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I got an email from Isar Goyvaerts, who write:
Dear Dr. Baez,
I am writing in reference to your "to-do list" as of July, 21, 2016 on the Azimuth Forum, in particular to your call for participation in the projects listed there.
I am a post-doctoral researcher in mathematics, currently based at the Università di Torino, Italy. My research interests have been gravitating towards (braided) monoidal categories for several years now and most of my research involved working with these structures and their associated graphical language at some point.
At the time of writing, I have a grant to continue carrying out research for two more years. I am involved in several mathematical divulgation projects for high school children in Belgium and more recently, I have been asking myself how I could spend my time left in research/academia in such a way as to give further shape to my social and ecologic engagement.
I came in touch with your work on (categorical aspects of) network theory through your Overview lecture given at University of Oxford (as available on YouTube), where you also invited new 'recruits' to join your research area.
I don't know if I could be of any use to one of your ongoing research projects that involve the use of (monoidal) category theory, but I would be most happy to give it a try. In case you agree, would you have a suggestion for a starting point for me in this?
(Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I have very little knowledge of physics, biology or ecology.)
Thanks in advance and best regards,
I gave him a list of things to read and asked what topics he found most interesting.