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posts for november 2012.

well, almost. in fact, it is the second snow. the first snow started on the day we left to monte verità, and when i returned almost a week later, it was gone. today, it started snowing for the second time. everything’s in white, and there’s a lot of snow. i hope this time it’ll stay longer so i can take some photos with sunlight and snow! :)

after the walk on last weekend, we were playing with our and our neighbours’ cats at home:

last weekend, we went on a walk starting at the castle bernegg ruin, walking through forests and a ravine towards hinwil. it was really nice outside, just some clouds and a bit of coldness. here are some impressions:

when arriving back in hinwil, we saw a little park close to our home. a really tiny one, just a few square meters:

it was also not very surprising what it’s name is:

today i discovered why sometimes, some of my latex output contains tildes (~) in the dvi/pdf version. usually, if you use a tilde in a tex file, it is interpreted as a non-breakable space (except in special circumstances, such as verbatim environments or in \url{…}). but thanks to a “bugfix” to texi2dvi/texi2pdf, which is a wonderful tool as it runs (pdf)latex often enough together with bibtex, makeindex etc., tildes appearing in tex files are now shown as tildes in the dvi/pdf output. which is absolutely inacceptable behaviour.
it seems that this already was reported (see here, here, here), but it is still around. i don’t really know what to think of this – is nobody responsible for working on texi2dvi/texi2pdf? or did people stop using it as it is broken?
anyway, i fixed my local installed version (/usr/bin/texi2dvi) by chaning the line catcode_special=true to catcode_special=false. a more sophisticated version would be nice, which only changes catcode_special for tex files (and not for texinfo files), but i don’t have time for that now.

yesterday my cat miukumauku had her first mouse (according to kornel, it’s a wood mouse). well, she didn’t catch it – that was done by the black cat, the only one of our cats who actually hunts –. but then, she somehow took it off the black cat, proceeded to play with it, while running around the appartment with the mouse in her mouth while growling (scaring off the other cats, most of whom didn’t care anyway, and in part maybe because she didn’t really know what to do with the mouse, i think). then, she finally managed to kill the mouse, and after some more playing proceeded to eat it. completely, with bones, skin and tail.

(in fact, this was not miukumauku’s first mouse. she was dragging a mouse around earlier – one also caught by the black cat –, but that mouse managed to escape and hide where the cats couldn’t grab it. unfortunately, we also couldn’t get it out of there, but then it got out overnight and was eaten – at least we think so, since we found leftovers of a mouse next morning…)

update: here’s a photo from the older incident:

posted in: daily life photos

last week i was in leiden, attending a workshop on post-quantum crytpography and quantum algorithms at the lorentz center. it was a collection of talks and working in smaller groups, where we discussed certain topics, such as quantum attacks on ideal lattices in more detail, trying to find a way to use quantum computers to speed up attacks against primitives of post-quantum cryptography. as this is somewhat close to my research – i work on analyzing a quantum algorithm with pawel wocjan and am working on lattices and lattice reductions – i was very happy to attend this meeting. especially since there were not just some mathematicians, but also a lot of experts on various aspect of quantum computers and quantum algorithms. now i also know a lot more about quantum computing, both from the theoretical side – like having been explained grover’s algorithm, which is another of the fundamental quantum algorithms next to the period-finding algorithm family starting with shor’s algorithm – and the practical side – what the current technology with regard to building quantum computers is, and how people writing compilers for quantum computers can suffer and how complicated it can be to turn a “simple” algorithm into a circuit. i think this was one of the most productive workshops i’ve ever attended.
unfortunately, i neither took my camera with me (the little one i had with me last week, since it is somewhat broken (the sd card slot won’t keep the card anymore, similar to what is described here), nor did i really had time to take any pictures, as i spend most awake hours doing mathematics. i took a few shots with my mobile phone on the excursion/conference dinner on wednesday, which happend to be on a boat going through grachten around leiden and the city and also happened to be a very decicious and very spicy asian food buffet. and later, there was a great dessert buffet. one of the best and original conference dinners i had for quite some time :)

this week, i was attending a conference on monte verità in ticino.


on tuesday we shifted the afternoon lectures by two hours to be able to exploit the great weather to visit ascona:


on wednesday, we went on an excursion to bellinzona. unfortunately, the weather was not so great. we began with a tour through castelgrande and continued with a short city tour. here are some impressions: