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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You say coke, I say caine

Still working on the mechanical part of assignment 6, which is now due Monday instead of Friday; Chris reckons he's a lecture behind where he should be, hence the extra time. It'll be good to have the weekend to swot up on what "diagonalizable" means. There seems to be more and more linear algebra needed as the course progresses.

We got assignment 5 back today. I got 18/20, the first time my mark has increased from one assignment to the next. My abortive three pages of working on that nasty Lagrange question even got a sympathetic "good try" in the margin, although I don't think that translated into any actual marks. A quick flip through indicates that all other errors were of the minor type that arise from writing up assignments at two in the morning.

The tutorial was, unsurprisingly, mechanical. There don't seem to be any great insights coming from ODEs at this level. To make life more interesting, I note that when Chris writes matrices on the board, he writes them row by row. I prefer column by column so as to ensure the columns get lined up properly [rows aren't a problem because I write on lined paper]. This small discrepancy leads to some confusion when I write from dictation alone for long periods; when I look up, all the matrix entries are suddenly in the wrong order!

I'm still working, an hour or so each day, on LaTeXing the test. It's possible that I'll actually learn enough in the next ten days to hand in a nice-looking version; if not I'll handwrite it and put the LaTeX down as experience. I need to learn the language sometime regardless, so may as well start now.


lorne said...

I gather that diagonalisation is similar to saying 1 ≠ 0. Then again a definition may serve you better.

Oh, and Bicycle Race!

Gael said...

Oh, right. Well I've been diagonalising matrices all week then, without realising it :)


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