quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
Math test score: 25 out of 66 (38%). Average was 50%.

Fortunately, the two exams together are 40% of the course grade. Homework is 30% and the final another 30%. My homework grade up to the assignment just turned in was close to 100% (and this latest assignment certainly won't be that), so it may all come down to the final.

Bleah.

If I don't get a 'B' (curved), I can't count the credit hours toward my M.S. I don't need the hours in the total, but I need six (two classes) outside EAS, and this was going to be three of them. And I don't want to take a second class next semester while trying to finish my thesis. Ah, well, I'll do what I have to do, I suppose.
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
Or is it the train?

Office mate thought the math test was as bad as I thought it was. She finished none of the problems, either, and she's a more recent graduate in Chemistry and Physics, and she's good at math too.

Come on, curve!

Bah

Nov. 13th, 2008 09:32 pm
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
PDE test was tonight.

4 Problems.

I finished none of them.

Not even sure about the parts I did.

66 total points possible. I suppose I'll find out how horribly I did tomorrow or Monday in class (two people still need to take it tomorrow).

Bah.

Useless

Oct. 21st, 2008 10:18 am
quasigeostrophy: (asshat)
Back on the subject of my current math professor, apparently my office mate stayed after class last Friday to talk to him. When she asked him if he could give more concrete example problems in the lecture, this was his response:

The subject of PDEs is very theoretical, so there aren't too many examples. It's a lot of theory.

ORLY? Then where do problems like those in the homework originate? WTF?

Unfortunately, according to his bio on the math department faculty page, he's a full professor. Which means tenure. Which means the end-of-semester course evaluations may be a good way for me and my classmates to vent our frustration, but they won't do a damn bit of good.
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
...but I'm seriously disliking this math class (PDEs).

Prof sticks to rigorous derivations in strictly general terms. Even when he gives a so-called example, it doesn't have numbers or even specific functions. It's still in a general sense.

For each of the homeworks so far, he's covered very little of the methods required to do the problems.

The official text is worse than his lectures in terms of generalities and mathematical rigor.

The latest assignment is due Friday. As of last Friday's class he had covered nothing directly applicable to any of the eight problems. And then he canceled class for today and Wednesday, without changing the due date.

I worked from home today and got maybe four and a half of the problems done (just over half the assignment) using the 'net, two other texts I got from the library, and three others of my own. I have no idea if they're even close to being correct, but IMHO they're done.

I've been to talk to the prof when I had trouble earlier. It didn't help much. His office hours aren't exactly at a convenient time for me, either. IMHO, seeing how bureaucratic the math department is here, I don't think it would help one bit to talk to the department head.

Whee...

Oct. 6th, 2008 04:09 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
43%.

1% above the average score.

When I first looked at the score on the back, I thought it was worse, but it was points out of 75 (32).

The proof? I was right, in that I was wrong. No points on that one. I was not alone.

Depending on how the grade curve washes out, "average" could mean either a B or a C. If the latter, it will count for my GPA, but I can't count the course credit hours. From what I hear about our math department, I'm not sure they give anything other than A, B, C in grad classes, so I could be sitting fine for a B which would let me count the hours. I'm okay on credits for my MS - either this class or my advisor's class I'm taking in the spring will be the last three hours I need for that, but I was hoping to count the class next semester toward the additional course hours I need for my PhD.

So. Not thrilled, but I'm relieved to at least get in the average score range.
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
Math prof just posted the answers to the exam.

The proof? Forget about it. I have no idea how we were supposed to know to do what he did in the answer.

The other four problems, I think I was on the right track part of the way for each, but at some (varying) point, I went astray.

Come on, partial credit!
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
5 problems. I am hopeful for partial credit, as I don't think I got any of them completely right. One of them was a proof, which I think I understand why it works, but had no clue how to work through the logic in the form of a mathematical proof. The other problems were solving equations, and none of them seemed to work out as neatly as the homework (for certain values of "neatly", considering how much of a time sink the homework has been), so I'm not sure how much I got on each of them.

But it's over, my office mate had the same reaction to the exam, and I've noticed frustrated looks among our classmates, too, so hopefully there will be a decent curve.

I've noticed the mathematics department here is more than a bit sadistic. They push problem solving to the more difficult extreme. Usually, though, they also grade accordingly. One of my labmates took a tough grad-level math class a couple of years ago, never did better than about 55-60% on any exam, and got a 'B'.

