Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Reflections, a slight slowing down of pace and an expansion of aims

Ok so having had time to digest the exam results I've become slightly reflective. It seems to me than this year was dominated by Pure maths with a lot of scratching of my head and a lot of what the f**k does this mean. Why ? because unlike say Applied maths I found that Pure Maths does just not flow easily. So my first step is to do just 1 pure maths course per time block and also to have some relief from the incessant puzzlement that I faced this year. I got away with skimming of some of the more difficult proofs in M208 but think I became unstuck on M337.

To this end I feel that as a course such as M338 promises to be quite conceptually demanding (even more so than M337) It deserves my full attention. As light relief :) I intend to do MS324 (Waves etc) as preparation for MST326 and postpone M336 till October 2013. This means that I will have to postpone the MSc in maths till October 2014 (1 year later than I had hoped for). But I did find it quite frustrating having to skim over proofs. However there is another reason why I want to give myself some extra space and that is because I discovered this website over the weekend.

One of the frustrating things for me after having got my diploma in  music was that there appeared to be no follow up in terms of getting to grips with the theory or any way to learn composition. So this discovery is a God send for some one like me. The chance to get coaching in composition culminating in a year woking on large scale work with an established composer seems to good to miss.

I will need about 6 months to revise A214 the OU music theory course and get myself upto speed. I will also continue to do the odd philosophy course at undergraduate level either the OU the Oxford courses or the dept of continuing education here at Edinburgh but I'll put the aim of doing an MA in philosophy  on the back burner for now.

So the timetable for the next few years looks like

Amendments (26th Dec 2011) Have decided to drop M336 as it would take my second Open degree to over 360 points. I can easily get the background from other sources and my interest in group theory is applications of symmetry to problems in Physics and Chemistry which isn't really covered by M336, also that means I can start the MSc in 2013 as originally intended, so the timetable looks like

                     Pure Maths     Applied Maths   Music           Philosophy             
Feb  2012             M338        MS324                                Various  
 June 2012                                                     Comp 1             
Oct  2012             M381       MST326         
June 2013                                                      Comp  2
Oct  2013    Start MSc                                                       AA308
June 2014                                                      Comp  3           
Oct 2014                                                                           Philosophy MA

Prior to Oct 2014 doing 2 or 3 10 pointers per year of  philosophy either via Edinburgh University or Oxford dept continuing education, although the Edinburgh ones are considerably cheaper than Oxford and also involve live interaction. Next one on the agenda is Philosophy of the Arts starting in April 2012.

That seems to cover my main interests in a reasonable amount of time. I'm really thrilled that I've found a way to continue my studies in music. Although I'll always be a Salieri rather than a Mozart. I spent three hours trying to harmonise a 16 bar melody and trying to avoid parallel fifths and octaves. Very difficult if you use triads in root position 135 followed by another 135 (eg CEG followed by DFA) seems almost guaranteed to give you a parallel fifth. Still practice practice.


  1. Chris,
    What courses do you plan to take on the MSc?

  2. well it's a long way off But it would definitely be
    a) Variational Principles
    b) Applied Complex Variables
    c) Approximation theory
    d) Functional Analysis
    e) Then either fractals or Analytic Number theory 1
    f) Dissertation probably on Differential Geometry but the options may well have changed by then
    I would only do 1 unit a year as I still want to do my composition and also haven't lost sight of my ambition of doing an MA in philosophy.