So, this term is going pretty well so far. I’ve written 3 midterms (out of 6) so far and feel pretty good about all of them. Then again, my performance on the first STAT 231 midterm was mediocre, even though I felt good about it. The class average was significantly worse though, so maybe somehow that justifies it (hah! not really.) It seems there is a fundamental difference between courses like STAT 231 and, say, MATH 146/249. The latter courses are nice because literally, the whole exam is proofs, and when you write a proof you can feel whether the rigor is there. Normally, if it’s not there, it’s because I don’t really know exactly what I’m talking about (or on rare occasions, I’ll have a picture or idea in my head that I just can’t seem to make precise.) On the other hand, things like STAT 231 are… well, they’re more qualitative. I don’t know if that’s the right word for it but there is definitely a pronounced difference; it’s just not as theoretical (this is why I wanted to take STAT 241, but my timetable wouldn’t allow it.) Sure, theoretical material is harder on the brain, but at least everything is defined properly and there’s never any ambiguity. In statistics? A lot of people are still confused about what the difference between “bias” and “sample error” is. I’m not going to lie, this kind of thing irritates me in a course. Reminds me how you can give the same essay to two different teachers, receive a pass from one and a fail from the other. Hi – I’m Mikh, and I’m a math major! Definitions for breakfast, theorems for lunch, and proofs for dinner. That’s how I live.
My courses next term have undergone a bit of transformation lately. I’m taking three CS courses, but was originally planning to take Real Analysis along with Complex Analysis. I ended up swapping Real for Advanced Linear Algebra 2, because I think the latter is a higher priority, given the course offerings. So, here it is.
CS 240, Data Structures and Data Management
CS 241, Foundations of Sequential Programs
CS 251, Computer Organization and Design
MATH 245, Linear Algebra 2 (Advanced Level)
PMATH 352, Complex Analysis
I’m still not sure whether taking PMATH 352 and MATH 245 along with all those CS courses was a sane decision, but oh well. I’ve read a bit about people taking Complex before Real, and it seems there isn’t really any dependence of one on the other. Some even say Complex is nicer than real because “everything works out nicely in the complex plane, but not so much on the real line”. I’ve already done three full courses in rigorous analysis though (MATH 147, 148, and 247) so it shouldn’t be impossible.
Fall 2011, I’ll be doing solely third year PMATH and CS courses. No idea how that works seeing as how I wasted a year, but whatever.