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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MST121 - TMA04 ( 3 )

All exercises are in TeX, MathCad and OUStats work captured with SnagIT and saved to PDF. Most of the work is done, one or two QA sessions before I send the work the tutor. MST121 TMA04 is the most difficult TMA / CMA I had to do sofar. I am however confident that I will pass the required 40% score. - I did not particularly enjoy working on the TMA. I have postponed working on it several times. Instead I worked on other areas of math I am (self-)studying like combinatorics. Currently I am giving Concrete Mathematics by Graham, Knuth and Patashnik another try. When the TMA is out the door, I'll focus on CMA41 though. And I am extremely tight on my MS221 TMA02 schedule, but that -is- a fun topic!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MST121 - TMA04 ( 2 )

I completed questions 1 and 2 today. I am fairly sure now that I have virtually passed the exams of the course. - I got the results back from CMA41 for which I scored 83/100 ( 20/24, all 4 errors on book D2 stuff ) which means that I have more than 60% already for the entire course. The only requirement left is completion of TMA04 with a score of at least 40%. I think the three questions which I already did are enough.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MST121 - TMA04

TMA04 is the TMA covering the entire course. Question 3 ( of 4 ), which I completed today, is on calculus. All four questions are valued at 25 marks. Question 3 basicly covers all subjects of Book C, differentiation, integration and differential equations.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Layed the foundation for new TMA's

Layed foundation for MS221-TMA02, MST121-TMA04. That is I prepared two latex docs in Texlipse and added all chapters, headings, toc stuff. All I have to do now is do the math. May is an busy month in all areas.

Like my pen ?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MS221 second shipment arrived

Compliments to the Open University!

I proposed a rather exceptional way of sending a shipment of books. The OU handled it as if it was a regular request. "... The quality of an organisation can be measured by their capacity of handling exceptions. ..." Isn't that true? Things usually go wrong when questions are asked.

Anyway, I received books C and D of course MS221 today. Book D is more or less an introduction to M208, I suppose. D has topics on Complex Numbers, Number Theory, Group Theory and Logic. Book C is calculus, again. I just to find calculus so booooring. I must say I find it less boring today and am actually looking forward to MST209 about model building which has LOTS of stuff on solving DE's.

MST209, M208 are both 60-ers and are both next on my left. I don't think I can handle 120 in a year. 90 is do-able for me, but 120? Don't think so. Havent ruled out the option of doing both MST209 and M208 in 2010. I havent planned courses for sep 09 / jan 10 yet so I could do the video based MIT self-study course on DE's in that period which would be an excellent technical preparation for MST209. But again, all options are still open.

As in football... concentrate on winning the next match instead of winning the competition.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Submitted MST121 - CMA41

Just choosing the answer out of a list of six possible answers takes considerably less time than explaining everything you did to find the answer. Math though, is more about writing than number crunching, I would say now. I used to find the writing part less important. Maybe because writing was something I wasn't very good at. I could procrastinate for days on a piece of white paper. - Things changed. I like the writing part now, maybe because I have neat tools like Texlipse.

To the point, today I submitted MST121 - CMA41. The cut-off date for that one is set on the 13th of May ( next wednesday ).

May will be tough! By the first of June, next month already: time flies!, I have to finish MST121 - TMA04, MST121 - CMA42 and MS221 - TMA02. I need 40 out of 100 for MST121 - TMA04, that is what I have to focus on.

Mathematica TIP

Suppose you have to enter 1+x_x^2+...+x^n in full in Mathematica. An easy way to do this is as follows ( for n=11 ).



Fibonacci trivia

A trivial fact but nevertheless...

12^2 = 144 = F(12),

where F[n] is the Fibonacci function. F[0]=0, F[1]=1, F[n]=F[n-1]+F[n-2].

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My favourite subjects

Mathematics is a vast body of knowledge, in order to become 'current' on any subject it is important to focus on a topic as soon as possible. Specialization is possible once you have studied that part of math which is assumed to be common knowledge of all mathematicians. This includes undergraduate courses in
- Analysis
- Differential equationals
- Linear algebra
- Abstract Algebra
- Geometry
- Number Theory
- Graph Theory
- Combinatorics
- Probability ans statistics
When these topics are studied at the undergraduate level you are still far from the gate of the castle where some of math's big secrets are kept. Few will arrive at the gate, fewer will find the castle's door, it seems that only a few chosen ones are allowed to enter the castle. In the documentary about unlocking Fermat's last theorem Andrew Wiles told how he spent eight years at the castle. It's completely dark in the castle. Years are lost by finding where the lights are.

There are so many topics I truly like: group theory, number theory, combinatorics just to name some. How on earth do I become 'current' in any of them?

VIDEO: Discrete Mathematics

Computer Sc - Discrete Mathematical Structures

Lectures by Prof. Kamala Krithivasan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras - 40 hours of lectures on Discrete Mathematics. The lectures go beyond what's contained in a minimal standard discrete math course.

As a Dutch national I am a student at the Open University in the UK and watching lectures from India. The world is one. That's the positive side. The negative side is that there is not much of a math culture in The Netherlands.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Status CMA41

Answered 19 questions today, covering books D1-D3, left one difficult question open, that's one for later if there is time. One week ( two weekends ) left for studying book D4 and answering the remaining 4 ( + 1 ) question. With the points I already have I don't have to worry. Book D4 is about differencing testing, an interesting topic.

OU MST121 / MS221 software

Some minor out-points for the Open University.

Included are among others MathCad 2000i and OUStats. MathCad 2000i is as old as the name implies and as can be predicted does NOT work with Vista. The buglist errata which comes with the package is impressive. Why MathCad while other software is powers of ten times better? Think of Mathematica, Maple or even the free Open Source SAGE? I suppose it is because MathCad is 'British'. Well, I borrowed a copy of MathCad 14 which at least does work with Vista so that I could make the required printouts for the TMAs. No need to say I do all calculations with Mathematica.

Next piece of software is OUStats. And this program does not work outside the Britisch isles. At least not in countries where they use a comma for the 'decimal point'. Well, at least there are no mandatory printouts required. More than enough alternatives to do some simple stats. My advice would be to drop MathCad and switch to SAGE or to the Student Edition of Mathematica. The OUStats package is ok, but it should be fixed so that it will work in Europe as well. Well, they drive left too and carry pounds instead of euros. At least their Open University has a mathematics department.

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(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)