-----

ION, my advisor brought cake for 1:00 for my b-day (belated), and my lab mates are taking me to lunch before that at 11:30. Tonight Toni and I are going out to eat for a belated celebration as well. So I have to pick where to eat lunch and (presumably) dinner. Two restaurant choices in one day. I think, especially after being drained by my exam, my brain may explode. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
If you remember anything about PDEs, read on...

So, I'm sitting staring at much of this first homework assignment, and I think I'm missing something. All I've managed to complete so far is are the second [EDIT: and first half of the fourth] problems. I do plan on talking to the prof during office hours tomorrow, and am hopeful some of my drawing blank is from the fact that he's not covered all the required info yet, but I thought I'd throw it out there for anyone who remembers this stuff.

I still like math, in many circumstances, but I'm beginning to accept that I prefer learning ways to solve problems rather than generating proofs. And I have noticed I tend to feel a bit stuck at the very beginning of a class until I pick up the required mode of thinking. One big sign I've grown in the last two decades is that during my freshman year, I would not have gone (nor did I go) looking for outside help, even considering the possibility that it's not me. Which is what allowed my accelerated freshman math classes to get over my head and launch me down the academic spiral that year.
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
I need to come up with an algorithm and general formula for using bilinear interpolation onto a regularly-spaced 2-D grid (x,y) from starting observations that are irregularly spaced. I know how to do bilinear interpolation when going from one regular grid to another, but my starting points are irregular, so I'm not sure how to alter it. The regular form I've used is:

f(x,y) = [f(x1,y1)/(x2-x1)(y2-y1)](x2-x)(y2-y) + [f(x2,y1)/(x2-x1)(y2-y1)](x-x1)(y2-y) + [f(x1,y2)/(x2-x1)(y2-y1)](x2-x)(y-y1) + [f(x2,y2)/(x2-x1)(y2-y1)](x-x1)(y-y1)

where (x1,y1) is in the lower-left, (x1,y2) is the upper-left, (x2,y1) lower-right, and (x2,y2) upper-right with (x,y) in the middle of that rectangle. The problem I have now is that my known points aren't on a rectangle. Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

(Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] math_help and [livejournal.com profile] algorithms.)

W00t!!

Jun. 24th, 2006 12:10 pm
quasigeostrophy: (go me-smug)
Course             Title                         Official Grade              Units Earned
MATH 262     LINEAR ALGEBRA & DIFF EQUATNS                A+                        4.00



After failing the accelerated equivalent 21 years ago, this is an accomplishment. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
2nd DiffEQs test tonight.

For my own benefit. Don't click with a headache or math phobia. )

The procedures for this test seem much easier than for the first one, but this test also involves some memorization, which I despise. Not that I can't do it, but memorization in many circumstances seems like wasted effort. I'm much better at remembering algorithms/procedures. Going to go through each section and do one more problem from each before I head down to campus.

Interlude

May. 29th, 2006 02:11 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
Noodling on Mathematics while I take a break from reading about the annihilator method of undetermined coefficients (there's a mouthful - don't click the link if you're scared ;-)), I have come up with two most likely unoriginal theories:

Sliding Window Memory

As one learns more advanced information regarding a particular topic, earlier, fundamental information on that topic is forgotten. Not completely, but recall is less likely or at least more error-prone. Knowing that, especially as I progress through mathematics education, I have a higher tendency to make sign and/or arithmetic errors, I think I have this to some degree. Watching the professor I have for this summer class, he has it as well. He's much more educated in mathematics, and makes more algebra mistakes than I do, providing evidence for my theory that some subject memory acts as a sliding window - the farther along one progresses, the more earlier stuff drops off the tail end. :-)

F*cking Magic

I've always jokingly referred to mathematics techniques I don't understand as being FM. As I learn more advanced techniques (and, from what I've seen, even what I'm learning now is hardly advanced by comparison to what's out there), I have enough evidence in my opinion not to stop regarding such things as FM but rather to confirm them as such. For example, not to bore or cause headaches with details, but the topic I'm currently reading for class seems to me to be just a way some folks in the 1800s or since developed to play with the numbers to get a solution to some ugly calculus equations they couldn't work out otherwise. Yes, they follow mathematical rules, but I think a lot of these techniques come from a lot of playing around, seeing what works, and developing tricks (only be sure always to call it, please, "research"[1]). Sure, it works. And I get it. But it's still FM.

Anyway, back to it...

----
[1] - From the song Lobachevsky by Tom Lehrer.

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