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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

M208 result expected at 17 dec 2010

Your module result should be available by Friday 17 December 2010.
(By e-mail from the Open University)


  1. It may well be a few days before but certainly that week is the one to watch. Have you come to any definitive conclusions vis a vis M208 you said that you had a lot of problems with your tutor for the last two TMA's and you may elucidate further.

  2. You haven't forgotten!

    Example: The OU notation for the permutation
    in cycle form is
    (1 2 3)

    In a TMA I used the following format
    which is used by several authors.

    The creep deducted marks from all questions where permutations in cycle form were used.

    The marking was done with a RED pen, which is indicative for a narcistic personality. ( Not uncommon among teachers. ) Anyway, I am sure this person was not upto marking at the M208 level and beyond.

    I will make 100% sure that I won't be assigned to that tutor again, with that the case is closed for me.

  3. Sounds very narcissitic and pedantic with that sort of tutor no wonder you had problems. Anyway not long before the exam results are published its like waiting for Christmas.

  4. I make my TMA's with LaTeX ( TeXnicCenter ), generate a nice pdf from it in scientific paper format, and send that for marking backed by an e-mail with the pdf attached. This has been received well by my previous tutors.

    Especially in the beginning when there is little to 'copy and paste' it takes ages making TMAs like this. But it's great fun working like that.

    For M208 I got a remark like:
    "You can better write the TMA's with pen." - You understand I ignored that piece of 'advice'.

  5. Yes I'm slowly moving that way myself thanks to your help. Unfortunately there is nothing to beat pen and paper when one is initially solving a problem. The problem is that there is no permanent record unless you are very careful with LATEX etc once its written it can easily be communicated with others. Not that you would want to do that with TMA's of course. Lets hope you have a better tutor next year.

  6. You wrote: "Unfortunately there is nothing to beat pen and paper when one is initially solving a problem." - The mind! Practice doing as much as possible of a problem in your mind and you will become sharper. ( Use as much paper, pens, drawings and other mathematical objects as you want in your virtual math-lab though. )

    You wrote: "The problem is that there is no permanent record unless you are very careful with LATEX etc" - I don't quite understand this, I think.

    Text: "\int{x^2 \ dx}"

    and now in LaTeX: $\int{x^2 \ dx}$

    That's all.

  7. I meant that there was no permanent storage of paper unless you are very careful.
    When I do maths I find I need to use pen and paper first and then if I write it up use Latex I can't think mathematically in front of a computer. Of course there is pemanent record with electronic storage and it looks neater as well

  8. Chris, got it. - This reminds me of a documentary about a group of Japanese students, in the age of 10 or less, in the race for representing Japan one day in the Math Olympics. They were literary drilled to do large multiplications, divisions and so forth using an abacus. Over time they don't need the abacus anymore, fast moving of fingers suffices, and then they visualize the abacus in their mind...

  9. That would be quite amazing. Just imagine being able to do partial differential equations in your head and just type the results using LATEX. maybe in 100 years thats the way people will do maths. I guess your hero Ramanujan had that type of skill as must Stephen Hawking due to his disability. Mere mortals like myself just have to scratch away with pen and paper.

  10. Ramanujan probably, but not documented, he did make lots of notes though, Stephen Hawking definitely, yes. And of course Leonhard Euler who became blind later in life after an eye operation. Euler kept doing mathematics while his son took notes of his work.

    You doodle right? The doodling is not the thinking, although it 'feels' like it. All you basicly do is write down the question and the intermediary results, in case you forget them.

    Shouldn't we be able to solve something simple like a linear ODE with constant coefficients blind? I tried it and it's a matter of solving a quadratic equation followed by dividing two complex numbers.

  11. Do you mean homogenous or inhomogeneous I guess with enough experience you should be able to look at an ODE and just write down the general solution. The problem comes when you try to put in the boundary conditions. I can't solve simultaneous equations in my head so have to write them down.

  12. Just the general solution of the homogeneous equation. Extend this to inhomogeneous when the RHS can be written in the form $e^{x + iy}$ with $x, y$ real.

    Try it: $y'' + y=0$.

    Try it: $y'' + 2y=0$.

    Try it: $y'' + y=\sin(x)$.


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