maths study via The Open University

Archive for November, 2012

Tackling M337

I have to admit, I’ve got right into this course.
There are bits that confuse me – certain arguments relating to continuity – and I’m finding it easier to use contra-positive arguments in some cases, although I’m not sure how “acceptable” that approach is.

Will I await the re-posting of some block B books (right cover, wrong innards), I’ve gone back to re-read all of the A block again, and do the exercises at the back rather than the problems littered throughout the main text.

And I’ve found a few places where my first assignment can be a bit tighter, better defined, clearer, crisper, cleaner. So, I’m changing bits and bobs, but not before having a really good think about some of the rules, theorems and proofs.

I’ve also decided that next assignment I’ll apply the RTBQ approach – on reading some of the questions to TMA1, I’ve managed to miss some key, very pointed-out things.

Less haste, better results, and all that. Hopefully.

22 days to go until I leave work.
My friend with the other job phoned again tonight – I’ve asked him if I can have until Monday to decide – do I do no work at all and nail most of level three of this maths degree this year, or do I bow to the pound sign, and double the duration?

I really can’t decide. Really. Really.

On a different note, I’ve ordered On Quaternions and Octonions by Conway and Smith, which looks like a very good extension to multi-dimensional analysis, if I understand what the Amazon info is telling me correctly. Best of all, the few pages that were free to browse on Amazon were completely understandable – it didn’t go off at 1000mph.

Some complex analysis videos below.


This is more like it

As difficult as the assignments are, and as tricky as some of the concepts are, I have to say that pure maths and analysis is more my cuppa than the statistics side as encountered earlier this year.

That’s probably not very helpful, as the statistics is probably much more useful on the job front, and I also need it to crack these actuarial exams, but I have to be honest and say there’s something nice about cracking open a new analysis topic, reading the text through, then going back and reading it again.

And again.

Picking up a little more insight each time.

I’ve taken to sketching things where possible – sometimes three or four hour detours just to check intuition, or get a handle on some form of visual representation.

Complex analysis is where it’s at for me right now, but I’m also very much looking forward to a bit of applied maths through the quantum mechanics course which starts soon.

The absolute plan is to be ready months before the exam for each topic.

Sub-sequence of Sod’s Law comes into play

Just as I’m in full pelt with M337, just as I’m thinking **** me, I can actually understand (most of) this stuff, the phone rings.

Old work colleague who escaped over the horizon had heard I quit work.
Dangles carrot in my direction.
Interesting carrot.

“Let me know on Monday, chap.”

Eeeek. Daddy or chips time (old reference to old tv ad – Google it, if you’re bored).

Will need to use The Force to fight this one.

On a different note, if anyone knows of a free-standing, swivel, non-magnetic whiteboard (size 180 x 120 cm) for less than 151 quid, please let me know.

I had a go on one last week, and they are infinitely more useful than paper and pen – seems to be easier to do maths standing up, too. 🙂

Thanks. 🙂

Only gone and done it

Done what, you say?
Done your TMA?
Made your tea?
Been caught dancing to a Madonna track?

Only gone and quit work.

Four weeks to go…. eeeek. What have I done?

Let me back up and explain….

Work has recently acquired new management. And things have changed.
And I’m not enjoying it. And neither are many of my colleagues.

Many have quit. Though they did find alternative employment first.

Not me. I stepped over the edge, not knowing how far up I was. And, consequently, how far there is to fall.

Now approaching free-fall, I have to say it’s not at all scary.

I always wanted to go to uni full-time but never got there – always landed decent jobs with some quick-tongued reasoning which bypassed the uni questions.

But now, I can. Sort of.

I am going to add SM358 – the quantum world – to M337, plus two, if not three, actuarial exams.

The equivalent of full-time study, met in the comfort of my own pad.

It’s only for a year. And I am seriously looking forward to it.

40-50 hours a week of study, at the times I want, where I want, and with whom I want.

I can spend days at relatives’ houses, at friends in London, Manchester, wherever really.

This isn’t justification for quitting my job, it’s just fact.

I didn’t consider the justifications – I just decided to walk off the edge.

The landing may be abrupt, or it might be lined with springy, spongy foam.

Right now, I don’t care – I owe myself that year of “full-time uni”. And I’m taking it.

Man against text book. Like a holiday. Only better.

Block B of complex analysis starts next week.
So does study for the actuarial CT1 and CT3 exams which I was going to sit last year, but ran out of free time.
I’ll also need to brush up on angular momentum, vector calculus, Fourier series etc for the quantum course, which has a February kick-off.

M337 Complex analysis TMA1

Mainly done, but a couple of marks still to chase and some tidying up to do.

Quite difficult as a warm-up assignment, I thought.

The whole complex world takes a bit of getting used to, and trying to visualise it is a complete waste of time – for me anyway.

Hoping to get the course’s materials and four TMAs finished by the end of January, so I can take on SM358’s quantum mechanics from February.

I need 24 hours a week study to make this happen, which isn’t a problem.