Keeping it all together

I'm feeling pretty busy right now. A quick run-down of vague ‘things on my plate’:

  1. Marking for summer school. Sigh. It's equivalent to a day out of my week, but I need the money.

  2. Reviewing the paper I just accepted to review (what foolishness). It's interesting but needs a little clarity. And the graphs need work (but when do they not?).

  3. Putting together new code for calculating elliptic integrals in Matlab. This has come about through a tangent of some research of mine, and I've had a work experience student help me out. We've extended the code that already exists to handle unbounded input (previously the code was restricted to inputs between zero and one with phases between zero and pi/2), but there are a few edges cases that we can't fix yet.

  4. Working on my code for the force between magnets in various configurations. I'm not sure if someone has come up with an expression for the force between cylindrical magnets with radial and axial relative displacement; if so I need to add it—if not then I need to derive it first! (I don't believe there's a closed-form solution, however.)

  5. A new paper on the force between a solenoid and a cylindrical magnet; this is work that I've previously done for my thesis, but I've discovered that it's wrong—so I'm in the middle of fixing that up and I've got a friend in France who might be helping me with simplifying the integrals involved.

  6. And that's only a small step away from finishing off another chapter of my thesis. Of which there are several chapters that ‘just’ need finishing off, and it seems like there's always just something in the way before I do each of them.

  7. And of course the bug counts in some of my LaTeX packages are continuously increasing but I hardly even get the chance to reply to them let alone fix them at the moment. Need some breathing room to get these done.

My context switching is slowing me down, I think, but it's all too interesting to give any of it up. Look out, 2011!


The Summa Scientiæ

For future reference.

The Summa Scientiæ was a proposal to create a ‘Summary of Human Knowledge’ around turn of the 19th Century.

This would make a great name for a modern-day equivalent: like one of the ‘—pediæ’ but tracking and collating (primarily) scientific work as it is published and disseminated. Older works fading into the background as newer ones advance their theories; a way to group academic fields into literal groups rather than the more ad hoc approach used by researchers now who build their literature reviews from scratch when starting in a new field.