Thursday, 13 June 2013

Not my greatest day MST326 exam debrief part 1

Well I had MST326 exam this morning and it was a bit of a disaster quite frankly. Things started to go wrong right from the start when I got bogged down in two 'easy' part 1 questions. Only managed to do about half of each question needed. Might just scrape a pass but thats about it. I'll give a fuller debrief in a couple of days but the OU have asked us not to discuss the exam in any detail  for a couple of days so I'll do it after the weekend. I can't remember the questions in any great detail anyway. Just that nothing seemed to come out for me. I think I'm getting a bit too old to do detailed tricky calculation type questions under exam conditions admittedly my revision schedule wasn't that great. I do have serious reservations about whether or not to do the MSc in maths if every year it's going to end up with me struggling to do the TMA's on time and being ill prepared for an exam. Indeed I'm beginning to have doubts about the whole OU experience don't get me wrong the courses are interesting and the material is great it's just that I feel under real pressure to do the TMA's and focus on the exam and so I'm just cherry picking the bits of the course relevant to the TMA and the exam and not really learning the material this applies to all the courses I've done since M208 the last OU course I've really enjoyed and made a reasonable stab at. 

In the grand scheme of things I don't have to count this course for anything so will quietly drop it and hope I do better on my other courses which will be

Quantum Mechanics exam in October

Then I've registered for Number theory and logic and also the third philosophy level course AA308 Thought and experience and I intend to do the physics project. It will be good to get back into philosophy again. I will have an effective degree in Maths physics and philosophy the courses being

MST121 and MS221 Introducing Maths and exploring mathematics      60 points
M208                         Pure Maths                                                        60 points
A211                          Introducing Philosophy                                       60 points
M358                          Quantun Physics                                                30 points
M381                         Number theory and logic                                     30 points
                                   Quantum Physics project                                    30 points
AA308                       Thought and experience Philosophy of Mind        60 poiints

and my least worse of MS324 Waves diffusion etc or MST326 Fluids. If I get grade 2 in quantum physics, and Philosophy  of Mind then I should be in a reasonable position to get a 2/I for my second OU degree which should put me in a reasonable postion to do the MA in European Philosophy at St Davids.

Not that I intend to drop my study of maths I really want to get back to studying my own subjects in my own way without a TMA looming ahead. Matters haven't helped that there has been no effective break since Feb 2012 and I'm feeliing quite fatigued with it all. Certainly I don't want to have to be asked to solve a tricky separation of variables question in a ridiculously short time scale as MST326 expected us to do. This is a pity as that was for me the most interesting bit of the course but I just can't do this sort of thing accurately and under time pressure. When they come out it is one of the most satisfying of all experiences but not under exam conditions.

Amongst maths/physics projects I want to take up in the lull are

1) Finally complete the derivation of the Friedmann equations from the equations of General Relativity and apply it to the current standard model of the universe. Part of this will involve solving the resulting differential equations numerically and so I will look at the Cambridge computing projects

2) Dig a bit deeper into Galois theory a topic I started a couple of years ago the book I have in mind is

This starts off with explicit solutions for cubic and quartic equations.  There is obviously a lot of interest in Galois theory as a search through the statistics for this blog shows that any posts I have that refer to the topic seem to get  a large number of hits.

3) Solve Schrodinger's  equation in parabolic coordinates for both the bound state problem and the scattering problem. This will be a tour de force of all the techniques used to solve partial differential equations, the resulting solutions go by the ridiculous name of the confluent hyper-geometric function however what is of interest is that the scattering problem can be solved exactly even if the resulting expressions are a tad obscure to extract meaning from.

Plus the small matter of getting back on track with my quantum mechanics course.


No comments:

Post a Comment