Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Public transport and other snippets!

How many times have you been annoyed by what others do? This is a rant on some things which annoy me. Feel free to rant away if you feel that you don't agree or agree.

So to begin, I HATE people who chuck litter on the floor! Why can't they use there pockets, until they get to a bin? And why pick up the free newspapers if you're just going to chuck it anywhere! And train tickets- whats wrong with the bins or your pockets! What do you get out of chucking your bus or train ticket on the floor?

There's this one street in Manchester, which I have to walk on to get from one building to another and it has only one bin on it! (every Wednesday my friends hear me complaining about this!) I eat my apple whilst walking to the lecture, and it ticks me off that there's no bin near by, but does that mean that I chuck the darn apple core on the floor? No way! That's gross! Yes, I'm all riled up now, but making a mess in my room is OK, that's my personal space, but on the street- uncool!

I must confess that I used to have a really (bad?) habit of picking litter up on the street sometimes. The thing is after I've picked up 3 empty crisp packets, I realise that I'd be there all day if I continued! (I used to do this in my school all the time, but then it was OK since school wasn't too big and I was a prefect- but the streets are awful!)

The one thing I hate about smokers, is when they smoke under the bus shelter!! This causes me to get up and stand outside, (sometimes in the rain!). I can't stand the smell of smoke, and I've been told that I'm going to get bopped one day because every time someone walks past me and blows smoke into my face, I lose control of my tongue! :o (I try to keep my voice down, but I've been told that it's pretty loud at times!) I don't understand why as soon as you walk out of the train or bus you have to light up. Can't you wait till you're outside the train station at least?

I don't mind talking to random people sometimes, since I've encountered a few interesting people through this! But another no-no thing is when people put there music on loud, like its their dads flippin car!! I don't want to hear your crappy music- get some earphones, or better still turn it off! This happened today, and thankfully the girl got of the next stop! Imagine you've had a rough day and just want to lean your head against the window, and relax until your stop (which happens to be at the end!) but all you can hear is deafening music! You can enjoy music without having it on too loud!

Is there anything wrong with saying 'thank you' to the bus driver? I was also going to write, what's wrong with smiling, but some people tend to have grumpy days all the time. I mean it can't hurt you to smile at the person you sit next to, can it? Or if someone smiles at you, whats wrong with smiling back? I'm not going to say the joke about 'takes two muscles to smile etc, because as someone once said, it only takes a few muscles to bop someone as well!'.

One more thing (Jackie- for all the Jackie Chan cartoon watchers ;)) if there's an escalator which clearly asks you to stand on the right hand side, so that people who are in a rush can walk up the left hand side- then DO IT! Don't stand in the middle, or if you're with a friend then make sure you're both standing and chatting on one side! Not the friend on the left hand side and you on the right hand side! This causes people in a rush, to either miss their train or worryingly injure themselves in rage!!

Egm's post below highlights other issues, which in this mood I probably wouldn't have highlighted properly! The final thing which really annoyed me on Monday, is that no one got of their back sides to offer a seat to an old woman, who had a walking stick and a suitcase! I managed to locate a seat for her in the other carriage, which thankfully wasn't taken but for all the people who saw her standing and obviously struggling, it wouldn't have hurt to offer your seat! I know sometimes people get offended it you offer them your seat (age is a sensitive issue I guess) but most people would probably appreciated the gesture at least!! Wouldn't you want people offering you their seat if you were old and couldn't stand for that long? Regardless of how long the journey is for, I'd probably be cursing everyone! *sigh* I know some people really are worried about which people are genuine, when they offer to help with their bags etc. which can be granted since nowadays you can't really trust anyone. But it really irks me to see that someone is struggling and no ones helping out. When someone does help out, everyone just looks at each other guiltily or some just glare at the helper out! (If I've missed anything out, do let me know ;) And may I also mention, like egm did, that I may have been guilty of one or two things myself, but I try not to do them!)

Here's egm's take on public transport in Boston! You can find the full post here.

'1 If you are about to get on the bus, please have your fare ready. There is nothing I hate more than having the bus stop for you, only to have you digging around in your pocket looking for change. More so if you have been waiting for a while! There are times I am waiting for the bus with others, and only when the bus does show up will they look for fare. This holds up the line for those of us that were ready. The only exceptions to this are if you are old or infirm.

I have been guilty of this at times, when I am too carried away to realise the bus has arrived. Lucky for me though, I have a bus pass within easy reach in my wallet, making it easy for me to pull it out. Thankfully these are rare moments!

[I also agree with number 1! Whats wrong with counting your money before you get on? (and bus passes rule- I love just flashing it at the driver and strolling onto the bus ;) )]

2 It is a good thing smoking in public spaces (the interior of a bus being defined as such a space) is illegal. However, that doesn’t stop folks from coming on with cigarette breath. If you want to smoke, by all means, be my guest. Just don’t do it near me, nor just before boarding a bus. There are times when someone gets on the bus, and I can smell cigarette breathe on them almost all the way at the back of the bus! Horror is when they choose to sit right behind me, exposing me to ultra high levels of fumes I would rather not be immersed in. Ditto for those who booze heavily. If you have to, please use mouthwash or something! This is definitely one thing I am not guilty of (I neither drink nor smoke).

A side story to this particular pet peeve. One time I was on this bus with two funny looking characters. When they neared their stop, they took off two joints. Yes, you read that right. At first I didn’t know, but what followed next made me realize what they were. The bus stopped, and as they were getting off, one of them lit his joint. He then held onto the back door, taking two puffs and blowing the smoke right into the bus, while forcing the door open. It’s a wonder none of us inside ended up floating in clouds chanting ire ire! Ahh, you can imagine my irritation at this!

3 Please please please take everything you brought on the bus with you when you disembark. I hate littering. With a passion. I am so anal about it, that if I see a newspaper on the bus that I want to read, I will hold onto it long after I am done, and get off with it and toss it in the recycle bin if there’s one nearby or trash bin otherwise. Even if I wasn’t the one that originally brought it onto the bus/train.

There are public transport systems that have banned food on the bus or train. Thankfully, the system in Boston isn’t one of them. However, I would be the least bit surprised if this was instituted. Why oh why do you have to wedge that soda cup in between seats, or leave your lunch box beneath the seat, or worse yet, just toss it onto the floor? Why must I be forced to see the bottle you left on the floor roll back and forth with the motion of the bus?

Funny story about this. A colleague at work who takes the same bus as I do has the same aversion to littering. One time he was on a bus where a coffee cup had been left on the floor and was rolling back and forth. This got to him, so as he got off, he stomped on it to flatten it, only to squirt the coffee that was still in it all over the bus. He was embarrassed to no end. He just picked it up slowly, got off the bus and tossed it into a bin. These days he makes sure the cup is empty before stomping on it.

4 Please don’t stand at the door way if you don’t have to. If the bus is relatively empty, have that passageway clear. This makes it easier for people to get on and off the bus, thus wasting no time. If you are afraid that you might not get off quick enough, the driver will not drive off until you get off the bus, so move away from the door.

5 Similar to the point above is people congregating close to the front of the bus. By design, you pay when you get on, with the cash receptacle right next to the driver. At times a bus comes by, and I go to board it, only to find the front half clogged full of people. There are times I have mistaken this to mean the whole bus is full, making me not board it and wait for the next one, only to see a nearly empty second half of the bus as it drives off, leaving me there all angered up! So nowadays I just get on the bus and make my way to the back. There are times I get to the back and there are seats galore, or plenty of standing space. I usually look at all the poor souls at the front standing in misery packed like sardines, when they could be having so much space around them, if only they moved to the back. Hey, more space for me!

7 If you are carrying a bag on your back and get on a full bus, please remove it and place it on the floor. This makes it easier for others to move around. It is also easier for you to move around if you carry the bag by its handle, as opposed to having it on your back. I especially hate it when someone carrying the bag on their back tries to squeeze past you, hitting you off balance, and moving on as though they did nothing. Or better yet, giving you angry glances for being in their way! There are times I have gone against this rule, but for the most part I will take my bag off my back and lay it on the floor between my legs.

8 I don’t want to engage in conversation with you while on the bus. So please don’t talk to me. You might catch me in a talkative mood one day, but the chances of that happening are slimmer than that of the pope marrying a third husband and a fourth wife. This is one thing I definitely never do. Unless someone approaches me first, I will not talk to them.

Interesting aside to this… a pal met his gf by doing just this, so I guess there are times this might work out to your advantage. Crazy thing is, he delivered what has to be one of the all time lamest lines ever. But the woman thought nothing of it, considering that initial contact was the start of a long relationship for the two. And the line he gave? “So you are taking this train, eh?”. I warned you it was lame.

