maths study via The Open University

stuff just got real

MST209 just got a bit more difficult.
Unit 8 is turning out to be a *^$&$%^£. It forms part of assignment number three, due in in about 5 weeks time. Units 9, 10, 11 look ok. More on 8-11 later.

All 35 pages of assignment two have been with the tutor for a week now, well ahead of the cut-off date and at this point in time, I’m nearly 2 weeks ahead on the MST209 schedule, and 2 weeks behind on the M248 schedule.

But the good news is that M248 just got interesting.
There’s a &^%£load of probability stuff, which is proving good fun.

Stuff along the lines of, oh, I dunno, there’s a 27% chance a typical student will fail any one maths course. Of 40 students taking 5 courses each, what is the probability that at least 32 students will pass at least 4 courses? Or somesuch.

Not as straightforward as it looks. I’ll post the maths behind it once I’ve fully grasped it. I think I’ll need to do a lot of these to recognise which probability model applies to which predicament.
I also want to understand the derivations of the models inside and out, rather than just apply them.

And I need to get out of the habit of using calculus to evaluate stuff – the course provides other equally worthy methods of arriving at the same answer. Having fallen foul of the “style” I present things in (see last post), I don’t want to also fall foul of “method”, although I guess proof is proof, as long as it’s valid.

More in a fortnight’s time – when I’m on a week’s holiday. I plan to get MST209’s (maths and physics-type stuff) third TMA submitted a fortnight early and M248’s (data, probability and statistics) submitted bang on the button.

I think May 4 is the deadline for both.

I’m officially around 1/4 the way through both courses now, in two months. 6.5 months to go to exams. I have a feeling both exams will fall within a day or two of each other. That could be bad news.


2 responses

  1. Nick

    I’m studying MST209 and loving your blog. Thanks.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:09 PM

  2. Thanks Nick. 🙂
    How are you finding the difficulty of the material and the time demands? I’m surprised by how much sheer time in front of a maths book is required. Now that the M248 chapters have developed some decent depth as well, my free time has all but evaporated. I don’t remember what the inside of a pub looks like. 😦

    March 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

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