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Introduction: Robert Figura (aka Refurio Anachro)

edited March 2018 in Chat

Hi folks!

A few years ago, one night, I decided to go with my first love, mathematics, following one of John Baez' countless invitations to form flocks to worship her. So I began blogging about maths on g+ under my newfound and mysterious alias 'Refurio Anachro'...

https://plus.google.com/+RefurioAnachro

Some twenty years ago, I had been studying computer science, which implied courses on mathematics and, by choice, linguistics. I never finished and I never graduated. Instead, I got quickly assimilated by the industry. And that was a good thing, because those computer science courses back then were pretty much outdated, and massively overrun, and while attending might have gotten me a degree, learning new stuff (about computers) was clearly not in it for me. So I had to leave the place, and ended up turning my back on all of academia... (You shouldn't)

Without knowing what it was, I had long been using arrows and diagrams to communicate about my work. Which was about analyzing large systems with scarce information at first, and about building extensible systems later on, minimizing the cost of making up your mind about earlier design decisions. I was proudly focusing on an aspect I liked to call 'reverse engineering'. That meant I learned how to transform code from one context to another, changing its signature, or the way it is written up, all while keeping its effects fixed. So I knew intuitively what monads were, thought about natural transformations on a daily basis, and worked with types long before I started programming in strictly typed languages.

By now I have invested quite some time into understanding categories and types as they are seen by mathematicians, and I learned to name and formally elaborate on many of the concepts I had only felt before. Thanks to that I managed to get a hold on proof assistants, and am now employing concepts from higher type theory in my work. Although I'm very interested in the many ways to teach categories (or any kind of maths) to people, I may not require another introduction to category theory, so maybe we'd better not regard me as a student of the current course. Another reason could be that I already have a day job and a family to take care of, which means that I might vanish in a puff of smoke at any time, busying myself with other things for a while...

Until that happens I'll be trodding along, picking up what I do not know, and I'm certain there'll be things to add and places where I can help out. I am quite excited to see so many people here, and I am looking forward to having 'loads of fun'.

Comments

  • 1.

    Refurio! (Or Robert!) Good to meet you again here. Much better context than G+.

    Comment Source:Refurio! (Or Robert!) Good to meet you again here. Much better context than G+.
  • 2.
    edited March 2018

    Hi, I'm glad to see you, too, Bob! You've been one of the familiar names that ultimately triggered my impulse to ask for an account. And indeed, it's a nice place with cool folks and fun discussions! I also noticed the interesting diversion your intro post attracted.

    Comment Source:Hi, I'm glad to see you, too, Bob! You've been one of the familiar names that ultimately triggered my impulse to ask for an account. And indeed, it's a nice place with cool folks and fun discussions! I also noticed the interesting diversion your intro post attracted.
  • 3.

    Very interesting assortment of people and focuses (focii).

    Comment Source:Very interesting assortment of people and focuses (focii).
  • 4.

    Indeed! And having intro posts about most people is also rather nice. I'm exhilarated!

    Comment Source:Indeed! And having intro posts about most people is also rather nice. I'm exhilarated!
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