maths study via The Open University

TMA6 due soon

I suppose I’d better read unit 24 thoroughly, and get the final TMA question done since the assignment is due in just over a week.

The reason for falling behind a little is that I’ve been heavily side-tracked by pre-start MS324 study, and concurrent reading of two excellent texts: Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers (Farlow, 414 pages), and Basic Partial Differential Equaions (Bleecker and Csordas, 735 pages). Both are in the book links section at the top of this blog’s main page.

Farlow’s book seems, as the title would suggest, to be more heavily weighted toward application of PDEs than outright theory.

Bleecker and Csordas, on the other hand, seems more oriented toward exploring the underlying maths, though it’s early days for both books and I am certainly in no position to critique them or offer anything beyond first impressions.

Both are accessible with MST209-level knowledge, though both also require me to sit down with pen and paper and think long and hard about some of the line-by-line steps taken.

I’ll spend the next five days on MST209 unit 24 and hopefully post it next Monday, at which point 6/7ths of the course reading will be complete. As many others have said, MST209 is one very long, relentless programme of study.


3 responses

  1. Chris Finlay

    Yes times winged chariot speeds on a apace. wont be long before we are sitting our exams.
    I’ve invested in Farlow’s book on your recommendation. I’ll look at Blecker and Csordas and think about investing in it during down time.

    Good luck with the rest of the TMA

    August 16, 2011 at 6:32 PM

  2. The chap I bought the MS324 notes from said Farlow had been recommended to him by a tutor to supplement the course though I think it goes beyond the aspects of PDEs found in MS324.

    I can post the Bleecker book up to you if you like so you can see if it’s what you want. I won’t be using it in any great depth until November.

    I now have access to so much maths and so many recently-bought alternative texts that two things seem to be happening: maths in general is getting so much, much easier to understand, while at the same time it’s coming from too many angles to effectively memorise.
    While that doesn’t bother me for the exam, courtesy of having access to the handbook, it does worry me about retention for the future.
    Still, all early days yet. I’ve probably pulled half an egg cup full out of the ocean so far.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    • Chris Finlay

      Thanks I had a look at extracts from it on Amazon and Googlebooks. I think I have books which cover similar ground so I’ll by pass it. One book I bought about 30 years ago by Weinberg (Not the famous particle physicist) was used as the basis of a very Old Open University course on Partial Differential equations and takes quite a rigorous approach plenty of epsilon delta’s etc. Also on a more abstract level is a book by Kreider and other authors called an introudction to linear analysis (And again was used as the basis for another OU course) this brings out the analogy between eigenfunctions of differential operators and linear vector spaces. I hope to embark on reading it systematically during down time as it lays the foundations for Functional analysis in a relatively concrete fashion. As I’ve remarked on my blog it’s a shame that this course M201 is no longer available.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:55 PM

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