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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What you need is a rest

Lessons learned from assignment 6 which I should have known already:

  1. Never, ever say a problem is easy.
  2. Do not leave the Maple parts until the very end.
  3. Do not leave the writing up until the very end.
  4. It pays to read the question before trying to answer it.
  5. Sleep deprivation is only bad if you're not enjoying the alternative.
  6. Making peace with one's own imperfection makes life a lot easier.
  7. "On time" is usually preferable to "complete".
  8. Things starting with "eigen" are strange.

I finished it [except for questions 6(c) and 7] at midnight and handed it in this morning before the tutorial. Question 8 was fun because it had a proof by induction, but the rest of the assignment failed to come together at all, so I just called it quits. I'm floundering a bit at the moment.

During the tutorial [attended by all of eight people] Chris did a lot of examples which made me think of ways that I could make the assignment better, but I resisted the urge to take it back and fix it. This week, with the test still to finish off, there are more important things to do. I'm not yet in a state of actually understanding this stuff, and a lot of struggle remains before I can fully see where I'm going.

In my personal math lexicon, "struggling" is good, but "floundering" is bad. Go figure.

This afternoon I discovered that, while MikTeX is installed on all ITS computers at university, it's not actually usable by the average student. To make it compile to PDF it's necessary to create a batch file [this from someone who's done so, not advice from ITS monkeys, meaning it will probably actually work]. This gives me to wonder, what is the point of having it installed at all? Why not have something useful instead, like my beloved TeXnicCenter?

The exam timetable came out a while ago. MATH 301 has its exam on the afternoon of 3 November. It's allocated to a lecture theatre which seats about 150, so obviously the class hasn't shrunk much at all from the original 47. I'm pleased about the date; it gives me two full weeks after my other exam to prepare for what could be the last math exam of my life. I want this one to be good.


gliderguider said...

friends will be friends.

Ummm .. nothing intelligent to say tonight. Shattered.

Gael said...

Heh. That's appropriate, given the title. A star will make things better.

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