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I'm from Hong Kong, currently an MPhil student in mathematics, and intend to apply for PhD in the US. I first knew about this forum when I was looking for some direction in postgraduate studies (going to applied or pure) during summer, which has become longer from year to year. Then I found Azimuth, a project aiming at saving the planet. I thought it's cool. I love math, and I care about the earth, but I have completely no idea how I can contribute. Looking at this webpage might be a good starting point. So I looked around. Then the term Applied Category Theory caught my eyes. I hardly recalled my first encounter with categories as categorial language is used almost everywhere, but overall my impression about category theory was it is more like an organizing principle in formulating mathematical theories and enchancing analogies (sorry for my ambiguous choice of words for it is hard for me to express this feeling in short). So I am really curious to see how it can be applied. I started reading the first two chapters of the textbook months ago, not quite the style of a typical math textbook I used to read but the examples given are interesting. This kept my interest, but looking at the cold computer screen hours and hours alone is dull. I looked into Azimuth again and found that there was actually an online course, but later learned that it has ended. Too late to join the party. That's how I created my account here. I guess I'll continue to read about applied category after I settled my own stuff. Hope that someday I'll be knowledgeable enough to join the discussion in the Forum.
Here's some of my background for anyone who is interested. I studied actuarial science in my undergraduate. It's a degree program for people preparing to be actuaries. I took a minor in mathematics and found myself more inclined to math than insurance. Then I pursued MPhil (people in Hong Kong commonly do an MPhil and then PhD) in math, with my shaky background making the process kind of tough. Luckily I met my current supervisor. I do a little bit dessin d'enfant.