Eric C. Peterson

I'm a Benjamin Peirce fellow at Harvard. I like algebraic topology and teaching, and I'm often found doing both.

Before I was here, I was a graduate student at Berkeley under Constantin Teleman. Before that, I was an undergraduate at Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, under Matt Ando and Elsa Gunter.

Writing

I'm interested in using algebro-geometric tools to answer questions in algebraic topology, and I have a penchant for computations.

Papers

Expository writing

I passed my qualifying exam on November 23rd, 2011. Here is a PDF containing my syllabus and a transcript of the exam questions I could remember: [link].

I'm not very active, but I have also written some things on MathOverflow.

Speaking

I'm often funded through a teaching position. Students and onlookers can find course pages below. I also have a calendar available at this address to facilitate setting up meetings and so forth. I've also started participating in seminars; you can find those below too.

Courses / sections taught

Slides, talk notes, reports

Software

Atlas: A real-time, collaborative "mind-mapping" program, designed to be useful for storing a mathematical research program. Here is a public Atlas server, as well as a video demoing its features.
Ext Chart: A utility in development for OS X, useful for drawing and computing with spectral sequences.
Op[]: A rewrite system in Mathematica to determine the closure of a set of cohomology classes in H^*(K(Z, n); Z/2) under the action of the Steenrod algebra. Useful for expanding Singer's and Stong's calculations of H^*(BU<2k>; Z/2).
Coact: Mathematica package for computing the free and square-zero parts of the coaction of the dual Steenrod algebra on the space of multiplicative k-variate cocycles.
A-cocycles: Mathematica package for computing the space of additive cocycles, along with some of the tertiary invariants described in our paper.
A-visual: Mathematica notebook with some graphical routines, displaying some of the tertiary invariants in our paper. Used in a presentation to Stephen Wolfram.
M-cocycles: Mathematica package for computing obstructions to free extension from the tangent space of multiplicative cocycles to the total space. Doesn't completely work, but it's close, and it's complete enough to warrant sharing. Missing backtracking, mostly.
Persistent Sullivan models: Mathematica package for computing the Sullivan minimal model associated to the Vietoris-Rips space built from a point cloud. Supposed to be useful for computing rational 'persistent homotopy groups' of complexes rather than the usual persistent homology groups. This is very slow (in an irreparable way: computing rational homotopy groups has a very high complexity lower bound) and also mildly incorrect, but the slowness has made it hard to debug. Caveat user. (This was part of a project with Matthew Pancia.)
Agenda: A small agenda program, written in OCaml, to keep track of deadlines and so forth, though its feature list has grown marginally from those beginnings.
Smithy: A map editor, also written in OCaml, for the Marathon engine, a game from the mid '90s now actively developed under the name Aleph One.
MW2: A small collection of thoughts on reverse-engineering some of the engine and data pieces in Activision's classic MechWarrior 2.

This is a work in progress.