Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The End of the Fall '06 Semester

First things first. I would like to take this time to apologize to any of you that I may have "pissed off" in the last few days. Even though I am saying sorry don't think for a second that I am going to take back what I said. I still stand be my belief that I was not at liberty to share that kind of information with others. If you still do not agree well then I suppose we have no other choice but to agree to disagree (I hate the way that sounds).
Well this post isn't going to be the most interesting thing you have ever read. Basically I am just going to list my classes and what I thought about each one.

Physics with Calculus 1: A class taught by two different professors really isn't a good idea. Especially when it is clearly obvious that one is a much better teacher. The material was not hard but it was difficult to pay attention because most of the days we had lecture with the shitty teacher. If it were not for the graduate student that was in charge of our discussion sessions I don't think that I would have ever had much desire to do all of the homework. In any case I am pretty sure that I got an A in the class, or a B+ if I didn't.

Calculus 3 and Analytic Geometry: The professor was pretty cool. I liked that he would take the effort to provide us with proofs, different from those in the book, of almost everything we used. This was a good thing for me because I didn't ever open the book except when I had to help someone else on their homework. The quizzes came from homework questions so it was in your best interest to actually do the homework even though it was not count towards your final grade. So not doing any homework I still managed to get an A average for the quizzes. The test were pretty easy also, of the three test I didn't miss an entire question. I am not saying I got perfect scores on them all. This is because I would occasionally lose point for not showing all the steps or for a small mental math mistake, which is understandable. Overall I got an A in the class.

Physics Lab: Sucks ass. That is all I need to say. Grade: B+.

Microeconomics: Most of the material seemed to be very trivial if you ever sat down and thought about it. I didn't ever open the textbook, but did use the study guide that the professor wrote. This was an online class with an amazing professor so really the book was not over need. Both test I got A's on and I am pretty sure that I got an A on the final. In any case I am 98% confident that I will get an A.

The Grandeur That was Rome: Awesome professor. I'm not the kind of person that is really interested in learning about the history, culture, or literature of of ancient civilizations, but I have to admit that this class was very worth while. If it were not for all the reading that would be required for any higher level classes in this concentration, I would love to take another class taught by the same person. I am pretty sure that my final grade will come out as a B.

Grade recap. (grade:number of classes with this grade)
A: 3
B+: 1
B: 1
C-E: 0

Video time.
Song: Heart of a Champion by Nelly

Sunday, December 03, 2006

National Events Are Just More Exciting

I know that I have not updated in a while but that was mostly due to the fact that I have been studying and that nothing worth mentioning has happened until now. As many of you know I took the Putnam last Saturday. The test was not as impossible as people hype it out to be. In each section there were either two or three questions that I was able to attack and make progress. On the A section I was able to do A1, but unfortunately I made one crucial mistake thus causing my answer to be light years away from the actual answer. The A2 problem was not that difficult, most likely the easiest problem on the whole exam, however, since it had to deal with a topic that I personally don't like (game theory) I chose to skip it and move on. There was a problem about permutations about the elements of a list. This seemed some what simple. I planned to prove it by induction but was unable to find a formula to go with, thus my plan was failed. The first question I tried was A5. This was a trigonometry question. I knew i would have to use either complex numbers or some slick trigonometric reductions. I chose to try the latter since when I work with complex numbers things tend to get a little (well more like really) messy. Overall the problems were quite difficult to do in the alloted three hours, but looking back on them they really were not all that difficult. If I remember correctly you didn't need anything beyond Calculus 2 and some skills with logic.
The B section was actually easier than I expected. At first when I read through all the problems my first thought was, "Damn this is going to be impossible." However, once I settled down I realized that they weren't so bad. The trick to B1 was to notice that

x^3 + 3xy + y^3 =1 is the same as

(x+y-1)(x^2 + 2xy + y^2 + x + y + 1)=3xy(x+y-1)

*It helps to know that (x+1)(y+1) = x + y + xy + 1.
This is know as Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick, to us math-leets.

One solution is the line x+y=1 and the other is the point (-1,-1). During the exam I was able to find the point but for some reason the line was just out of my reach. This was not the whole problem but only a crucial part. Question B5 was surprisingly easy for a number 5 question. I was almost just the fundamental theorem of calculus. I however, did not do this problem because I thought I would have more success doing number B3 instead. Luckily I was able to provide an ok proof for B3 so I don't feel so bad about making this decision.
Overall I am expecting to get around a three, but I will not be shocked if I get a zero.

Just thought I would mention this, even though it is not related. Tony has an amazing apartment.

I am sure that this is the first Sunday of the year that I did not watch a single NFL game. At noon I met with Gillian so she could help me with my studying for my Grandeur That was Rome test. After this I went back to my dorm and did some independent studying and finished the economics that I had started before I met with her. Just a note to those of you that plan to take phy2048, the review sessions for the test really suck, don't waste your time with going you would be better of studying on your own or just asking a friend to teach it to you.
Before I forget. I can not wait for January 8th. Ohio State vs. Florida. Yeah that's right, we are playing in the championship game.

Because this was such an unforgettable weekend, this post will have 2 videos.