9 Similar to the one above, if talking on your phone, please be courteous and keep the conversation to yourself, or don’t talk at all if you can’t. I don’t want to hear about your shenanigans, or the drama in your life, or the plans you have for later. Even if you are speaking in a different language, that still doesn’t make it okay for you to speak at the top of your voice such that I can hear you at the front all the way at the back of the bus. I try never to take calls on the bus. I usually tell people to wait and I will call them later. If I have to talk, then I try to keep it low and short.

[I don't mind quiet conversations but I have a friend who never shuts up on buses and talks loudly, which I get irritated by myself! I don't want the whole bus (or train carriage sometimes) to know my whole life story!)]

11 Please stay on your side of the seat. Keep your legs off the seat so I can sit down too. It’s great when you get on the bus or train and you find someone occupying the whole seat without regard for those standing. And if you ask them to move so you may sit down, they glare at you as though you just asked to blow a hole in their head.

I always try to be conscious if I am taking up space I shouldn't be it by the way I seat or by having my stuff on the seat. I try to move it away so others can sit down.'

BTW: if you manage to read it till here, I'm becoming quite a little stalker, but worryingly I think my identity 'might' have been compromised thanks to a silly friend! aaaaahhhhhhh! Don't worry I'm not them stalker types that follow people, it was the matlab session so I couldn't help it!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Haha, I didn't say bloody Tuesday so you can all relax! Thankfully no fingers or faces got bruised today! So I guess you're all eager to hear about how the report went! (Ok, I'm hoping you are ;) ). Well it wasn't too bad actually!

There were two other groups who had to a presentation as well, and one of the other groups went first. The dude they chose to do it on was Da Vinci, you'd never associate him with maths would you. Paintings, the Mona Lisa and that movie first spring to mind, so I was pleasantly surprised that he was 'into' maths. (The other group did it on Pythagoras.)

Then it was my groups turn! Three of the group members didn't even to bother turning up! I knew about the girl who had emailed me, but the other two were just pffft! We were slightly worried since, the girl was meant to do quite a chunk, but we survived! The other guy in my group did really well, and he basically took control over a sinking ship!

When I do presentations, I really hate reading of a paper! I just hate it! I know that if I was listening to a presentation, then I'd hate to have to listen to someone reading of the paper, so I don't tend to do that! You have to connect with the audience, talk to them, not your paper! You've got to appeal to the audience, so if you're just reading of your paper and looking at the audience then you won't know whether they're paying attention! During my English classes in school, I always considered the audience first, content second. Might have caused conflict at times, but who's going to remember the nitty gritty details anyway! What you remember is what the people presenting highlight and how they do this.

For instance, I remember the painting of the 'Vetruvian man' by Da Vinci and that he believed that your belly button is the centre of your body. and something about the number phi (the golden ratio?) that's because this was put on the OHP and generally discussed! I also remember that Pythagoras may not have actually discovered everything we say he does. So we sometimes say 'Pythagoras's school' or something like that! That's because he had geniuses working for him, and basically he took credit! I'm not sure how well I'm remembering this, so don't take my word for it! Oh yeah 'supposedly' in his time, the even numbers were feminine and and the odd ones were masculine and lastly the numbers from 1-10 were very important. (Wow, I was paying attention!)

So as I was saying, I prefer to talk to the audience and tend to have a paper with a few bullet points which I expand on. It can be nerve wracking at times, since I talk fast, so when I try to think of a word I stutter and lose composure. Also when doing this I have told that I repeat certain words and say 'erm' quite a few times! Anyway, today unfortunately due to my ______ for this presentation (insert appropriate word into blank!) I hadn't really learnt what I was going to talk about (Euler's history). So I was planning on reading of the paper. I had made an OHP thing but that was just to distract attention from myself ;). I knew the general gist of what I saying, but no bullet points meant no organization. As soon as I started my plan of reading it off the paper went zoom out of the window! I just couldn't do it! So I talked about Euler being Swiss, the eldest of 6 children whose father was a minister. However despite his upbringing he was more inclined to mathematics and so decided to not follow his dad's footsteps. Then all of a sudden my mind went BLANK!!

I quickly looked down on my paper and found the spot where I was and recovered but this happened quite a few times so I ended up having to read bits! (Apologises!) Although I am annoyed at myself for this, I think we did good. Here are some more interesting facts about Euler (well those which I can remember anyway!):

  • He went to university when he was 13, and graduated at 16! Wrote his first paper when he was 19!
  • He was blind by the time he was 50! Supposedly he first became blind in one eye because he used to look at the sun! (he was also into astronomy!) And later he had cataracts which made him go blind. Ironically he was involved in the study of optics!
  • He had 13 children.
  • Basically he was into a lot of cool maths which I had no idea off! So I take any harsh comments towards him back!
Like I said, you might want to check my facts, since this is from memory and as already displayed I don't have a particularly good one! I think he went more into astronomy towards the end, because that had more money in it, but not too sure! Do you reckon we'd know more 'great' maths if he'd continued his maths study?

Hmmm, there you have it, a brief introduction to three cool mathematicians! Even I was pleasantly surprised at how great these guys were! (Leave you with that for now, until I remember what I've forgtten ;) )

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bloody Monday II

So after my run in with the girl in the bus, you'd think that it couldn't possibly get any worse! Well it sort of did! There was no blood, so I guess that's something positive, but as I made a quick dash out of the lecture room I pushed the door against someones hand! Ouch. I didn't know she was there honestly! I'm not out to get everyone who comes in my way! This time my bad wasn't even there! So public apology II to the girl whose hand I hurt. It was an accident, they happen, life moves on I'm sorry.

Decided to keep this one nice and short! Calculus was extremely 'dull' today. Well I guess the applied mathematicians enjoyed it, but there was too much theory about damped systems, external forces, etc etc flying around! I did my best to keep on track, but at times my brain failed me. I did say before that I'd rather not be given recipes for stuff, but today was a day when a recipe would have been great! Recipes in mechanics are fine by me! As always Dr Heil was his fun self, and he nearly made the mistake of offering money again (stopped himself in time! :p ), but I don't think that I was the only one supported a puzzled face. No example sheet has gone up on the Internet, which makes me wonder are we doing mechanics for fun! I hope not!

However, I must say that I chuckled to myself when I read 'QED' on one of the slides! If you can't be bothered following that link and searching for the bit I had in mind (which might take a while) then I shall enlighten you. 'There's a joke that QED stands for quite easily done!'. (which wasn't the case for the info on the slide).

I have realised that I use the word 'so' a lot. I guess it just seems to follow.

You know the 'Monday morning' feeling? Well it seems that I wasn't the only one who had it today- most people had it! BTW, it's official even if its 3pm, you still blame Monday morning. I went to the Joule Library today, following the advice from a lecturer, to get books for analysis. The John Rylands Library probably has more maths books, but it's situated on Oxford Road, which I dislike. Also my lectures were at the UMIST campus, so it made sense to go to the Joule Library. I guess it wasn't the most sensible thing I've done in life, since seeing as my bag was already heavy I still decided to take 6 books out! Excuse the picture, the camera phone seems to be having an off day today as well! So most of these books are on analysis, but even though at the moment I only require about 20 pages of each book, I decided to bring them all home. Whether they turn out to be useful, only time will tell, but if I get stuck using one book, I tend to move to another etc.

Kitchen update: Work surfaces are now complete. Dish washer installed. Tiles remain to be fitted. Hurrah!

I was going to head off to bed now, but thankfully have remembered that I need to prepare for tomorrows presentation!

Oh and I shall leave with you a riddle(question/joke/ you decide!) nothing mathsy, so don't worry. Whilst dinner today, my ickle sister and brother were arguing and it was going to turn nasty- so to obviously try to divert there anger I tried the 'cats on the roof joke' on them! This calmed the tension down significantly, and when my Dad realised that it wasn't a joke that he was going to get he decided to say another one!

So, a man lives on the 9th floor of a building. Every morning he takes the lift to the ground floor and goes to work. However at five pm, when he returns to the building, he takes the lift up to the fourth floor and then walks to the 9th floor. Why does he do this? (i.e why take the lift down, but on the way up only take the lift to the fourth floor and walk the rest of the way.)

Unfortunately (!) it's nothing mathematical, so think outside the box ;) (or maybe you don't have to think because you already heard it before!)

Bloody (well nearly!) Monday!

