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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MS221 - TMA03

Started to work on MS221 / TMA03. I completed Q1a and Q2 partially ( steps 1-4 ). I suppose one of the shared experiences of all OU students is that at some point one cognites that starting asap with the TMA's is a crucial succes factor. Resultwise and otherwise.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Handbook of Mathematics

It has been a while since I bought a math book. Books are expensive and most of my budget goes to the Open University anyway. Browsing some books at the local bookstore I could not resist Handbook of Mathematics from Springer publishers. A book packed with math, a must have. I open it on a random page and then just follow my thoughts.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mathematica TIP(2): ComplexForm; PolarForm

PolarForm[z_] := {Abs[z], Arg[z]}

ComplexForm[{R_, Theta_}] := R*Cos[Theta] + R*Sin[Theta]*I


PolarForm[1+i]={ SQRT[2] ,PI/4 }

Open University Students

Added a bloglist with blogs from ( other ) Open University students. Started with one blog, will add more later. If you know of any, pls let me know.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MS221 TMA02 - Result is in

MS221 TMA02 - Result is in... 87. Very disappointing at first. I hoped for 90+. Looking back at the effort I put in book B I can only be satisfied with the 87 points. Had to do a lot of MathCad work. ( A program I can't get used to. I suppose that I am spoiled by Mathematica. )


( His biographer made the right prediction.

I don't think he has it in him to take his own life. I don't see him putting a gun to his head. It'll be an accidental overdose - something like that. ( Stacy Brown, July 2005 )
When MJ announced the London concerts I had the feeling it wasn't Michael but a double. )

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Story of Mathematics ( 3 )

Watched episode 3 of The Story of Mathematics. Prof. Marcus du Sautoy continues his talk about the origins of mathematics. Topics in this episode are the lives of  Descartes, Fermat, Newton, Leibnitz, Bernouilli(brothers), Euler, Fourier, Gauss, Bolyai and Riemann.

Marcus du Sautoy clearly loves mathematics and he is an excellent storyteller. When I was young I saw a similar series by Jacob Bronowski which laid the foundation for my love of maths. I hope du Sautoy's program had a similar effect on young people watching it.

Still one episode to go on 20th century math.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Symmetry and the Monster by Mark Ronan

Just got this promising book. A history of Group Theory from the beginning until the discovery of the Monster Group. Will publish a review here when I have read it.

The Story of Mathematics (2)

Watched episode 2 of The Story of Mathematics. Prof. Marcus du Sautoy continues his talk about the origins of mathematics. Topics in this episode are the mathematics from China, India and the Arab cultures. It turns out that 'discoveries' made in Europe were actually known centuries before in China and India. Anyway, some topics in this episode are: the Fibonacci Sequence, the invention of the number zero, the decimal number system, how the distance between the earth and the sun can be calculated in a simple fashion, a 3 by 3 magic square and more! And lots of beautiful scenery to watch. Two more parts to watch. :-) - Category: Seek and you will find.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Story of Mathematics

Watched episode 1 of The Story of Mathematics. Prof. Marcus du Sautoy tells about the origins of mathematics. Topics in this episode are Egyptian fractions, the geometry of the pyramids, the base-60 number system of the Babylons and the Greek mathematicians Pythagoras and Euclid. There is a spectaculair animation of du Sautoy agains a background of the pyramids how they actually were 4000 years ago. - Category: Seek and you will find.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Contemplating a Project

I order to acquire synergy with other areas in my life I am contemplating about a project which requires algebra, combinatorics, java and mathematica.

Contemplating... ... ...

( More later )

Feedback Delay on MST121 CMA42

Earlier today I checked if the results of CMA42 were available. There was a notice 'Feedback Delay'. Now why would that be??! There were 28 questions and all computer-marked, isn't it simply every correct question adds 3+4/7 = 3.57 marks to the total?

Maybe some questions were too simple / difficult and are cancelled, leaving 24 questions which count just as in CMA41.

I wonder when the results do come in.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MS221 - TMA02 - ( 2 )

Completed question 1 on Sunday. Was surprised by the work required for question 2. Worked yesterday from 8am till 23.30 pm. Mailed the pack to the tutor today. After e-mailing him the pdf version and announcing the pack was to be shipped today.

( Pffhhh. )

Time to study new things again! Book C is on calculus, while book D has introductions to number theory, group theory and logic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

MS221 - TMA02

Done question 3 today. Warming up. I have till Tuesday. Only 5 points and simple at first sight. That is a huge Red Flag! Only 5 points also means only 5 to lose from this trick question.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Just submitted CMA42. All I have to do now is wait for the marks on TMA04 and CMA42. In the resultsplanner I estimated 35% for TMA04 and 60% for CMA42. The 35% for TMA04 is way below what I got for the previous TMA's but I don't feel confident at all about the results. I am only 'sure' about 35 or so. Anyway, I suppose I get a pass for MST121.

By doing MST121 I primarily learned what it is like to study at the OU. I haven't seen any entirely new mathematics but that wasn't to be expected from a level 1 course. I am already busy with MS221 and I suppose it will be M208 and / or MST209 after that. All in all I have enjoyed the course.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yellow Alert

Had to ask for an extension for MS221 TMA02. Not good. Not good at all. MST121 CMA42 is due wednesday, I am working on that one right now.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Protocol for reading a mathematics book

In the introduction to " An introduction to Combinatorics by Alan Slomson " I found a good explanation of the protocol for reading a math book.

Once upon a time there was a programme on the radio for young children called Listen with Mother. (In those days it was assumed that it would be the mother who would be at home with the children.) In the first programme in 1950 the storyteller, Julia Lang, introduced the story she was about to tell by saying 'Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin'. Apparently this introduction was not planned, but it caught on, and was used regularly until the programme ceased in 1982. When it comes to reading mathematics, however, this is not an appropriate beginning. A mathematics book cannot be read like a novel, sitting in a comfortable chair, with a glass by your side. Mathematics books need to be worked at. You need to be sitting at a table or a desk, with pencil and paper, both to work through the theory and to tackle the problems. A good guide is the amount of time it takes you to read the book. A novel can be read at a rate of about 60 pages an hour, whereas when it comes to many mathematics books you are doing well if you can read five pages an hour. (It follows that, even at 12 times the price, a mathematics book is good value for money!)

I would like to add that a good mathematics book can be read over and over. Some math books are companions for life.

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Mathematics: is it the fabric of MEST?
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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.)