maths study via The Open University



Just missed the necessary mark for a grade one on M381.
So, grade two instead.

Have claimed the Open degree.

Have also enrolled on MT365 for next academic year – I have an old copy of the books here and have pretty much read them through on a first pass.

MSXR209 residential course this week – assignment one done to bring with me.

Have also hired a very talented PhD student to teach me post-grad financial maths, as well as a measure theoretic approach to probability, and Lebesgue integration – which has turned out to be great fun.

This will partly underpin what I am hoping to get out of the Big Data MSc.

To that end, I have signed up with Udacity for their nano degree in big data – basically just starting to plough through programming Python. Have to start somewhere.

So, the next 12 months are:
MSXR209 residential, MT365, nano degree, financial maths, measure theory and Lebesgue integration.

As I have recently changed jobs to one where I am a lot closer to home, I figure I can spare 50 hours a week for private study.

M381 exam

Have to say, the exam yesterday seemed very fair and quite representative of past papers.
Ran out of time (as with every exam I have ever done), so hoping I have enough marks in the bag.
Did six questions from number theory and two and a bit from mathematical logic when the “pens down” comment came.

That completes degree one (Open).
Degree two (the named maths) to complete next year, then an MSc in big data (I have finally decided, lol).

Good luck to all for results day.

Cracking on with TMA4

TMA3 away and making reasonable progress with TMA4.

I have also started looking at past exam papers for M381 and have realised I will need to commit a lot of stuff to memory as the handbooks which accompany the course during the exam seem pretty light.

I’m hoping to have TMA4 away by the end of March, leaving me around 10 weeks for revision.

I have “analysed” the question types by sifting past papers and, in the number theory section alone, the following seem a good bet:

Proof by induction

Euclidean Algorithm

Some sort of GCD proof

Infinitely many primes of the form… blah… proof

Least positive residues

Linear congruences

Some form of modular arithmetic proof

Fermat’s Little Theorem

Wilson’s Theorem – applications and proof

Recurring decimals

Sigma(n)/Euler’s phi function

Quadratic congruence

Legendre symbol manipulation

Gauss’ Lemma

Law of Quadratic Reciprocity

Continued fractions

Irrational numbers

Some form of Diophantine equation-related proof


That’s just the number theory side.

The mathematical logic side looks equally long. I’ll detail that later, when I’ve completed it.

One long course, when both the number theory and mathematical logic aspects are combined, for just 30 undergrad credits.


Continued fractions

I thought this was a decent watch as a basic introduction to M381’s continued fractions.

TMA2 back in, TMA3 about to go out

Dropped a mark somewhere on TMA2. All good.

TMA3 has been a bit trying.

Some of the NT caught me out. Can’t say more than that as the assignment deadline is still a few weeks off. However, staring at something and realising my interpretation of it was, well, silly, eventually put that right.

The ML was very enjoyable. Book 4 was a cracker – best read of 2014.
Book 5 was also a cracker but is probably the first book in the course where I had to do pretty much every exercise and additional exercise to get the hang of what was going on.

The ML TMA questions seemed quite doable – couple of potential pitfalls as ever.
The only bit that really caught me (I think – who knows – I might have written complete rubbish for the rest of it) was the final part of the final question – a somewhat odd-looking thing to prove, I thought.

Anyway, that last part took quite a while. There are many ways to go about these questions and it wasn’t until I concluded I was very stuck and needed to rip up what I had been doing that fresh inspiration dawned and, wayhay, it was proved about two minutes later.

I poked my solution with the maths stick, checking it against all known rules and interpretations, pitfalls, etc, I could find in the notes and it appears to work. A very well-designed question to ensure you understood what was in the notes, I thought.

Tomorrow night off, then start on the reading for TMA4.

I want TMA4 away by the end of March, to give me 10 or 11 weeks of solid revision for the exam as, to my horror, having looked at the skimpy handbook, I discovered that none of the tricky stuff in book 5 is even summarised or mentioned in it.

In fact, the handbook just says: “The handbook contains no results for this unit.”

M381 continued

Or, should I say, continues..

I have pretty much finished the logic books for the next assignment – TMA questions over the next couple of days.

Then, it’s time for the number theory books – some good stuff in them, from the looks of it.

Something strange has been happening – causation/correlation, be gone – I’ve been taking low doses of fish oil and krill oil for a few weeks now, and my memory has definitely improved.
So much so, that a poem I wrote aged 12 came back to me today – word for word – decades later.

I’ve written it down. 🙂

Placebo, maybe, but it’s working.

M381 TMA2 away

Well, away tomorrow after work, anyway.

Q9 now done, I think with a thorough explanation of what’s going on, and some good insight bought into the bargain.

Just need to photocopy it all in case it disappears in the post.

I have had a quick skim read of ML 4-7, leaving 8 aside for now. It looks great – just what I hoped for.

Also had a quick skim through the remaining NT units – more great stuff in there.

I am very motivated to study this material, which is about as good an outcome as possible.

Hope everyone gets the TMA2 result they’re hoping for.