Maybe I should be sleeping at this moment, or be in the process of getting up. I don't have a 9am lecture, so why am I up! It's probably pointless in being 'mysterious' about this, but I had to be in at 9am to hand my work in because I said I would! I even got up early today, and managed to have breakfast, and have I mentioned how much I love my mum! I've got lunch for today as well! I managed to complete the questions apart from the stinking proof, and so went to sleep at 1:30am this morning. I was going to write 'last night' but can you call 1:30 in the morning night? I wasn't hit by a moment of genius, and I just couldn't formulate the proof, from the definitions. Well have the supervision today so hopefully that'll help!

Unfortunately I'm not sitting in my office because it's locked! (And no I don't carry the keys to my office with me ;) ) so I'm in some other room googling about Oiler (Euler). I wrote it like that since I didn't know how to pronounce it at first, so I'm being helpful! We may not have a report to type up, but this morning as I checked my emails I my heart started beating faster! We have to do a presentation tomorrow on a famous mathematician. And how original our group has elected to do Euler! I mustn't grumble, because although I did object, I hadn't exactly provided an alternative (well would Bertrand Russell be classified as one!). The duh thing is that, most groups are doing Euler, and most of us already know about him, so the presentation is going to be pretty dull before it's started!

Since reading egm's review about the book 'the man who only loved numbers' I wouldn't mind doing the report on Paul Erdos. He's someone who most students probably haven't heard of, and come on, the guy was great! I'm not taking any credit from Euler, apart from hating him for his method of solving differential equations, but Erdos vs Euler, you decide!

This computer room isn't particularly like my office, but it's allowed me to recover from the 'Monday morning madness'! Since today was my first time this semester that I had to be in for 9, boy was I shocked! Maybe I wasn't the only person who had to be in for 9am, maybe today everyone had to be in for 9am! I've never seen it so packed in my life! (Ok, maybe once before, but today was shocking!).

So whats so bloody about it, I hear you ask! (Well I might have heard a small whisper!). Before I start being dramatic again, I'd like to publicly apologise to the girl on the bus. Girl on the bus, you could see that lower floor of the bus was packed out - there was no room for anyone downstairs. The upstairs was marginally empty yet you stood downstairs with your friends making it impossible for people to get off or on a bus which was already past its maximum load. I've lost count of the number of friends you had, but I apologise for my bag's atrocious behaviour towards you in the bus. It didn't intentionally hit you in the face! You were just there, and well it had to get of the bus and the only way that it could get of the bus was through your face! So I apologise on behalf of my bag. My bag is in no mood to apologise, and the silly idiot is upset that there was no blood! Don't worry, I am punishing it, but if your Monday morning turns out to be bruised blame it on the bag!

Since that is out of the way, I must also say that as I jumped of the bus for freedom (after apologising of course), a sharp uncontrollable laugh escaped me! So I walked to the lamb building with a big grin on my face, thankfully no one was around to give me the weirdo look! I'm disregarding the laugh for the moment (until I meet my friends!), since this is meant to be a public apology and it may end up sounding like it's not! So yes, my bag is extremely sorry!

However, I can think of a few other people that I'd rather have been there instead of that girl ;) ;)

Bloods nearly been shed today, tears are to probably to come and then hopefully JOY!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bloody span and subspaces!

Since I hadn't handed my linear algebra homework in on Friday, as I was originally supposed to, I decided to make sure that I did it properly. I didn't want to give it late and want it to be crappy! So today, I got the linear algebra book and my file and tried to go Question 1 from Problem sheet 4! I know that I had originally planned to study sequences and series today, but ... *insert lame excuse here*!

As you can tell I'm obviously not very good at keeping to a plan! All that the question is asking me to do is check whether the subsets are closed under vector addition and whether they are closed under scalar multiplication. And then it asks which of them are linear subspaces of R^3.

I know that a subspace of R^n is any collection S of vectors in R^n such that
i) The zero vector is in S
ii) If u and v are in S, then u+v is in S. (closed under vector addition)
iii)If u is in S and c is some scalar (Real number) then cu is in S. (closed under scalar multiplication)

Then bloody span wants a piece of the meat! It's just not clicking yet! And what the heck is row space anyway? *breathes out* Nope, its not been a good day! Back to the subspaces, the question is:

I know this isn't a subspace, since the zero vector is not in S, but I still have to show whether its closed under addition and scalar multiplication. I'm probably making a big deal out of this and know there's a simple way of doing it, but I just can't see it. I know that if I was too check whether a vector was in the span of S, then I'd have to verify that condition. Excuse the ramblings, I'm just trying to make sense of this to myself, and I'm probably not making much sense at all. Just seeing what I know at the moment (not much indeed!)
I've written that in the form S= . Normally to show vector addition I'd do this:

But then what? Does that show that its closed under vector addition? I think the 2v_3 is putting me off slightly.

I'm still sure that I'm missing something! A counter example would be nice, but what!
*sigh* I will return to this mumbo jumbo later, might as well move onto the next question- a proof boohoo! I'm soo tempted to make up some lame excuse to not having completed it, but I should do this! I have to do it!

So this post hasn't exactly caused a moment of genius and me knowing what to do. But it was fun using the latex thingy, even though it looks a bit messy! Well this is my first time ever using it, so I guess that can be used as an excuse. Beans is bored, and honestly I can't wait for the coming week to be over, even though its not started yet. Maths tends to make me annoyed quite often (not in the annoyed I'm going to kill some one way! the frustrated sort of way!). This feeling is causing me to look angrily at my Linear Algebra notes and wait for them to start copying themselves out!

I don't understand this concept. If you're a teacher and put something on a OHP, do you expect the reader will be able to read and follow whats happening in the OHP? And whilst they are reading and getting to grips with it, they are clearly not listening to what is being said which could be important. (unless you can multi-task). However if you used to board to write down whats on the OHP instead, whilst the audience is copying down stuff they are taking them in. And if you want to say something important you stop writing on the board so people will listen! Imagine that after one OHP which you haven't digested, another is put on and just say that you're just about to finish reading it, it's taken off!

It's a lose lose situation. Ok the info on the slides may be available in the book, but so what! I'm pretty sure that the lecturer for the second half of this course will not be using OHP's all the time, since on the course page it's written that no electronic resources will be available *takes hopeful breath*. There nothing against using OHPs since during the first semester they were used once (for showing multiplication in Z_8 etc). However, they have to be used in moderation!

So after my mini rant is over, I hope Arsenal are losing, and I hope that I continue typing so I can avoid doing any work. Well not really since later on I'll be banging my head against the wall shouting, 'WHY??!'.

Another aside, say if something was to happen to a blogger how would the rest of us to know? Say I disappeared of the face of the planet, then what? Just a random thought that popped into my head before I go do some maths!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

1-2 !

Ok, that's the most boring title ever but my memory is failing me, old age is creeping up on me! What, I forget stuff- deal with it! (As you can see I'm having problems dealing with this myself, so apologies for snapping!)

That was the scoreline of today's football match between Fulham and Manchester United! I could've written it as 2-1, but the home teams score is always written first and I didn't want anyone to think that United lost! It was a close game and not one of the best that I've seen, but I'm glad of the three points! Whether we deserved to win is another question, but I'll be sleeping peacefully tonight. I didn't watch the whole game, only the first half and some of the second half because during the match my Dad turned the electricity of! No, he still isn't on his warpath to get me to change course, he just wanted to play around with the electricity!

I could bore you with details of the game, and my analysis of it, but I know you're dying to hear about the electricity and sockets! Today, I was 'Beans the electricians' helper! Nope- that's not as cool as it sounds! The kitchen is finally coming together, and today my dad was sorting the plug sockets out. (My dads an all-rounder, does a bit of everything I'm afraid!) I'm 'ashamed' to say that my GCSE Physics knowledge resurfaced today! Blue wire= Bottom left=Neutral wire. Brown wire= Bottom right= Live, and the yellowy green one is the earth one! One nil to me! But I was bemused since there was red wire there! (It seems that we had an old type of wire!) Anyway all I was doing was passing my dad the screwdriver, screws etc. and trying to look interested!

That is until I stumbled across a small piece of wire myself! With the ongoing football match in my mind, I constructed goal posts with this wire whilst my dad worked away. I was pretty impressed with my 'creativity' and was even going to take a picture of the goal posts, but alas my creativity wasn't appreciated by my dad! So as you can imagine, the wire was confiscated and discarded! That made beans very bored, and boy was I so glad when the electricity was switched back on! *sigh*

It's not been a good day in terms of doing maths! I've done some of my calculus work, but just can't be bothered writing my linear algebra notes up! The only thing that's keeping me going is that after this week we're getting a different lecturer for the course! (Hopefully he won't use the OHP!)

