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Sunday, July 22, 2007

I try and I try and I try

Weekend summary: assignment 2 is driving me crazy.

Questions 1 and 2 are not difficult, just simply summing the important parts of two definitions and showing that the result matches the form of the original. Question 4 shouldn't be difficult if my memory of last year is anything to go by [although it involves matrix algebra - watch out!]. Question 3... aargh.

I've shown the thing that we're required to show, but I haven't shown it properly - I had to use Maple. My intention in turning to Maple was to find out which direction I should be going with my "proper" answer [the one that doesn't rely on a graph to prove my point]. But I kept on running across something that didn't quite work, something strange, and when I finally worked out what it was, I proved in the process that my intended approach to the "proper" answer is impossible. It's just never going to work no matter how much I force it. The specific problem with my approach is that it only works if 0 > π, and strangely enough I can't seem to make that happen.

So I'm left knowing that the statement of the question is true, knowing exactly what values are necessary to make it true, and yet unable to show that it is true - with those values or any other. Must be time to take a bath [that's a reference to the movie π, so be impressed by my cleverness, or else].

There are six other questions in the assignment, but we don't learn how to answer those until tomorrow's lecture.

BTW: on Friday I meant to record that Chris told his story about Hardy, on cue, when he wrote the word "clearly" on the board. [I could swear he wasn't going to tell it until he caught my eye, but that was probably just my imagination.] The story goes that Hardy, while lecturing at Cambridge, once gave his class a formula and said something like "of course this is obvious". A few minutes afterwards he stopped, looked at the formula again and then rushed from the room - to return twenty minutes later saying, "I was right, it is obvious!".

My dad's theory about this is that he went to ask the janitor. Which of course puts me in mind of the one about Einstein's chauffeur...

2 comments:

lorne said...

Somebody to Love, but I would rather go for Satisfaction for this one ;)

Gael said...

No! No satisfaction! Satisfaction bad!

Erm, I mean. Star :)

Go, now, and google I try and I try and I try, and be amused.

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