# The Unapologetic Mathematician

## Progress from the Atlas

A team of 18 mathematicians working on the Atlas of Lie Groups and Representations have completed computing the Kazhdan-Lusztig-Vogan polynomial for the exceptional Lie group $E_8$. There’s a good explanation by John Baez at The n-Category Café (warning: technical).

I feel a sort of connection to this project, mostly socially. For one thing, it may seem odd but my advisor does a Lie algebra representations — not knot theory like I do — which is very closely related to the theory of Lie groups. His first graduate student, Jeff Adams, led the charge for $E_8$. Dr. Adams was one of the best professors I had as an undergrad, and I probably owe my category-friendliness to his style in teaching the year-long graduate abstract algebra course I took, as well as his course on the classical groups. That approach of his probably has something to do with his being a student of Zuckerman’s. And around we go.