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Monday, August 13, 2007

Caught in a landslide

After spending the entire morning crunching data for QUAN, I drowsed through a math lecture on differential equations [in the one lecture we had six definitions and nothing else] and then discovered that I've completely forgotten how to use Lagrange multipliers. As the last seven questions of assignment 5 are all about Lagrange multipliers, this is proving to be a problem.

It's not really that I don't know how to use Lagrange - the principle is simple enough - but that the algebra has me rather stumped at present. I've made a mistake somewhere and my rustiness with this technique means that I don't even know where to start looking for it. Currently I'm using Maple to give me a hand up, and hopefully I'll get back up to speed before too long.

During the lecture Chris had a small rant about the word "homogeneous". I recall being very surprised when I first heard this word in first year - I'd always assumed it was "homogenous", pronounced much like "homogenised", as in milk. According to Chris, only biologists have any use for such a word as "homogenous". This doesn't prevent me from using it to shorten pronunciation, although I do mostly remember to spell it with the extra "e" now. It's very important to try to speak the same language as one's lecturers.


lorne said...

Too much spare time?

Bohemian Rhapsody!

Gael said...

What's that supposed to mean, star boy?

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