Eric C. Peterson

I'm a graduate student in mathematics at UC-Berkeley. Starting in the fall of 2015, I will be a Benjamin Peirce fellow at Harvard.

I like teaching, I like algebraic topology, and I'm getting better at both. I was an undergraduate student in computer science at UIUC from 2005 to 2009, and I stayed one extra year to work with Matt Ando, who taught me a whole lot about topology. I've since moved to Coolifornia, where I've started working with Constantin Teleman, though I've been sort of doing my own thing in chromatic stable homotopy theory.

I travel a fair amount: I was a visitor at the Max Planck Institut für Mathematik in Bonn for the first half of 2012, MIT and Harvard in the first half of 2013, Harvard again in the summer of 2014, and Bonn again in the spring of 2015.


I'm currently interested in using algebro-geometric tools to answer questions in algebraic topology, and I have a penchant for computations.


Expository writing

I've tried to get into the habit of keeping a big tree of all the things I'd like to think about. It's incomplete and largely nonsensical, but you can find an HTML copy of it here: [link].

I passed my qualifying exam on November 23rd, 2011. Here is a PDF containing my syllabus and a transcript of the exam questions I could remember: [link].

I'm not very active, but I have also written some things on MathOverflow.


I'm often funded through a GSI position, so I have run recitation sections for a few lower-level courses. Students and onlookers can find course pages below. I also have a calendar available at this address to facilitate setting up meetings and so forth. I've also started participating in seminars; you can find those below too.

Courses / sections taught

Slides, talk notes, reports


Agenda: A small agenda program, written in OCaml, to keep track of deadlines and so forth, though its feature list has grown marginally from those beginnings.
Ext Chart: A utility in development for OS X, useful for drawing and computing with spectral sequences.
Smithy: A map editor, also written in OCaml, for the Marathon engine, a game from the mid '90s now actively developed under the name Aleph One.
MW2: A small collection of thoughts on reverse-engineering some of the engine and data pieces in Activision's classic MechWarrior 2.
Op[]: A rewrite system in Mathematica to determine the closure of a set of cohomology classes in H^*(K(Z, n); Z/2) under the action of the Steenrod algebra. Useful for expanding Singer's and Stong's calculations of H^*(BU<2k>; Z/2).
Coact: Mathematica package for computing the free and square-zero parts of the coaction of the dual Steenrod algebra on the space of multiplicative k-variate cocycles.
A-cocycles: Mathematica package for computing the space of additive cocycles, along with some of the tertiary invariants described in our paper.
A-visual: Mathematica notebook with some graphical routines, displaying some of the tertiary invariants in our paper. Used in a presentation to Stephen Wolfram.
M-cocycles: Mathematica package for computing obstructions to free extension from the tangent space of multiplicative cocycles to the total space. Doesn't completely work, but it's close, and it's complete enough to warrant sharing. Missing backtracking, mostly.

This is a work in progress.