maths study via The Open University

Archive for March, 2012

M347 TMA result in

A bit lower than expected but still a pass one.
I was surprised to see some “red pen” and deducted marks against some of my lines – it seems M347’s marking might be a bit along the lines of an M208-applied-to-stats module ie justifying every move, even when they’re obvious.

I did make one stupid mistake I’ll own up – introducing a substitution during integration and forgetting to swop the variable in the limits. Lol. Newbie. 🙂

Quite funny how the comments in my M343 TMA called for less workings, but M347 clearly needs more.

So, more it shall be. 🙂

Much more.

I’d better get back to looking at both courses – I’ve had a week off to do a load of jobs around the house and am now behind.

The specimen exam paper for M347 has also been uploaded – it looks ok. The first 20% of it was doable, though not within the time frame. It looks like the fundamental festival of calculus.

(Some) results in

Grade 1s for the three M347 iCMAs submitted so far (awaiting TMA result).
Grade 1 for the M343 TMA, and a note to myself not to blather on about something next time before I define the variable. Other observation – as is usual, I have over-written the TMA (but this is a cunning ploy to help me come exam revision time, honest). I seem to have, in my enthusiasm, even managed to prove some basic calculus results rather than appeal directly to them during integration. Fear not, dear tutor, my exam script will make massive leaps between lines, so there’ll be 1/10th of the pap (I just wrote) to mark in October. 🙂

Next to do: first chunk of M343 CMA1, first chunk of M343 TMA2 (material overlaps).
M347 in the back seat for the next week.

I’d better do some actuarial past papers at some point, as well. Does anyone know how a pass is determined (fixed level, quantiles, etc)?

Complex analysis

I spent more time this past week on studying non-elected course topics than I probably should have done.

M343 and M347 feel ok, so I began to look at complex analysis, skipping around through various books and watching various online videos as I went.

I’m at a point where I’m playing around with the Reimann zeta function and Euler product, and looking at their applications to analytic number theory, which, of course, has led to a totally baffling meeting with the Reimann Hypothesis, the outline of which I don’t understand, let alone methods of proving it.

And that’s where I’d better stop for a week or so, or I’ll be falling behind with elected study.

A “side aim” this year, is to have essentially studied much of the meat of undergraduate complex analysis before formally enrolling onto a course in it in October this year. From that, an interest in analytic number theory *may* emerge.

Other distractions this week included producing two proofs of Pythagoras’ Theorem, both of which are already well-known (no surprises there), and thinking up ways to evaluate the Gaussian integral (keeps the brain cells ticking over, which is probably a good thing.)

A coin will go in the air this evening to decide whether to crack the next few units of M347, or the next book of M343 in the coming week or two.

The rest of today has been allocated to garden work.

Less beer

More study.

The first TMA for M343, and the first TMA plus first three iCMAs for M347 are done, or long-done.
Study of what’s required up to the end of the month is done.

That gives me a fortnight of free time – to go back through everything covered so far, so as to drive a few key points home before moving on to asymptotic theory with M347 and multi-dimensional stochastic stuff with M343.

There was quite a lot of overlap between the pair at the start, now that’s diverging into:

M347 – a lot of work to do all of the exercises, follow all of the examples, and by-pass the “eh” moments inherent in pages of calculus.

M343 is, by comparison, a bit of a walk in the park work-wise, and conceptually, at this point in time.

In my downtime over the next couple of weeks, I will be doing a fair bit of Game Theory – a course starts this week, online, with Stanford University.

It’s free to enrol and you get a certificate at the end if you do well enough, but no degree credit.

Tens of thousands of online students are expected. The material is delivered via problem sheets and recorded video lectures, from the looks of it.

So…. if you have about an hour a week to spare, and fancy forming an OU maths team, shout up. The maths shouldn’t be too difficult, but the thinking and strategy needed should create some good banter.

Lots of people are forming Google+ circles.
I’m thinking OU intranet (Chris, hint, hint….)

I guess this course will have about as much work as (or less than) an OU 10 pointer, from the time requirements.

The URL to signup at is

I’m also looking for something similar for econometrics, if anyone happens to know. The maths in M347 lends itself well to this.

More beer

Today has been spent doing most of the extra exercises for units 2 and 3 of M347 before moving on to unit 4 next week.
Calculus feels fully up to pace, algebraic manipulation has improved by a factor of e^e, and the table is strewn with beer cans.
This course is a right techniques festival, so time spent working with tricky integrals, etc is essential if you’re not confident with them.

For some reason, I spent ages trying to integrate a horrible function by parts and numerous substitutions to obtain the MGF of a nasty distribution. Even Wiki basically said: “good luck”.

In the end, I reverted to the Gamma function, (scroll down to “integration problems”) – a useful little beast.