Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Maths writing

Well it seems that I haven't been posting much maths stuff recently. In my defence, and to the horror of others, it takes longer to type maths post. I tend to get 'bursts' of inspiration, and write posts however I sometimes have to content myself with saving them as drafts. (Most times that is). My theory is that in a months time I will hopefully have all the time in the world to talk about maths and other mumbo jumbo which I see fit (and to complete the drafts). Alas, I'm doing what I shouldn't be i.e. thinking of what I'm going to do after the exams. I mean, it's natural maybe, and I'm looking forward to finally reading some maths book which I have been adding to my collection. (I dare not start reading them now!). But this final lap seems to be the worst.

Before I carry on, it seems that the online dictionary understood my frustrations from yesterday. So the members of the teletubbies who didn't let me watch the second half yesterday are termagant! :D

The following links are useful dare I say, about how to write maths (will have them at the end). One thing I've learnt at university is not to start a sentence with a variable or something of that sort. Also always make sure you mention what a is or indeed where it is from. It's important for the reader to be able to follow your train of thought and if you don't want a to be zero, then say it! Writing properly is as important as doing the maths. (Another thing I've learnt). I mean this is especially useful when you go back and look over your homeworks. If you've just scribbled a few lines of maths with no sentences etc. then you're not helping yourself.

Another thing which I did in the first semester, which obviously now makes me stupid indeed was the following:

'Since a is an even integer, a=2k for some integer k. Also since b is an odd integer, b=2k+1 for some integer k.'

Obviously whilst doing this, what I thought was correct was actually absurd! (That's why supervisions are so useful). The one reason maths students that I know don't like the workshop module we have, is because it involves writing reports and handing them in. Yes this is a pain, but what we don't realise is that's important to be able to communicate effectively. My English is not very good - well my range of vocabulary is poor and I tend to enjoy making words up! My spelling has been improving, but by blogging I'm giving myself a chance to also work on my English. (It's fun at times as well!)

I guess experience is inevitably the key, and obviously by making the mistakes I have one can hope that I will learn from them.

If you have an hour free then I'd also recommend watching this video by Jean-Pierre Serre. (I have not yet completely watched it, but some of the stuff he says can be found in the documents as well).

There are probably a few other guides flying about on the Internet, however these are the ones which I'd bookmarked hence I was able to find them again! When I discover more I will update this post. I'm also open to more suggestions and will add them in if anyone has any. :)

So having put my guilty conscious to rest, I will once again proceed by talking about daily proceedings of course! At this moment in time I'm feeling depressed indeed. I'm so depressed that I can't mention the reason for this! Before I burst into tears, I may as well talk about the Linear Algebra lecture- it always tends to cheer me up.

Now as you've probably gathered I'm not particularly normal- I lost a screw once upon a time, whilst jumping from sofa to sofa in our old house. This resulted in me not making a perfect landing and consequently banging my forehead on the corner of the table. I can't remember this, but my mum makes sure that I don't forget (blood was obviously involved)! I have the mark on my forehead, but thankfully it doesn't stand out since it's well disguised. It did used to make me happily feel like Harry Potter in my 'youth', but alas it never caused me a great deal of pain. (I mean I didn't have freaky dreams, but I must warn you that in book four there is a fact presented which closely relates me to Voldemort. Ahhhhh. Ok it's not that scary, but it will be revealed in due course). Oops I was trying to recollect where I lost my screw. Truth be told I think I've lost a few others since that incident, but thankfully my mum doesn't know about them!

Anyway, I've previously said that I'm going to work in university during free time. So this unfortunately meant that I had to take two sequences and series books with me today. (Pretty painful I must say). Is this information necessary? Well I've finally reached half way of the course in sequences and series. I did the monotone convergence theorem which concludes the bit about sequence. Obviously I have lots of problems, for which I'm eagerly waiting for Friday, but I'm relieved that I'm half way till the end. (Technically I can't say I've finished since I have quite a few problems- don't' tell Dr C though, since he might not end up coming to the example class!)

I'm crying now. Really- tears are forming in the corner of my eyes. I feel the punishment of having raised my hopes- the pain of putting my trust into eleven people to give me joy. I just had a long pause a minute ago, and it was darn long. My heart is in ashes, and the damn brain is singing, 'I told you so'. Like I said, I can't bare to write what is causing me such distress. Once again I'll try to talk about the Linear Algebra lecture. (sniff).

I headed to the lecture theatre pretty early today, since I knew my bag was heavy and didn't want to push myself too much. So I casually walked to the Schuster building - in my own little world, eating my apple. I walked passed a bus stop, not thinking twice about the people sat there. Actually I did think- damn they look like trouble, but there were only two people and I had a big bag! I walked passed as quickly as possible, and as soon as I thought that I'd escaped one of the doofuses screamed 'HI' really loudly making me glare at him. :D Ha ha, well you see I'm used to people like this guy. What you do is give them a look which says, 'What the heck's your problem dude? Haven't you got better things to do.' I shook my head 'dramatically' and stole another 'weirdos' look behind and then basically legged it!

Walking fast is pretty useful, I must admit. This look is merely my defence in trying to show these people that I'm not scared. But sometimes when there's more than two and it's not a busy road things can be different. Seriously what I don't understand is, that why do some people do stuff like this? I mean what do they get out of it? (Thankfully it didn't get nasty today!)

Moving on- I got to the lecture theatre in one piece thankfully so no one needs to worry. :D The lecture was 'fast'. I mean I followed the example, and most of theory but I need to ponder on it. The onto and one-to-one business was ok, but then bases have been introduced for finite dimensional spaces which I need to get my head around.

Anyway, today Prof S gave out feedback forms! I bet you're thinking that I wrote another long essay the way I claim to do so. Well think again. Prof S told us that he didn't like them a lot, and said something else about friends which I will post about some other day. However I didn't have to write much since Prof S is cool and so are his lectures. I may also have jinxed something which explains my 'depression'! You see I write comments for some of the tweenies as well, since they're too lazy to do so themselves, so this contributes to the essay. (I learnt some top secret information today. That really depends on who you are, but thankfully my first year has come to pass and I'm glad that we had Prof S in the first year.) I think I'm a bad representation of first year undergraduates. They're not all that bad- honestly!

Anyway, it seems that I have lost the ability to cross roads properly. Shame since I was having a cool conversation before my stupidity overtook me. I thought it was rude of me to 'wait' on the other side of the road. (this would have probably been seen as weird by the parties present and I was after all just a bean who didn't want to intrude!). I'd say there's always tomorrow, but that is if I manage to crawl into university tomorrow. I thought 3 was my magic number. :\ ....

Only two more Linear Algebra lectures left. Shame. I can't quite remember what else I was going to write, but I've decided to hand in the last ever report for workshop by doing it by hand. Obviously this could change, but I've not yet mastered LaTeX and this report is about graphs etc. The thought of using word seems frightening for some reason, so I must resist this and do the questions at least by hand. In my defence the other reports which I've handed in have been ok, so getting a 'poor' mark in this one because of my handwriting won't be that bad.

Dare I start being positive now? I mean I've reached the half way point in sequences and series which the lecturer covered weeks ago!

I leave you with this 'cool' quote:

"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow." Jeff Valdez

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