Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finally Time For Finals

Just finished what I hope was my last Abstract Algebra test. The take home portion of this exam was hell. Even though there were only 3 questions it took a little under a week for us to complete. The first two questions were pretty simple and we finished in about an hour (most likely less). They day before the exam was due my team and I spent around 12 hours working on the sole remaining problem, and we didn't feel too confident about any of our proofs. What frustrated us the most was that the material covered in the final question did not have any major connection to algebra. This combined with the professor's poor wording of the problem left us wanting to kill people. Today was the in class portion of the exam which surprisingly was not all that bad. I did however, make a few mistakes. One problem I got the right answer but used the completely wrong method, luckily this was a short answer and not proof bases test. Another problems I used the same incorrect method but this time I am sure I go the wrong answer. Other than those two questions I think that I got everything else correct.

In addition to the abstract test I had an Advanced Calculus test the following period. Luckily the theorem he wanted us to prove was not all that difficult, since I did not bother studying for it due to the abstract test.

Before you get the wrong idea, today was not a horrible day. In fact it was and most likely will be the best day of this week. I woke up this morning thinking that I would have to go to French. However, during my shower I remembered that we didn't have class today because we had the oral portion of our final the previous day. During this new found free time I studied a little for abstract and watched some television. This got old after a while so I resorted to doing a few SPOJ problems, which is something I haven't done in about a month. During the period of about one hour I finished a previously started problem relating to Fibonacci numbers, started and completed a problem on finding the centroid of a region, and finally started a problem on strings. This last problem I have though of a method but am not sure exactly how to program it just yet.

One final bit of good news, I ordered my laptop a few days ago. Here are its "stats":

- Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
- AMD Turion(TM) 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-60 (2.0 GHz, 512KB+512KB L2 Cache )
- 15.4" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
- 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
- 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS!!
- HP Imprint Finish (Radiance) + Webcam + Microphone
- 802.11b/g WLAN and Bluetooth from 802.11b/g WLAN!!
- 160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
- High Capacity 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (3hr 30min)

This only came out to $847.09 and $59.10 of that is tax (shipping was free).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Finals and Work

Well the semester is winding down, I only have a few more test and then I'm "free". Now that I think about it I have quite a few test to take actually. Two in Abstract Algebra, either one or two in Advanced Calculus 2, two in Managerial Economics, and one in French. None of these should be particularly difficult, but some count more than others so I will actually have to study.

Right now I am really looking forward to my REU. I still have to book a flight but that shouldn't be a bit issue. Earlier today I received an email from the coordinator informing us about who was going to be in our groups as well as how we were to sign up for housing (which is provided free of charge). Interestingly there will also be other undergraduates participating in research in other natural science areas. If I am correct I believe that the email said that there would be somewhere around 200 undergraduates, and only 15 of us will be working directly with the mathematics department. Apparently we will be getting pain $800 minus taxes every fortnight.
While on the topic of money I think it is appropriate to mention that I might be teaching the discussion section for a Precalculus class next fall. I found this out on Friday after my Advanced Calculus 2 class. The professor talked to me and another sophomore, he wanted to know if we would be around next fall since the department was looking for more TAs to help teach discussion sections. He said that he would refer us to the person in charge in order to set up our interviews, which are just a formality according to him. It was mentioned that we would be getting paid but nothing much was said about this topic, and I'm fine with that.

It's been a while since I've done this, but here is a video to accompany this post.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Linux in my Windows

A few days ago I tried to dual boot Windows XP and Ubuntu (a Linux distribution). At first I was just booting Ubuntu from the boot CD I had created, and things were running smoothly. Eventually the time came where I decided that I wanted to boot Ubuntu from the hard drive and not the CD. Well I started the process and things were running smoothly, me hitting next and Ubuntu doing what it does best (rocking). So I come to the end of the installation and when I restart my computer I realized that I had not partitioned my drive so that it would run BOTH XP and Ubuntu, but instead I had installed Ubuntu on the whole drive, which means no more Windows XP. This wasn't all that bad since I was planning on replacing XP eventually in any case. However, problems arose once I realized that I was not being able to connect to the campus internet (they have some new long and stupid process which I believe is out to get Linux users). Thus for the weekend I didn't have internet, I did however, have a lot of fun games that came with Ubuntu so I was entertained.
Yesterday I managed to get a copy of an XP boot and installation disk. So right now I am in the process of reinstalling all the applications I will need and all of my other hardware to work with XP again. So I have been frantically downloading things left and right.
Things I still need to get include;
a C++ compiler, Adobe Reader, WinTV, a few Firefox add-ons, and other minor things like anti-virus software.
In any case I shall be reattempting to dual boot XP and Ubuntu in a few days, wish me luck.