maths study via The Open University

Archive for August, 2012


The CMA result for M343 came back with a perfect score.
Sometimes it makes sense to follow the maths and ignore your own intuition, as in the case of the one answer I really wasn’t sure of.
As for the three questions I was hopeful of, I devised another method, not described in the course notes, to check my answers.
It began by assuming a given option to the first question of the three was true and creating a quadratic in two unknowns. It relied on the correct answer being given within a range of options for the question – and was basically working backwards using proportions.
Anyway, it checked out, and immediately brought the answers to the next two.

Will continue with M343 from Monday.
For now, until Sunday night, I’m reading an introduction to quantum mechanics. Haven’t got very far yet – still pondering how Planck’s equation could have been logically derived in the first place, though I do see how it can reduce to Wien’s law and the Rayleigh-Jeans law via Taylor expansion.

Final M343 CMA done

Bit of a rush job – five weeks of reading done in three days.
Fair to say I’ll have to go back over it in some detail for the final TMA but it’s a good emergency process to try to get extra marks in the bag.
20 questions.
Confident on 16 of them, hopeful on 3 of them. On the other one, I got out an answer that was an option on the choices sheet but I don’t intuitively feel it can be true. Will go with it, however.

Will look back through all my workings tomorrow, then submit a few hours before the cutoff point.


After about a month with my head stuck goodness knows where, I think I’m back.
The personal stuff escalated and escalated – and culminated in a death in my close family which knocked me for a good deal more than six.
I’m honestly not sure where I’ve been for the last few weeks – physically here but mentally, philosophically and spiritually, who knows?
I do know that I spent days sitting on a chair, endlessly pushing the rewind and replay buttons of recent events in my mind, playing out various permutations and applying differing reasoning to what’s gone on.
It’s one thing to lose a dear soul and know why, but quite another when medical science raises its hands into the air and declares it doesn’t know what happened, why, or how.
For once, with death, I wasn’t angry. It played a strong hand and there was no way to get a glimpse of even its least useful card.
I’m not sure how the mourning process is supposed to work, but it got worse day-by-day instead of better. Until, finally, while in that state between asleep and conscious, my mind happened upon a plausible reason.
More than plausible, in fact. Highly probable.
And that, somehow, reduced the grief, though not the pain.

Anyway, I’m back. I reopened my M343 books yesterday and got going – five weeks behind, with just three days to go to the final CMA cut-off date.

Rather oddly, it seemed sooooooooo easy. Maybe, for the first time, I’m seeing maths as the tool it is, rather than something to be nervous of. It’s just a set of derived rules. Mine to manipulate how I wish.

Two weeks’-worth done yesterday. Two weeks’-worth to be done today. Then a week’s-worth tomorrow.

M347 is beyond redemption at this point. Far too little time spent since April on it. I will withdraw from it on Thursday.

I’ve also decided to knock the idea of multiple courses and huge time commitments on the head. In October this year, I’ll be taking just one topic – complex analysis (M337).