# Month: January 2023

• ## Solutions to exercises from Introduction to Analytic Number Theory by Apostol

As I am currently working my way through the exercises in Apostol’s book “Introduction to Analytic Number Theory”. Since I wasn’t able to find solutions to all exercises and since the book does not contain solutions, I googled for them.

And then I found this: https://gregoryhurst.com/solutions/. A PDF file containing solutions to most if not all exercises in the book.

ðŸ˜³

Since graduating, I decided to work out all solutions to keep my mind sharp and act as a refresher.

Greg Hurst, author of the solutions, in its preface

I was very happy to have found this work and I am very thankful to its author!

• ## A visual guide for solving a Rubik’s Cube

From time to time, my kids ask me to solve a Rubik’s cube for them.

I still no how to solve the first 2 layers of the cube. Having once, a long time ago, implemented a virtual Rubik’s Cube app with an automatic solving functionality, I still can remember that part of the algorithm.

But to solve the last layer of the cube, I always need to look up the solution. Here’s a website (in German) that explains the solution with nice intuitive visuals: https://www.keks.de/wuerfel/

From now on I know where to find the solution without having to Google it.

• ## A talk about Mob Programming

A colleague recommended this talk about Mob Programming to me:

At my current job, we try to implement Mob Programming as much as we can. But not all people accept it equally well. Some people like it more than others. I think I am one of those people who like the concept.

This talk shows how the author and his teams practice Mob Programming and brings up some reasons for why he thinks it’s beneficial.

One concept that he mentions in the talk is the concept of Question Queue Time. How long does it take to get an answer for a question that’s blocking us. If this time is too long, then we are blocked and tend to increase inventory, that is we start working on something else.

Inventory is defined as the work items we’ve started working on but that do not yet deliver value.

How can we keep psychological flow intact while working in a pair or as a mob? That’s a question that I think is crucial to making Mob Programming successful. One sentence from the talk that resonated well with me was thins one: “We enable individual flow by giving each person the safety and space to think in their own way”.

• ## What is something you want to achieve this year?

The title of this blog post is the first prompt of this year’s #bloganuary challenge by WordPress. It is, at the same time, a very natural question to ask on the first day of a new year. It implies the promise that new beginings are possible and that wherever life has brought you, you can still change your path and achieve whatever you want. That is of course, if only you are dedicated enough and invest enough time into it.

If you think about this promise for a while, then it might even occur to you that every day of the year, every day of your life, every instant, every breath of each day offers that same opportunity to just begin again.

To me, at first glance, these questions always seem like an illusion, like a false promise. Sure, you can achieve a lot, you can invest a lot of time into becoming physically stronger, eat better, become a better cook or, if you’re so inclined, a better mathematician. But at what cost? What other things in your life will suffer from their newly won lack of attention? Your work? Your kids? Your wife? Your health?

My life, to me, always seems to barely work on a day-to-day basis. I always just have enough time to make a good job at work, as a husband and as a father. There’s hardly any time or energy for anything else really.

So in that sense, I might even decide to become more efficient at work, as a husband and as a dad. Maybe that’s what I want to achieve? But, honestly, that doesn’t sound very actionable. We all know that time is not something you can posses and store on a bank account (unless you happen to be one of Michael Ende’s Grey Gentlemen). It turns out, you can only take time away from activities by using it on other activities first.

Damnit, that brings me back to the original question: What is it I want to achieve this year? I didn’t quite manage to shake it off with my first attempt. So do I want to become a bit less addicted to food? Maybe a bit more physically fit? Probably a bit more organized as a dad and more empathic as a husband. Maybe finally understand the proof of the prime number theorem? I guess a bit of all of the above.