Thursday, 18 October 2012

MS324 Exam Debrief

Well I feel a lot happier about this one than last weeks topology. However I still think I'll be borderline grade 2/grade 3. OK so the questions

1) 3 first order differential equations I think I got most of this correct

2) A tricky one on Fourier transforms the first part was OK but the second and third parts were tricky I couldn't see how to do the second part although I'm sure it will seem obvious on reflection. Left this question and then went onto the second part

7) A question on Lagrangian mechanics a pendulum attached to a massive spring. This question had appeared before but was a bit fiddly still got most of the marks for this one

5) The inevitable question on waves on a rectangular boundary again this question appeared before. Straightforward but tedious and a long time to write out. Got say 3/4 of the marks for this one

6) One dimensional diffusion equation for a bar. Again this question has appeared before but only once (2006) so I guess some people might have been taken by surprise by this one. The past two years have been a heat conduction type equation for a cylinder or sphere and generally a lot easier to get full marks for. Time was running out and as the question involved a Fourier series I got the method but my constants came out all wrong. So reckon about 1/2 marks for this one

So back to part 1 question 3 A probability question on recurrence relations which I left and question 4 a tricky one on variational principles. The first part involving a tricky taylor expansion upto 4th order however the second part involved solving a fairly simple differential equation and in the last 10 minutes I think I got this out so say 5 marks

So overall estimate say
13 for question 1, 4 for question 2, 18 for question 7, 14 for question 5 10 for  question 6 and 4 for question 4 to give

13+4+18+14+10+4 = 63 so if the examiners are feeling generous they might bump up the marks a bit and I might just scrape grade 2.

Anyway it's over I'll post full reviews of both M338 and MS324 later on this month.

Managed to have a few pints in Diggers with another guy. One of the problems with this course is the lack of face -face tutorials so it is difficult to get to know people. He's doing fluids next year along with me so hopefully we can meet up again.


  1. Well done Chris. It is probably better that you had your pudding after your main course so that it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth. Looking forward to meeting up again soon to discuss "life, the universe and everything".

  2. I did the sin^2 Fourier transform by turning it into cos 2 theta, and then doing similar translations to the first part.

    Hope that was OK.

    I didn't have a clue about the last part of Q5.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on another course done and dusted.
    I would say it's time to relax for a bit, but apparently we don't get that privilege this time.

    Best of luck!
    Neil H

  4. I was disappointed with my performance on the exam. I'm very slow and spent the first hour just doing questions 1 & 2 (although I solved them). I was OK on the recurrence relation one but messed up the Part 1 functional question (although I got the first bit out). I should get something close to 50 marks on Part 1 though. Part 2 was a nightmare. I completely failed to get anywhere on the diffusion or pendulum questions. I actually did these last so spent the last 45 mins flitting between them unsuccessfully and trying to forage a few easy marks. I did get the vibrating membrane one out altho I dropped a few marks at the end. So I'll be coming in at around 70 and obviously be happy if I scrape a grade 2 and disappointed with a grade 3.