Olaf's Homepage

This is the personal page of Olaf Merkert.

I have recently started working as a Software Consultant in Munich at TNG Technology Consulting and am living in Munich now.


Until recently, I was a PhD student at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. I obtained my PhD in mathematics on September 30, 2016.

My area of research is number theory, I am studying some aspects of the Pell equation over the ring of polynomials. My master thesis (in german) gives an introduction to the topic.

The polynomial Pell equation is closely related to polynomial continued fractions. During my PhD in Pisa, I studied the reduction and specialization of such continued fractions, and how it gives rise to denominators.

During my time as an undergrad math student in Basel, I also worked as a tutor for the local math institute. There are still some teaching materials (in german) to be found here.


In my free time, and sometimes for my research, I enjoy programming in Common Lisp or Python. During my PhD, I used SageMath.

You can find some of my code on my GitHub page.


I am a big fan of GNU Emacs and use it for most of my computer activities nowadays, including email (with Gnus). I use org mode to keep my life organised, and in fact wrote my thesis using it.

So over the years, my public Emacs configuration has naturally grown and evolved a bit.


I very much enjoy hiking in the mountains or in the woods. I used to organise hiking trips from Pisa from time to time. We visited various places in the Monti Pisani and occasionally in the Alpi Apuane.


With my Lumix G6 camera, I snap quite a few pictures every year. I have published some of them in my galleries (these contain also a few pictures taken by others).

Flight Simulators

In few years ago, I discovered the fascinating and complex world of flight simulation. My favorite software is DCS World which provides excellent flight physics modeling and extensive avionics modeling.

Sometimes I also fly in FSX or aeroflyFS.