I mentioned a 'BUT' in my previous post, which I was meant to write about today! However, unlike yesterday when I just couldn't stop typing, today I seem to have nothing to type about. Nothing interesting that is! I could bore you with silly stuff that's been happening today, but then we'll all fall asleep! And the 'BUT' post is one that's supposed to make me think more than I am now! Aha, I've just remembered something! Check this picture out:

Pretty cool isn't it? I'm in a rather subdued mood today, probably still recovering from yesterdays euphoria!! So as I return to my calculus work I leave you with this quote (if you can peel your eyes away from that picture!):

'There is no such thing as applied mathematics, only applications of mathematics'. Louis Pasteur

Friday, February 23, 2007


So, after much dileberation and thought, this post is titled oscillations. I must confess that today I actually was thinking about a title for todays post! In my Linear Algebra lecture I had come up with a great title, but it's greatness must be challenged since I can't remember it! (Much to my annoyance!) I was thinking about what to write about as well and unfortunately the one topic that caused me to go 'hmmm, I'll write about that' is hiding in my brain (vaccum?) not the be found!

OK, so why is the title of the post significant, or is it? My rambling nature, prevents me from being upfront. But before I start, please note I went to sleep at 3am this morning, due to a report that I had to hand in today. Yes report and maths does not go, and initially all I used to do was complain about was the fact that I did a maths degree to avoid writing reports! (It is pretty useful actually). You see the maths questions that had to be done for this report had been completed, all I had to do was write something about 'difference equations'. Now this seems like an easy task and had I been better prepared I wouldn't be in this position now! But isn't it funny that even though you know that you should complete a report as soon as possible, you end up doing it the night before? It wasn't only me who turned up for the calculus lecture late, and zombiefied due to doing an all-nighter! (OK, some people had done it ages ago and were looking cool indeed!) I turned up, but some people didn't even come! So, is there a reason behind this? I know when it comes down to it, it's pure laziness and my head saying to me that 'it's ok, you don't have to go to sleep you'll get it done for tomorrow!' but that doesn't help!

So here's the first part about oscillations! When you sleep for only 4 hours your mood tends to oscillate! Initially you're on a high, and then you go low, then high again .... This continues until you crash! Now theres two ways of cushioning the crash! Firstly don't fall asleep until the time you normally tend to sleep. If you fall asleep as soon as you crash, then you'll wake up feeling crap! Do an emergency landing somewhere, but don't fall asleep! Secondly, ride the wave. Go with the crash and then ye shall emerge victorious. Don't let the crash overcome you, and if possible eat lots of fruit (bananas) and food! Stay low for a while, but then you'll restart again! As you can probably tell I have a lot of experience in this field of study, and will define my 'stupid' (depends how you define this!) behaviour for future referenecs as a scientific study. Keep reading!

So, if I've set the mood straight, I shall progress (remember oscillations!). OK I confess, the only reason that the title of the post is such is because as I walked late into the lecture room I heard the word mechanics being said by Dr Heil! This was the part when I was slowly coming down to a low! (slow at first!). Yes, you've guessed it, we have now moved onto the 'mechanics' bit of the course! This was inevitable, but it brought back nasty memories of me sitting in my further maths class as my classmate rushed through the probems and I looked on struggling! (she did Physics, was my reasoning!) But seriously, why do I dislike mechanics so much? I don't 'hate' it the way I hate stats, but I've never liked it. It can be nice sometimes, but too many times in my life has it stabbed me in my back! (But a joke/question for you: Two cats are sitting on a roof, which falls of first?*)

We were basically looking at how we can model physical systems by using maths. Dr Heil actually made the lecture lively! He had his mug attached to elastic and proceeded by making it oscillate! I guess if the elastic had snapped and his mug had broke, we'd be giving him a quid or two! Physical application is interesting, but when you try to use maths to interpet the model, it becomes messy! I was going to go into a long explanation of resonance, but check these links out about the Millennium Bridge and the Tacoma Narrows bridge. As tempting as it is for me to blab on about this, I myself have not fully grasped the topic so I'll probably end up confusing everyone (myself included!) so I'll leave it for another day! *hears sigh of relief!*

My mood was slowly going lower and lower, but then it changed! Yes all of a sudden! The reason being that Dr Heil let us out early again! So for today, I'm a mechanics convert! Mechanics rocks, and if we get let out early everytime then I'd be ready to say that mechanics>pure maths**! Liner algebra slightly 'damped' my mood, but I was entertained when Dr E, after reading something of the OHP commented, 'that must have been quite boring(or something like that), since it caused two people to walk out!'. Yes, I had a good chuckle to myself, and then it got better! Some student in the lecture 'disagreed' I think with the way a proof was given. The proof was correct, but I think the student was saying that there was another way of doing it! This 'confrontation' took about 5 minutes and in the end it was decided that whichever proof you do, depends on personal choice! PJE also commented on the feedback forms that we had filled in and said that we could find his response here. I've not yet digested much of the information, but I understand where he's coming from although I'm not sure whether he has decided to change anything!

After the Linear algebra lecture my mood oscillated drastically due to a certain something and the need for food! Now heres where things could have gone wrong- my sequences and series lecture. Yes, I've acknowledged that I must work harder myself, and I even controlled the rising tornado inside me today! (spectaculary may I add, although I'm not sure whether it was because I felt sorry for the lecturer!) You see not may people are attending Dr M's lectures! I have my ideas on this which I'll write about later, but he seemed visibly peeved today. But seriously, all he did was copy the notes out on the board! I kept on asking myself 'why' 'what the heck has he written that for' etc! But I was controlled because the example class was next! After seeing my supervisor and giving her the lamest excuse for not handing my linear algebra homework (she was so dissapointed I actually felt bad!) but I promised to give it 9am sharpish! Anyway, once again I found the example class useful apart from a big BUT!

The staff once again were great! Because there's only a few of us there, the atmosphere is generally friendly and we joke about a bit! Before going to the example class I had eaten an apple! (hence me recommending fruit to recover from a crash!) The problem with this is that instead of slowly climbing out of the crash, you zoom up! I was on a hyper high! I have decided to kidnap one of the members of staff present next week, just so that she can define me to be the most freakiest person she has ever met! (Cool! Note: I'm on a high again!) Sally got a few creases ironed out and that helped me as well, although it seems that I still don't understand whats happening properly! When Dr C was explaining it, I was like 'oh yeah, that makes sense' (after a long time indeed!) but that oh yeah has become oh no!

I don't think I put my foot in it this time, (not about the sequence and series anyway! I erm, joked about the fact that Dr C used to make mistakes on the board sometimes because he was talking to us and not the board! I hope he took it as a joke, because I didn't really care about that, since he was actually explaining the concepts! And who takes me seriously?!!) It seems that Dr Coleman has a very structured way of learning and teaching which corresponds to how I learn. I'm the type of freaks who have to write every silly step down and an explantion with it. It seems tedious, but its actually useful and he's helped me to organise my trails of though!

So the example class was a hit again, but since the pressure of the report is no longer on me, this weekend will be dedicated to sequences and series! I know I can do it! Just need to put that extra effort in myself now! No use going to the example classes if I'm not doing anything myself! So my mad behaviour continued in the example class, causing a girl who was sitting infront of us to comment, 'what exactly goes on in your head'! I was actually unable to think of an answer, hence I concluded nothing! To make sure that no hard feelings were felt I even offered the staff sweets! (obviously I hadn't done anything to them!) But they were wise enough to decline ;)

If you haven't noticed already, I can talk for England! I talked a lot during the example class not always random stuff but about maths as well! As I near the end of this point, I realise that I have forgotten the idea behind it! Im not supposed to write that, but I guess I should know what it's like to read my post and find out what I'm waffling about! *reads posts*

Ah oscillations! So, to return to my studies I will now present my findings in the form of a graph which also illustrates how MS Paint hates my guts! (I afraid you'll have to click on it and save it! it's too big and I've spent too long trying to make it smaller!)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My general mood this week has been oscillating quite frequently, however I've realised that the reason for that was half term! *dramatic music* Yes, my mum not waking up =>no breakfast & lunch => beans oscillating! But as of next week, normal service shall resume! (Half term is over whoopie!).

