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Hello all! I'm coming to the course as a non-researcher hobbyist who's been curious about category theory for a while. My undergrad was in computer science with a lot of physics on the side. Several years later I went back to school part time for a master's. I loved being back in absorb-mode, and wound up taking a ton of side classes in physics, math, and the mathy side of electrical engineering.
Category theory was mentioned in passing in a manifolds course, and the idea of meta-math was hugely appealing to my CS sensibilities. Unfortunately I never heard more about it in school, but when I discovered John's older web site it kept my interest going.
I've read a couple of the very introductory category texts, but only at the tourist level (only tackling exercises I could do in my head while reading). Chapter 1 here is the first time adjunctions have made sense to me, so I hope the whole course will be full of revelations like that!
I've recently been curious about treating programs/algorithms as objects that can be manipulated in mathematical ways. I know there's a ton of work out there, and I hope knowing some category theory will allow me to approach that material.
I stumbled on this course while looking online for info on that subject. I'm coming in about 7 weeks late, but I hope to catch up quickly.