory on C++.

*crossing fingers*

Published in: on April 22, 2003 at 11:43  Comments (7)  


Well, I just filed my formal application to graduate. All I have left to do is finish the thesis and defend.

Thesis status:

  • 7 papers complete
  • 1 paper pending, in revision
  • Glue text still to be written

Defense status:

  • Reading committee already set (3 people)
  • Rest of oral committee still to be chosen, schedule to be set
  • Need to write talk

…and that’s it. My quarter at a glance.

This is kinda creepy.

Published in: on April 1, 2003 at 11:01  Comments (2)  


Well, it’s now 2:30, and I’ve spent most of the day nursing sick computers. Right now I’m trying to get RAID to restart, which is proving to be an unnecessary pain in the ass because of some really poorly designed software.

I really hope I can make game tonight. I really do.

(Incidentally: If you’re trying to send me e-mail, it may be a while. E-mails aren’t being lost, but until the system is working again there’s no way for me to receive them. Yes, I am the head sysadmin for the server where I get my mail… sigh…)

Update: Well, the system is working again, and I may well make it to game tonight. Of course, none of the backup systems are working, so my weekend just got more interesting…

Published in: on March 21, 2003 at 14:33  Comments (1)  

Well, that’s weird.

I just spent much of the evening working on my resume, with some much-appreciated help from hansandersen. It made me realize just how strange my job quals are: physics, lots of scientific software dev, lots of back-end software dev, and odds and ends like “radiation lab experience,” “held DOE P clearance,” and reading knowledge of various medieval languages.

I’m sure there’s some sort of job that combines those things, but I’m kinda curious as to what it is…

Published in: on February 21, 2003 at 00:23  Comments (8)  
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