T: 20 of 26

Ah, the second of my on-going 26 part series on the Alphabet of SRH. So in the ever increasingly out of order alphabetic jumble, I bring you the letter T.

T: Big T, Little t, what begins with T
Ten tired turtles in a tuttle-tuttle tree

Oh, venerable “T.” The history of T is long and varied. T is one of those letters that seems to have always been. There is a proto-semetic version of it and a Phoenician version as well. This letter has been around for a long long time. The longevity of the letter and its storied history sadly culminate with the letter representing the word “topology” for little old me.

Had I continued in mathematics I would have done the bulk of my research and studies in the branch referred to as Geometric Topology. Here is where I get all “mathy,” as Wifey likes to put it. Topology is the study of geometric properties which are dependant only upon the relative positions of the components such as adjacency, containment, connectivity, etc…, and not on any measurable component such as height, width, angular deformation, etc… Topology is kind of the intersection of set theory and geometry. It is pretty much a hybrid area in mathematics. The people who dwell there are often not the stuffed shirt pocket protector mathematicians that one typically thinks of. I am not saying that these few souls are cool or even non-geeky, I am saying that they are usually drunk.

The problem with being a topologist is that there are not many jobs out there looking for people who can determine if two spaces are homeomorphic or topologically equivalent (most spaces you can think of are, by the way… even that one… that one too. Those spaces are not homeomorphic, well done Peefer*).

My junior year in college, I decided that mathematics was not the long-term future for me. It was around that time that I took a cartography course and found a “new” career path. Mathematics as a career died for me when I failed the first part of a 2 part class in my senior year (mainly due to a particular professor’s teaching style and our particular brand of personality conflict). Those 2 classes were the only hitches to graduating, so I started the series again in my “super-senior” year, this time with the prof who actually wrote the text book, and aced the both of them.

I have not taken a math course since, and have subsequently lost most of the knowledge that I had crammed in my noggin that dealt with convex hulls, non-Euclidean geometries, metrizable spaces, Poincaré groups, etc… Right now, I recognize those words as things that have to do with topology, but I could not tell you what. At one time in my life, for a very brief instant, I was intelligent.

To recap:
I think I might be off the alarm duty in the mornings
This morning, I messed it up again
This time I accidentally set the clock ahead 1 hour
Little Man was up at 6 am instead of 7 am
Hijinx did not ensue
One of these days I will re-study one of the topo books that I have on my desk
It will probably bring me one step closer to ruling the world
Have a great weekend everyone

*Just playing the odds here. There may be some others of you that could come up with 2 spaces that are not homeomorphic, but my bet is that Peefer came up with it first.