*The answer is: the cat with the smallest mew! ** I will only ever say this for the first five minutes after the lecture has ended early!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Inaugural Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Lecture

'The Ollerenshaw Lecture is a prestigious annual lecture in the School of Mathematics at the University of Manchester, named in honour and recognition of Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw. '

This event is happening at the University of Manchester on 7th March 2007! It's happening on a Wednesday, which is a tricky day for me, but I really want to attend it. I'm not sure whether it's for undergraduate students but Professor Ian Stewart is going to be there!! I really really want to go it now! It looks interesting! I'm going to ask Sally if she wants to come to it as well, but I know she works on Wednesdays! I don't want to go on my own, but I do want to go as well. (I'll ask the others as well, but know they're going to say no!) If I do go I'll have to leave some time before six, (Wednesday issue) but thats ok, the closing remarks can be missed!

Grrr, why did it have to start late and why are there so many refreshment breaks! Anyone want to come with me? *sigh* I'll probably email the person required and be told that I can't attend or there are no spaces! Did I mention that I really want to attend? They should have more general audience lectures!

Yes, I'm really frustrated about this! I can't see any other doors opening! (Sod's law I guess, you can't always have what you want!) Any ideas? (22/2/07)

Exam results!

Before your heart starts behaving strangely, relax! I haven't yet go my exam results back, should be sometimes next week! But yesterday/this morning! when I was googling and wasting time in general, I decided to look at stuff that I had done during the first semester. So I went on the course pages for each module and had a little cry at first (don't give me that look, I miss some of last year's content apart from stats!). Anyway, as I went on the course page for the second half of the numbers, sets and functions course I was stumped! The page had recently been updated (1st February!) but why was there a need for that! The course wasn't being lectured! Then I saw the reason for the update. Well I was going to say beware and only click on this link if you're not faint hearted, but none of you sat the exam, so you have no reason to be worried!!

Yep, it's the answers to the exam I took in January. (Well the answers to Dr C's part of the course!) So you can imagine the turmoil I was in last night! I had attempted all of Dr Coleman's questions on the exam, since I couldn't do Nige's bit and as I read his comments I became insanely worried. The last question I hadn't managed to complete- had only done the bit on permutations. Euclid's algorithm can be proved by 'induction' I had claimed. The question which I had spent 30 minutes on was only worth four marks. And to answer Dr C's question: 'Very few people did this question. Why?' all I can say is that I did it, and am wondering WHY?

So the painful memories returned to me in short bursts. Torturing me. The one thing that I had thought I knew 'congruences' had even caused a stir! I can't obviously remember my answers, but isn't it worrying that I feel that the only thing on that paper which Dr Coleman has mentioned that I did was: 'The students should make some noises to the tune that they have checked the answer.'! Yep, he's drilled that into me! I can recall, writing 'check' on most answers (even if I couldn't check!)! When I do that now on my linear algebra homework, the teacher puts red brackets around it! But the checking will forever remain, it's ingrained into me!

Then I started being silly and thinking about failing stats! No one wants to fail, and I definitely don't want to resit stats! *deep breath!* On Monday the examiners are going to have a meeting, and then we'll be told how to go about getting our results. I'm even more worried today, after learning that Noddy had failed two of her exams! She thankfully passed her maths module, but she failed two exams! I'd been planning it all out, 'if I can answer 25 marks in stats then I might still get 40% hence a pass'! Today I've learnt it's not like that! I can make myself worried in a short amount of time, as you have gathered but I decided to be 'nice' and not worry Sally about this! (until after the results). I want it to be Monday tomorrow, and I am definitely going to get my script for the numbers, sets and function exam back! (Even if its going to cost me!)

So, relax you hearts until next week! Today, as you can expect due to the few hours of sleep I had last night, I wasn't my normal self. During the linear algebra lecture all I could see was food and a blanket! We're doing linear transformations now- woohoo! This means that I can get my butt into gear and catch up on this weeks lectures. You see we slightly did linear transformations in college, although I'm sure it wasn't called that! This the the content is being presented differently, but it's in my comfort zone!

And can I just say a very big thank you to all the people (Jon, Steve and Jean-Noel) who commented on my post about my troubles with sequences and series. Your feedback and comments have really changed my attitude, and I went to today's lecture with a positive mood and came out for once not feeling miserable and annoyed. I didn't take the printed notes with me and made an effort to listen, and copied the notes out (even though I have got them). Since if I'm copying them out them I'm taking them in hopefully. I obviously got confused over some bits, but that's where the example class comes into the picture. Because I've got into the mood now, I have a lot of catching up to do! Should I be worried that I don't know what the sandwich rule is! The lecture did only last 30 minutes, but it no longer has bad vibes associated with it. So thanks guys!

It's my mums birthday today! (so many babies were born in February)! Erm, well I hadn't exactly remembered until yesterday, so what kinda child does that make me!! So I gave her the best present ever- me! That's the most valuable gift she's ever got and I told her to make sure she looks after me as well! :p My sisters had been better prepared and had bought her a watch and other things so I 'chipped' in with them so we got her joint presents! So a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Mum! But please note, there's no such this as a mother's day! (I love you too mum ;) )

If you haven't already realised this post was made to further delay me typing the damn report up! I guess that I can no longer delay the inevitable! :(


Today, when I got home I found this letter waiting for me (unopened for a change!). I saw the University's name printed on it and opened it with slight concern. The concern soon became disappointment! I had applied for a placement in a secondary school with the 'Student Associate Scheme' (SAS) during the first semester, because I felt that if I wanted to be a teacher might as well get some experience under my belt! I had to fill in an application form, after which I may be invited for an interview. I tend to get nervous when I think of myself teaching, and so this placement would have been ideal for me. First of all they provide me with training on how to teach, and during the four week placement I would have to actually teach a class whilst being observed! So I was called back for an interview, and I think I may have seemed overwhelmed by the prospect of having to teach 14 year old children maths!

The interview hadn't gone particularly well (on the 15th Feb) since I'd kind of messed up. I have a problem with speaking too fast. I obviously don't find it a problem, but if I was going to be teaching it would definitely be a problem. During the interview when I had consciously try to slow down, I'd ended up stuttering and hence didn't appear very professional. So as you've probably guessed I was sent a letter today, telling me that my application had been unsuccessful. Initial disappointment actually only lasted for a few seconds. I'm upset that I've missed out on the experience, but for once I actually stepped outside the box and tried to see any other open doors.

With regards to my previous conflicts about the issue of me doing a maths degree, I think that me not getting this placement is for the best. I'm not sure what I want to do, and secondary schools seem scary! I don't think I've got the confidence yet, to actually teach! I've done experience as a teaching assistant, which is entirely different. There's always next year, when hopefully I'll have more direction in my life and confidence. I may still consider doing a placement in the secondary school that I attended after my exams, but it's still early days! University finishes during the beginning of June, and I could be reading the books on my reading list then but it'd be nice to do something, and shadowing a maths teacher might be useful.

Yes this post has a 'dull' tone to it. It's 00:45am and I was meant to be typing my report for the group work up! However, my Dads taken his laptop to his room and mine hasn't got word. I'm not particularly happy about this but he needs to do his work as well! I'd even had a cup of tea, in preparation of the all-nighter! *sigh* My whole plan is ruined. I was meant to finish the darn report today, so tomorrow I could concentrate on trying to understand sequences and series. Hence, I'd be going to the example class on Friday with a slight bigger grasp of matters! I guess I'll just have to use the example class to enhance my understanding, which kind of defeats the purpose of the class. I'm meant to go there with problems after I've tackled the issues! *sigh again*

I was going to suggest waking up at 5am and doing the report then, but the laptops in my dads room, so I can't access it! Sleep seems the natural option, but my mind is wanting to do work! I've typed the first part of the report, but now I'm thinking of just writing the second half by hand. Actually I might just do that! I'll probably lose all the presentation marks, but at least I'll have got it done. It takes far too long to type on the computer anyway! (The only reason that I do type it up, since once one friend who didn't type it up got poor presentation marks, whereas another who had got a better mark!). So by hand it is! (but the advantage of the computer is that you don't have to cross stuff out.)

The rejection letter wasn't the only one I received today! I have previously mentioned mesh cards, and I have more now! That's what the front of it looks like! It's basically a business card, which has my email address and phone number at the back of it! Makes me feel all professional, even if I may not behave so! BTW, if you want some (how can you not have them!) you can use this pin: ns6K5Q4M and you should be able to get them for free. You can choose different designs, but if they're free you're not going to lose out on anything!
Lastly I might as well comment on something else that happened yesterday, during one of my random moods! Actually it's a long story, I'll save it for tomorrow! (well what happened isn't long, but I was going to write the background info so it would have turned out long!). I'd also rather not discuss today's lecture! Time seems to be flying and the lecture went really fast today. null space, rank(A), column blah blah blah. They are somehow linked, but to find that out I'll have to wait for the weekend!
Report time now! (although I know what I'd rather be doing!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quick one!

