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!


egm said...

Writing reports. I hated it too. But it had to get done. And do it we did. Comes in handy though. Cause at work stuff needs to get written up, and having the experience from school definitely helps now. For example when I have to write up a test procedure for a product. A boring, but necessary part of work. So I urge you to just chug on!

Tis great your confidence in sequences and series is on the rise!

beans said...

Yes, it's a good skill to have, but it's extremely tedious! I think we won't be getting any reports for a while now, since the next few projects will probably have something to do with Matlab! (Don't know which is the lesser of the two evils! :p Writing the reports is time consuming and stresses me out a lot, so I'd have to choose Matlab this time!)

I wouldn't say I'm confident about the subject just yet! I'm feeling more positive about it, because I know that I can get help now! I'm dedicating the whole of Sunday (hopefully) to try to get my head around the notation and definitions!