Monday, December 15, 2008

Mathematics and Philosophy - Student Galois Group lecture (and "Cheer up Beans!")

I feel kinda bad that I'm only blogging at the moment, in order to get any readers out there to attend the Galois Group lectures! (So I've added some snippets after my invitation for you to attend this Wednesday.) Please do come, as this student has gone solo and wants as many people attending as possible (and so do I!):

Dear All,

The last Galois Group lecture of the semester - Mathematics and Philosophy (see abstract below) - will be given by third year Mathematics student, on Wednesday 17th December 2008 in the Alan Turing Building room G.205 at 1:10-2pm, which you are all invited to attend.

Please show your support to the student lecturing, and find yourselves in room G.205 this Wednesday! All you have to do is turn up, and of course stay for the free refreshments at the end.

If you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact Dr. M.D Coleman or myself. I hope to see you this Wednesday,

Kind regards, Beans...

Wednesday 17th December 2008 at 1:10-2pm
Alan Turing Building, room G.205


Abstract: Mathematics and philosophy - How do these subjects differ?

Can we pose philosophical questions mathematically in order to come to conclusive answers?

This lecture will examine various philosophers', physicists' and mathematicians' relatively recent attempts and successes at answering bold philosophical and often seemingly ambiguous questions.

The lecture will look at the paradoxes of self referential statements such as "I am a liar", including the possibility of time travel, philosophically, physically and (most importantly!) mathematically.

The lecture will mainly explore Max Tegmark's mathematical formalization of a theory by David Lewis that states "every logically consistent universe exists" and its implications for philosophy and physics. I will try to explain how this can characterise the notion of objectivity which is essentially Group theoretic.


Truth be told I have been quite ill since Friday week 10, and this morning I nearly fainted on my way into University! I really wasn't well enough to attend University as I had been throwing up over the weekend, but already I have missed more than 10 lectures of the semester and am still copying up notes, so I had no choice but to attend. The woman who asked me if I was okay in the morning, whilst I was commuting, advised me to go straight back home. A part of me wished that I had.

Anyway - it's the last week of term, and I have to grin and bare it. Dr. Coleman even told me to cheer up today, but I am too bloody depressed to cheer up! You know what it's like with me - I haven't been studying and then I feel cack, so I can't do anything anyway, which just makes things even worse. I have to make sure though, that I don't crack, as I nearly did when talking to Dr. C earlier today. I don't think I'm destined to be a proper Mathematician, but just one of them text book mathematicians, who learn stuff to pass exams.

I am considering a possible merger with Mathsoc for The Galois Group, albeit reluctantly, but I feel boxed in by my ambitions and my studies. Honestly speaking, an epsilon part of me, very deep down, wishes that The Galois Group also belonged to the empty set. At least then I could actually imagining graduating with a decent degree - the best I can get.

I can't describe the sensations I'm feeling in any more detail. A big part of me is wishing that I had taken this year out and interrupted my studies, just so I could take a break from it all. However, as everyone had pointed out to me, that wouldn't have necessarily solved things.

I have perhaps pushed myself too much and am feeling very tired about everything. Weirdly, a William Shakespeare quote just came to mind: It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves. Sigh. Would you believe me if I told you that the Maths is absolutely amazing this semester? and I exaggerate not! I think this is another reason as to why I've been quite down - I can't really explore the Maths and get it into my head, as I just haven't been able to find the time (or health for the past week or so!).

We have four weeks over Christmas which isn't really enough, but I am told that there were some survivors on the Titanic... \{lame} (but hey that cracked a smile!)

Anyway - I feel that I should have blogged more this semester, because in it's strange way, it helps. (Well I feel slightly better now....) It's quite funny (in a not so funny way) how I started this semester, and how it is ending. I will shut up now, but once again, please do try to attend the student Galois Group lecture on Wednesday. Thank you.

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