As I sit in the computer room, wasting time and not making much progress on my report, I thought I'd make a quick post on here. Yes, maybe this blog is proving to be a big distraction but I think it all balances out since I don't have any other distractions!

So I've just had the computer lab session for the S****. (You don't need help filling the blanks do you?!). It was suprisingly OK! I had actually attempted everything before going, so all I had to do was show my supervisor what I'd done and then I was outta there. I'd got a bit stuck on the last question, but what are friends for? The only problem with using MATLAB is that we only ever use it at certain times, and it's use is not continuous! That's why I seemed to have a probelm remembering basic functions like 'diary session1.txt'. Ah well got a week of no stats!

BTW, I thought I'd mention it here! Craig Laughton was in the computer cluster as well, and I was sooooo tempted to jump by and go, 'hey, it's me beans!'. I walked passed him *muhahaha* but suprisingly controlled myself!

(btw Craig, hope I'm not freaking you out!)

Ok it's 11:45am. I have to get to the Schuster building from my office (mss n13!) in 15 minutes! Damn its 11:46am now. Gotta run!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Not the jigsaw puzzle, but the one builders use! It's got nothing to do with anything, but I've just escaped to my room now from the jigsaw! You see, I can't blame my mum for getting my Dad into his 'builder' mood, since it is half term! But I DON'T get half term! My Dads pretty handy doing the odd jobs around the house, but he's not a professional! Yes, I'm groaning again, but wouldn't it be simpler if we got someone else to fix the kitchen? Then again maybe not, then my dad would feel that he could do a better job and start over or something! *sigh*

EDIT: I had written half of this post and then gone downstairs to eat. Little did I know that I will be returning upstairs with a bruised hand! Yes, you guessed it! I used the jigsaw! Have a look at the mighty beast on the right! I've never actually used one before, so obviously I didn't know what the heck to do! Rather than just guiding it along, I was pressing down hard! The thing was vibrating madly and hence now, the palm of my right hand has grown in size, and has gone a sickly different colour! I can't believe how big it's gone though! Eurgh. OK, I really did want to have a go with the jigsaw, but I'd rather use it on something not important! I hope my hand goes small again (no picture can do justice to my hand size, so no picture! but here's the picture of the massive piece that I jigsawed! no laughing!)

Today was 'one of them days' AGAIN! I haven't recently fallen have I? Or taken a knock to my head? I honestly can't say! But once again I was in my 'weird' mood. I think there's no sense in me hiding behind my madness now, because you should have already clicked on that I'm not a normal person. If you haven't figured that out, then may I warn you that by clicking on the cross in the top right hand corner of the window will bring you great pain! Maybe not today, but once I've hunted you down with my physic powers you'd have wished you'd clicked on '-' instead!

Sorry about that random burst of yet more madness, I'm not really going to hunt you down of course! It's all in your head! So today at 10am we had the MT10000 (maths workshop) lecture. Before I can continue, can I please say that, 'I MISS LOUISE WALKER!'. I didn't mean to shout that out, I'm just feeling a tad emotional! *sniff* I can see the thoughts forming in your mind, so STOP! I don't miss Louise because I dislike the new lecturer, he's harmless, but the introduction of Dr Yuan means that we're doing STATS! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (o^infinity!). Yes, the comments on the feedback forms were ignored! I feel used. Violated. And a bit dramatic! Why do we have to suffer this silly bit they call maths! Why?

If you joined me and my 'adventures' (read as weirdness) from the beginning, you'd have noticed that I hate stats! Not 'dislike' but pure HATE! I have probably failed my stats exam (fingers crossed that I haven't!) but can't it ever just 'go' and leave me in peace! Dr Yuan, here I apologise to you for my future behaviour in your lectures. I will not talk, but please forgive me for playing on my friends phone and taking random pictures of the lecture hall. Also please forgive me for not listening, although I'll probably suffer because of that. Deep breaths! Now that's over with, I can carry on complaining about stats!

I don't like it because its not pure maths! Maybe if I want to shift the blame on the world, I could say that in my 'younger' years the teaching wasn't particularly good, but I just find it rather pointless. I didn't like Mechanics much, but at least with mechanics you can 'see' what you're doing. It doesn't seem like you're making it up half of the time. Today, after complaining about stats to my supervisor (the supervision was after the lecture!) I was told that during the first semester of my second year (if I make it through) I'll have to do a module on stats! Then for the second semester I can choose! Yippee, I'm a bit worried about choosing since I'm not particularly good at making the 'right' choice, but no stats has to be a good thing, right? I don't really think I'll be complaining that much about it next semester (don't quote me on this if I do complain!) since Dr. Bagley (the lecturer for stats next year) seems cool. He's another one of them people I've bumped into but don't know me, although I have engaged him in conversation. (ooh, ain't I a stalker, but he doesn't have to worry!)

I didn't have time for breakfast again, so having to digest this on an empty stomach was rather unpleasant! If anyone out there likes stats, don't try to convince me not to hate it please! I must tolerate it to 'hopefully' do well in it, but I just can't get my head around it! To make matters worse, we'll be using MATLAB! Normally on Tuesday's we have the group work session, but now we have computer sessions. Since there's a lot of us, some of us (including me) have to do the computer session tomorrow! I don't mind this, but today I tried to type up the report on difference equations in the normal two-hour session, but didn't get far! Better get a move on since it has to be done by Friday!

Linear Algebra, was as always pleasant yet forgettable! It seems like we're rushing through everything! And my genius plan to have the notes emailed to me didn't work! I wasn't impressed. I really need a kick in the right direction! And the right direction seems downstairs! More jigsawing I expect! ( I seem to have forgotten something which I was thinking about! Ah well, there's always tomorrow!)

Well I've still not remembered but I remembered something else! Do you ever feel like walking into a door without knowing that there's a door there! Seriously, imagine you're talking to someone and walking. Then SPLAT you hit a door! I've done that with a lamp post a few times (walking home from college) but never a door! Today I had a few close calls, but alas the doors seemed to not want to hit me! Do you really think you'd fall flat on your butt, or is that just the TV? The pain is obviously a big put off (seriously watch out for the lamp posts!) but I can just imagine doing it, and going BOING! If anyone has picked up the phone and dialled 999, may I remind you that this experiment is obviously in the name of science and my research! I have no volunteers so have to do everything myself! Unless you're interested?(Put the phone down!)

So my fellow earthlings*, to jigsawing and beyond!

*or whatever you are!

Monday, February 19, 2007

"You want a pound? What's the right answer then?"

Yes that was a question in today's calculus lecture (which, I did manage to attend!). Before you get excited and fall of your chair, (I'm bankrupt as of now, so you can't sue me!) I didn't get any pound! It would have been nice to have gotten the quid, and had lunch thanks to the lecturer but alas maybe another time! (Although I think that Dr Heil has maybe realised that he made a loss!)

So what was the question I hear you shouting. 'I can't remember' is the reply! Hey, I'm not bitter that I didn't get the pound and if I did remember it word for word you might expect a pound! *sigh* OK, maybe I could try a little harder to remember it...

Today we were concentrating on particular solutions of 'linear ODE's with constant coefficients'. We'd done the 'tedious' theory last Friday, so after a small recap we attacked some examples! I was glad that we did this, because on the problem sheet I had got stuck on a question which was like: y''+y' = 1 + x^2, where the solutions of the homogeneous equation was of the form A + Be^bx. Hence I couldn't choose my 'ansatz' for the particular solution to be of the form y_p= Cx^2 + Dx + E, because the constant term appeared in the solution to the homogeneous equation. So IF this does happen you're meant to multiply the 'ansatz' (I think that's English for proposition, or try this?) by x^m. First let m=1 and see if it works and if it doesn't work then let m=2 then carry on going till it works I guess.

I had actually written my ansatz for the particular solution as y_p= Cx^3 +Dx^2+ Ex, since I'd realised that the normal one wouldn't work. But had been too annoyed to finish the question! (Although thinking about having done that made me smile to myself during the lecture!). Then we finished linear second order ordinary ODEs after this 'sobering comment': 'This doesn't always work' i.e. you can't always use an ansatz to find y_p. Then Dr Heil illustrated the example: y'' +py' +qy = log(x). I'm not going to write the tedious method out (because I can't formulate it into words) but you can't construct an ansatz for this that'll work. Since y'_p=1/x, y''_p= -1/(x^2) etc.

