In the first half of 1996 I temporarily started a PhD in mathematics at Auckland, and during that time I taught a first-year calculus and algebra class for economics students.

In August 1996, I moved to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I spent 4 years in the PhD program in the Department of Mathematics, but I decided not to finish it.

My master's project was on Topological Quantum Field Theories (TQFT's) where I was working under the supervision of Professor David Gauld. I grew interested in the TQFT topic while attending the knots@huia workshop in 1994 (see the diary below). The main papers I was working from are

- C. Blanchet, N. Habegger, G. Masbaum, P. Vogel,
*Three-manifold invariants derived from the Kauffman bracket,*Topology 31 (1992) 685–699. - C. Blanchet, N. Habegger, G. Masbaum, P. Vogel,
*Topological Quantum Field Theories derived from the Kauffman bracket,*preprint May 12, 1994.

- In December 1994, I attended a workshop known locally as "knots@huia". As the name suggests, the theme was knots, and the place was at Huia, a little bit west of Auckland. The idea of this workshop was spawned by Professor Vaughan Jones and was brought into being by him and David Gauld among others. It was at this workshop that Nathan Habegger gave a series of four lectures giving a summary of his papers (above) which describe some explicit examples of TQFT's.
- In January 5–13 1996 there was another of Jones' workshop/conferences, this time held in Tolaga Bay, north of Gisborne. The theme this time was solvable models of various kinds. (Here the term "models" refers to models of statistical mechanical problems such as magnetisation on a crystal lattice.)
- In Jan 22 – Feb 9 1996, I attended a workshop at ANU, Canberra, Australia. It is called a "workshop on algebra, geometry and topology", especially for masters and doctoral students. Lots of it was really good, especially the quantum groups series presented by Arun Ram. He was entertaining, and the math interests me.

- A collection point for Quantum algebra papers.
- John Baez has a collection of interesting Mathematical Physics articles, both popular and technical. Take a look at Week 35's Finds in Mathematical Physics, which is about n-categories!
- Wisconsin Math preprints by subject.
- Auckland Math Department's very own Preprint Server (but I never got as far as having anything to put on it!)
- A home-page for the New Zealand Approximation Theory Group.
- A general (and very comprehensive) mathematics server.
- AMS's e-math homepage, and the AMS Subject Classification
- Even more mathematics WWW servers

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Last changed 1 Oct 2000