shonk1.jpegI used to have a purportedly humorous but actually lame sarcastic description of my personality right here, but in retrospect it seems sort of pointless for me to try to describe my own personality to someone who’s reading a website on which I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words, so I’ll just cut straight to the abridged biography.

I’m a graduate student in Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. For my oral exams, my major topic was Differential Geometry and my minor was Logic & Finite Model Theory. I’m currently working on finding integral formulas for link invariants, finding higher-order helicities and defining a new invariant of Riemannian manifolds with boundary. There’s a bit more about my mathematical interests on my academic webpage.

I was an undergrad at a tiny liberal arts school in Tennessee called Sewanee (more Sewanee weblogs), but I’m originally from Boulder, Colorado. Aside from mathematics, I spend most of my time reading and writing. I enjoy candlelit dinners, but not long walks on the beach. So there.

I started this blog partially just to see if I could, but primarily because I wanted a forum where I could write about anything I found interesting and pass on the unusual links that I occasionally stumble across. I had no particular agenda in mind and still don’t; I think it’s quite enough to simply express an idea (even if most of the time I don’t do so very clearly). The fact that I haven’t written anything substantive here for years probably says something about my opinion of the quality of my ideas.

I called this site “selling waves” because it was the first thing that popped into my head when Movable Type asked me for a blog title. It’s intended to be be ironic and self-deprecating, suggesting that rather than making waves of my own, I’m selling waves made by others at a discount; that this blog is sort of the Blue Light Special of important and profound thought. Needless to say, the joke isn’t funny, even to me, especially now that I’ve tried to explain it.

If you’re wondering what “shonk” means, it doesn’t mean anything. “Shonk” is just the first syllable of my last name and is what my friends have called me for years, so it was a natural internet pseudonym that I’ve been using for a while now. For whatever reason, certain friends of mine have also started using “shonk” as a vulgar epithet, as in “shonk you!” or “I really shonked her good”. I’m not sure what sort of commentary that makes on me or on my name, but, since this is an “About” page, it’s really your job to figure out what it means about me. And no, “shonk” is never capitalized (tautologically).

Feel free to email me or hit me up on ICQ at 43172784, on AIM at sellingwaves or on YIM at cdubg. If you’re curious what’s on my aggregator these days, here’s the OPML file. I can also be found on Flickr, Delicious, Facebook and Twitter.