Now for the one million pound (read that as one pound!) question. What other type of functions apart from log(x) does this method not work*. I was cheeky and suggested lnx, but not loud enough for him to hear. 'Unfortunately' someone at the front suggested the hyperbolic functions (I'm not bitter :p ), this made Dr Heil scratch his head and ultimately only offer the guy 50 pence, since sinh/cosh functions are exponential functions (which I had also realised after doing the question sheet!). So the one quid was back up for grabs! Who wants it? 'Me, me, me!' I shouted loud enough so I could hear myself! But before I could think of the right answer, or the wrong one which may give me 50 pence, someone else answered it! (I couldn't hear the guy properly though, not because of my misery of course!) So, Dr Heil was down £1.50! He realised that we'd all woken up now, and sniffed him giving away more money and so, decided to end it there! Tissue anyone? (my struggle for a pound must have brought at least one tear to your eyes! surely!)

So, I returned to my little cloud where I was surrounded by food, tea, breakfast and being given a quid! (I've been known to be persistent!) I munched on my bananas (and apple) during the 10 minutes break but it just wasn't enough! After the break we moved onto non-linear ODEs! Now these are nasty, with the linear ones you know that you have to always follow a certain routine (find the homogeneous solution, then the particular etc) but with non-linear ones its more complicated! Did some theory and then a few examples and then we finished early! Hurrah! If you've been reading this blog carefully (duh!) you would have read about how Dr Heil NEVER lets us out early! He makes sure that he finishes on time, and sometimes even starts a new topic so that we don't leave early! But today, after the loss of the £1.50, he decided to not start a new topic! (I was grateful for this, since the cloud of food was becoming increasingly demanding!)

But like I said, I'm the ickle persistent bug so I tried 'getting a quid out of him' at the end! (No more than I deserved). I probably scared him because he was out of the lecture theatre in the blink of an eye! I wasn't supposed to write that comment down, since now you all (or y'all) are going to think I'm a scary monster. I'm not going to say you're incorrect in thinking that, but you know, Shrek isn't as bad as he seems! (You've just got to give the guy a chance!). I seem to write more than I intend to, but I tend to get carried away and it's so easy to type and not do Maths! (no pictures today, but I'm in the mood of a picture!)

*If you're interested, no reason why you shouldn't be, the method fails because the function on the RHS keeps on generating new linearly independent functions!
** For all those who were actually concerned about whether or not I returned, I have and on a full stomach! I just have to wake up earlier in future! Thank you for your concern ;) And if you found this post slightly 'weird' (in want of a better word I will edit this letter!) I apologise, the random mood still remains so please don't feel like punching me just yet! I realllllllly wanted the pound! :p


I was actually thinking about this blog today, during my supervision which has finished early. I felt there was a need to warn you this morning, if I suddenly dissapeared!

I've not had any breakfast today! *dramatic music* since it's half term this week for secondary and primary school kids. Normally my mum makes breakfast for my ickle sister and brother and hence for basically everyone! Today my mum didn't wake up! Not only did I not have any breakfast, but I've not got any lunch as well! *dramatic music again*! I managed to grab a couple of bananas and apples, but that is it!

Lunch won't be a problem, but do you feel disjoint because you don't have breakfast or because you associate that feeling with not having breakfast. The warning is because I'm in a very random mood today, and after realising that I was singing 'nelly the elephant loudly' and crossing the road without looking, I knew today was going to be one of them days! So I shall try my best to survive, but don't be worried if I returned battered and brusied on an empty stomach! (or return at all)

(I'm in my office at the moment, ahhhh bliss! Four minutes to get to the lecture. Ooooh I'm going to be bad today! Double calculus here I come!) Please someone turn this computer off- NOW!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Beans the builder has a sore back...

and a sore arm as well! My Mum finally got my Dad to get a dishwasher for the kitchen, which I definitely didn't agree to! You see, I realised that if we got the dishwasher the whole kitchen would become a war zone, and it did! Our kitchen was never fully complete when we had initially fixed it up. It was usable, but unfinished, thus my mum wasn't particularly happy! Now with the excuse of the dishwasher (I'm pretty sure my mum's been conspiring about this for a while!) the kitchen is being completed!

Hence why beans, had to substitute for Bob (the builder!) instead. Bob's on vacation at the moment, and well he doesn't like my dad so he decided to stay where ever he is for a while longer. ;) So I've been helping my Dad (when I couldn't avoid to!) by lifting the surface tops, cupboards etc! We did all this yesterday, and well my Dad suffers from a bad back so I'd rather he didn't do too much. Although he seems to want to, we tried to balance it all out. So, yesterday I had to cut a piece of wood using the saw. Nothing trivial, but boy did it take a lot out of me! I didn't feel anything then, but when I woke up this morning my back was pretty sore. What didn't help was that we went and bought the dish washer today, which resulted in damage to my arm as well! But don't be alarmed, my left arm is sore so I can still do MATHS! *sigh of relief*

I also realised how ridiculously unhealthy I am! I used to take the bus all the time at university (had a free pass muhahaha) but towards the end of the first semester I realised that I should walk more. Hence this semester I have been walking a lot more. I'm not a slow walker, I make sure that I'm walking as fast as possible since that's the only form of exercise I've getting! I've been doing pretty good, since I can walk from the building where my office is (mss building) to the Chemistry Building lecture theatre in 10 minutes on a good day! (or sometimes less).

Anyway, yesterday I also played football properly for the first time in a while! I'm ashamed to say that I didn't last very long, I was huffing and puffing after 20 minutes! So now I'm determined to do 100 kick ups in the garden everyday. Only take the bus whens its raining. Walk to my office when I have the time and eat healthily! Re-reading that has me laughing at myself! But you'll be hearing about my struggles for sure!

As you've probably guessed, with such a physical weekend I've not done much maths! I'm ashamed to say that the only thing I've managed to do is my calculus homework and copy two linear algebra notes up! There is something wrong with my attitude! Since this day, I seem to have lost the discipline which I had previously acquired. I have a lot to do, but can't motivate myself to do it. With maths you have to do as much as possible and more, not how much needs to be done. I seem to be doing the latter! I always say to myself, 'on the weekend I will do so and so' but I never do what I'm supposed to! I realise that since that 'day' I've been trying hard to sit downstairs more and balance my time with 'civilisation' but that seems to be taking its toll! I am lazy (at times) but not with maths!

The other reason behind this could be that the maths that I'm supposed to do is that which I'm not too keen on! (The Workshop report on difference equations and understanding sequence and series!) There seems to be a certain bias towards linear algebra and Calculus in the amount of time being spent on them. Grrrr. Sorry, just frustrated with myself! I'm trying to think of what I can do to motivate myself and drawing blanks at the moment! I'll ponder on this later, but earlier today I lost a close friend of mine. My pen. Not just any pen. This pen was special. This was my maths note making pen! I was copying my linear algebra notes up, when.... when suddenly no words appeared on my paper! Just the outline of the words! I quickly put the pen in my pencil case for it to recover (because sometimes they do!) but when I used to again it still hadn't 'recovered'! There was no pen like it. Maybe that's why I've lost my motivation! Pen goes, and so do I! (will that be a good enough excuse for not completing my homework! ;) ) Look at it, isn't it just beautiful! I'm not crying, honestly! But now I must hunt down a pen exactly like that one and I don't mind trading with someone! (hint hint).

Thankfully it zonked out doing linear algebra and not sequences and series, that would have been an insult to it's memory!! (:p) There's no point leaving the next point for another post (since if you're still reading, you might as well read on!). But don't you find it annoying when you're doing work and trying so hard to concentrate, but can't. Not because of being lazy but because there some annoying sound that keeps on irritating you and doesn't let you concentrate. Well I found of them irritating things in my room last night/early morning when I was doing my homework. It was a fly! A bug was bugging me by buzzing around my room! I caught it on camera, and have proceeded by placing wanted posters around my house! I'm waiting for it, not going to squash it obviously, just take it back to it's family! (yes that's a table with exact values for angles!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Two bulldozers and the bee

I realise that I've been moaning and groaning a lot during this week! This week wasn't great in particular but thank you for bearing with me. So I've moved on from my previous posts, probably will have the odd groan, but not posts of them I hope!

So this is a riddle I found in a 'maths' book! (some of you might have encountered it before). How would you go about solving it?

