Thursday, March 13, 2008

If all you have is a hammer,

...then all you see is nails!

That was something Professor Borovik said in his lecture today, and somewhere in my weird head I appreciated that sentence.

Today I was very well behaved in this lecture. The previous excitement was too much today, and I must confess to misplacing what I was going to say in the introduction. The thing is that last year Professor Borovik taught linear algebra to first year students (joint honours). During a PASS session I had learnt a startling fact about this arrangement, but was too chicken to mention this today due to not being able to recall it correctly. It was something lame (as usual) but it was much better than the nonsense that I tried to improvise with. (One day I will slow down!)

This is a quick post, for last night I didn't get any sleep due to the wind and my room being towards the back of the house. (Lots of things went on a walk about yesterday, and as I write this the wind reminds me of what punishment I will have to endure tonight).

Anyway, the lecture was pretty great. You see, to someone like myself, I can't help but be awed when people are so relaxed up front. I really enjoyed the interactive nature of the lecture, and how it flowed. We had a full house too, which was great to see, especially the new faces that turned up. (Hopefully they'll attend future lectures too). I was also intrigued to see Dr. K shifting in his seat! It looked like he wanted to stand up and give another lecture. (The audiences enthusiasm was good to see).

Now I have been avoiding mentioning the lecture, for I am worried about my memory. (I have the slides muhahaha, but not looked over them again yet). I got the general idea of the lecture (which is a relief), but what I think is a sign of a brilliant lecture. is your attitude afterwards towards the content discussed. I am really intrigued about what was said today, and want to read more about it. It's all quite fascinating and I haven't felt this "wowed" by a maths topic for quite some time now. I think the history behind it all, adds to its image.

Today I'm afraid I won't be writing a detailed evaluation of the lecture, and you may have noticed that I have lost form regarding such things! I can't recall writing about any of The Galois Group lectures this semester, although all three are still floating in my head. And for those still awake, you might have noticed what else I have added to my plate!!

You see, when we were taught Complex Analysis, it was like being taught how to integrate "x^2" or something similar. That was how I felt, for it was like being back in college again: "integral over circle, integral over this, etc". I don't think we were taught the usefulness of complex analysis, and why everyone exclaims in excitement when the complex numbers are mentioned. If you recall, I didn't like "Cauchy Analysis" that much, and groaned a lot about it. However, today, having been shown the complex logarithm in action, I can also exclaim: "complex numbers--wow".

It's 1:15am (whoops) so I better wrap this up. Firstly another big thanks to Professor Borovik, for a fantastic lecture, and thanks to everyone who attended (especially those who stayed for refreshments at the end). I think it is that interaction between staff and students, which happens during refreshments, that is of great importance. It's a shame that some people run for their lives at the end (I don't bite!) but I understand that they may have other commitments. For some reason, on Wednesdays I lose the ability to eat.

There is something which today's lecture has induced in me, but I can't express it in words.

I have two days to sort everything out. The word damn escapes me, as I look towards my to do list and the time. Anyway, there will be no more lectures before Easter folks! Relief washes through my body because of this, but that is because I really do feel exhausted and in need of a break (not because I don't enjoy doing what I do). The next lecture will be in week 10 and I will surely be informing you, nearer the time. If anyone student is interested in volunteering for next year, please drop me an email.

I want a hammer...

3 comments:

beans said...

I forgot to mention how I "remarkably" recovered from a cough attack!

Jake said...

You see, when we were taught Complex Analysis, it was like being taught how to integrate "x^2" or something similar. That was how I felt, for it was like being back in college again: "integral over circle, integral over this, etc". I don't think we were taught the usefulness of complex analysis, and why everyone exclaims in excitement when the complex numbers are mentioned.

Really? I am surprised. I didn't feel that way at all, I mean it was definately an analysis course, we weren't just learning calculi for calculating integrals etc. To me the sections on calculating real integrals by considering complex integrals etc. were just examples of the rich theory.

I guess it just goes to show that you can't please them all, I suppose that there is a lot of subjectivity in how a mathematics course is received.

Beans said...

I guess I was never really inspired by the course material. (Which can be connected to my "weak" understanding of it I suppose).

It did get quite interesting towards the end, but by then I think it was too late for me to recover.

In the end it boiled down to me not finding a place for complex analysis, on my mathematical tree in my head.