'Two bulldozers are moving towards each other at a speed of one mile per hour on a collision course. When they started they were one mile apart and a bee was perched on the front of one of them. The bee began to fly back and forth between the bulldozers at a constant speed of two miles per hour, vainly seeking to avoid his fate. How far from his starting point will the unfortunate insect be crushed?'

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pizza Hut

Well after the 'depressing' post below (you decide) I might as well write about the positive things in my day on a fresh post!

Yesterday was Sally's birthday, however after the incident with a certain member of staff she didn't feel in a birthday mood so went home (don't blame her!). We had originally planned to go to Pizza Hut after Thursday's lectures, but that got scrapped. So today we toodled of to Pizza Hut after the example class. The only reason I am writing about this is, because today 'Anne's' brother was in Manchester since he had half term, and I had jokingly mentioned that I would write about Pizza Hut's disgraceful antics! (OK, maybe that is a bit dramatic!) So here I am!

So, I had a pretty good day today. Calculus was fun as usual. Dr. Heil is awesome, just great. Now he's the kind of lecturer you want. In differential equations its so easy to give a recipe and technique for answering certain type of questions, however he persevered to show us the big picture. Yes it may have been tedious when the same method was used in different situations, but I understood the concept behind the maths. (Was about the particular solution in a 2nd order, linear ODE with constant coefficients and which 'ansatz' to try). He gave us the big picture, and then we did the examples, which were surprisingly short which I found funny! I also like the fact that he blames us when he makes any mistake on the board, because we didn't tell him! :p

Linear Algebra was so and so, I feel that if I listened for the full 50 minutes I'd understand to some extent, what's happening! But the times I zone out seem inappropriate! We did subspaces today and I know the three conditions for a subspace, but the word basis was mentioned and it's bugging me since I couldn't follow the example! (got a weekend to look forward to!). Must concentrate for full 50 minutes! (I guess I can be let of on Friday's since we had a two-hour calculus lecture just before it!)

Then obviously it was the sequence and series, which put me in a foul mood! But the example class shuddered me out of it, and I was back on a high! Eating my banana as I walked out of the building contributed to my 'hyperness' but ultimately it was because I had now come to terms with my sequence and series demons!

You're probably wondering, what the heck has this got to do with Pizza Hut's disgraceful antic, and why won't I stop rambling and notify everyone about Pizza Hut! (It's suspense dammit, and so you can read about my (boring) day ;) yes I'm evil, well I'm training to be!)

OK, fine I'm getting to the point. Just note the mood tone on exiting the example class- GREAT! Mood when entering Pizza Hut- GREAT. We ordered our food like you normally do, and then waited. It was surprisingly empty so we just chatted and had a great laugh, whilst waiting for the starters. 'Anne's ' brother is great, he's going to be the deputy prime minister when I'm the prime minister, so we conspired! Apart from me spilling my drink all over myself (through no fault of my own!) and simulating falling down the stairs from the toilets all was good. (The simulation was so good 'Alex (Anne's bro) if attempted it, although unlike myself he landed on his neck whereas I had landed on my feet!) We had a good banter about the north being better than the South, and then the Southerners fought amongst themselves whilst I watched! Anyway, the food came and the mood was still GREAT. But that's when everything changed!

Mood when told by Pizza Hut that the ice-cream machine is not working- NOT SO GREAT! Mood when told that the only desert they have is cheesecake- FOUL! Well I guess that describes my stomachs mood! We still managed to have a great time, but ice-cream would have been nice. So does a number say 19, define how one should behave? I was 18, Alex was 16 and the other three were 19, but we weren't behaving like we were! I'm really six you see, turning 7 in a few months! (As I like to tell people, not because I don't want to go older, but mentally I don't feel that way!)

So there you have it, if you're going to go to pizza hut make sure you ask which desserts are available before taking a seat! Don't suffer like we did! There was no ice-cream!

Not going to make a list for the weekend, since I won't adhere to it! But looking forward to a weekend of maths already! (today, I'm relaxing and still quite hyper!)

T for trouble

This post is a slight continuation from my previous but I have a feeling it's going to be long!

Before today, I had a major problem with 'Sequences and series' (MT10242), the main reason for this is I didn't see 'why' were doing what we did. I know sometimes it's not always easy/necessary to know why we do something but in Maths I tend to struggle if I can't visualize what's happening. For example, I never understood congruences because I had NO idea what they had to do with maths, consequently I disliked them. However, due to a brilliant lecturer, who also provided good notes, I understand the concept behind congruences so now I'm actually happy about them.

So my problem with sequences and series intitally began during the first lecture. We weren't told what the course is about, whats it got to do with anything etc, but we told that a series is null if for epsilon..... (don't know how to use symbols here!). Anyway, as you'd expect this went whoosh over my head. You can find the lecture notes here and see what you make make of them. I know that for some students them notes might be good, but if they're not going to deviate from the lecture then I was hoping that they'd have more explanation's and the steps which are missed out, would be included. I was tearing my hair out because I couldn't understand why N(e)= 1 + [x ] (pg 4 I think!) I just didn't know what the heck was happening, and then later the one disappears why? So, for me the notes are not very good and since the notes are based on the lectures I don't get them either.

I have nothing against the lecturer, he's brought me no harm! I don't even know the guy, he's funny, but I feel that I'm not benefiting from going to my lectures. To be honest I think today he even noticed that something was amiss. Only 100 from about 266 students actually turned up today! Now, the question is would you blame them? I'm probably going to continue going to the lectures, because I'm like that, but only a few people copy what he writes on the board since it's pointless. The problem that I have, is that is there any point in me going to that lecture? I spend 50 minutes and just read the notes I have, and generally not understand a word.

Yesterday after my post I had really tried to make sense of my notes, even used the book I'd got from the library! However, the book only had a few pages on null sequences. I was really flustered and frustrated last night, because I wasn't understanding what I was doing. I did the first three parts to question one in parrot fashion- just changed the sequences I was using. This wasn't helpful because I didn't understand what I was doing. But when I got to a question that was slightly different I was completely stuck.

Thus, I decided to go to an example class today, which was after today's lecture. After this example class, the major problem has become a slight problem! I'm just so amazed that I actually slightly understood what was happening!! No honestly, the members of staff present were great. Just fantastic. Upon entering the class I was still pretty annoyed, because the sequences lecture had been like all previous ones - confusing. So I got my notes and tried to understand them. I once again came across the bit N(e)= 1 + [x], but this time rather than banging my head against the wall I asked for help, and guess what, I WAS HELPED!!! It still in the process of clicking, but the way it was explained to me was such that I felt really relieved. I then quizzed him about what the heck the course was about. The explanation that I was given calmed me down slightly because it allowed me to see exactly what sequence and series is about, and what it can lead to.

I feel much better now, especially after also finding out in my example class that null sequences were a special case of sequences. So rather than starting with the general case, and then expanding to the null, convergent series etc, we started with the null which was the reason for my confusion.

Anyway, the thing that I may have done incorrectly is slightly put my foot in it. I didn't realise at the time, but later my friend told me that I shouldn't have said bad things about the sequence and series lecture to the staff present. I didn't exactly say, 'the lecture is awful' but I kind of implied it. I think I should think before speaking and keep a lid on it. I was slightly 'excited' by the fact that I was making some progress and that I was actually being taught what was happening, and my impulsive nature might have somehow put me in a weird situation.

I don't know to be honest, if you didn't like a lecture or module and told another member of staff, is there anything wrong in that? I'm not sure whether I'm very outspoken, but I like to put my view across in the best manner possible. However today I might have insinuated that my lecture was awful! But should one alwaysbe reserved and not express their opinions? I don't know! This is a trivial matter, but I'm concerned because I don't want to come across an opinionated twat, who criticizes everything. I understand that it's not easy to lecture, and it's a hard job to meet everyones needs! I do tend to make a fuss over small things sometimes, but I think that the issue of the lecture isn't small (well it depends on how many people feel this way for it to be a small issue!). I think my friend mentioned it because she's not like that, but after re-reading that paragraph and reflecting on my actions I'm not sure whether I did anything wrong! People just don't understand me!! NOW I'M CONFUSED OVER THIS STUPID ISSUE!

The teacher in the example class told me to get a few analysis books from the library, and guess what I already had! But if anyone can recommened any good ones, I'd really appreciate it.

So I can't really see what the point of this post is. Once again, I'm in a limbo over a trivial issue, however I am now feeling slightly positive about sequences and series. I will attend all examples classes from now on, not use the notes provided (only to index what I need to know!) and use the library books. I will go to the lectures, and make extra EFFORT to follow what's happening, but I'm not sure if I can attain that!