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Posts tagged ‘Mathematics’

156. SET Awards

I thought I was done with my project; in fact I took great joy in destroying anything mildly related to it after I got my results. But then quite out of the blue, my supervisor suggested I enter it in the SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) competition. The fact that she even thought it was worth entering is a huge compliment for me. However it’s a European wide competition and getting to the next round is a complete long-shot.

For my entry I had to write a 2000 word synopsis of my project and really sell it. I’m not sure I’ve ever given the details of what I did here on my blog, but to summarise I analysed multiple choice questions and compared differences in performance between the males and females. I liked that it was about education and psychology and not just Mathematics. However condensing 60 pages of work into 2000 words in a coherent way whilst including all the main points was a real challenge. I thought I’d be able to copy and paste huge chunks but I ended up re-writing a lot of it to make it flow better.

It took me HOURS. And it took even longer to convince myself to get my head down and actually do it. I’m getting too used to lazing around.

My supervisor also has to write a supporting reference explaining how fantastic I am and how dedicated I was to my project and what a fabulous ambassador I am for my subject. lol, just lol.

  Over and Out!

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153. Ten Things You Really Shouldn’t Say To Me After I’ve Just Completed My Degree

1. Oh- I didn’t even know you were at university.
What did you think I was doing for the last four years?

2. Mathematics- Isn’t that a boy-subject? What can you do with Maths?
1) Maths isn’t gender specific. 2) Plenty.

3. You got a First?! *surprised* I thought you didn’t specify because you only passed and were embarrassed.
-_-

4. Yes it’s all very well you can do this Maths-shaths but how are your rotis?
Edible.

5. Acha good, uni finished. When you getting married?
*sigh*

6. You know this degree paper means nothing till you find a good boy and settle down. Life isn’t complete without shaadi.
*sigh*

7. Did you meet anyone at uni? *suggestive look* You can tell me, I’m your Aunty.
*sigh*

8. Oh you’ve finished your degree. My daughter got married this year and she’s pregnant. She has a family.
Good to know.

9. Oh you have a job. Will you leave when you have children?
I haven’t even started my job yet. Gimme a chance.

10. Look at the girls these days. They all want to do the job-shob but can they run a home? No.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I am sad to say there is no embellishment in this post. In fact most of them are quoted directly. Aren’t people sensitive?

Ahh the plight of a brown girl!

 

Over and Out!

152. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

GUYS Guys guys! I got a FIRST! I GOT A FRIGGIN’ FIRST!

During these holidays I employed an avoidance tactic when it came to results. Of course that didn’t stop it popping into my head and making my stomach drop, but each time it did I made a quiet a prayer and pushed it out my mind. I refused to be that person sitting by their computer hitting refresh a hundred times. 

So where was I when I got my results? Tesco. My phone started blowing up. People were posting their results on Facebook and I was just standing in the vegetables aisle gripped by anxiety. I was with my parents at the time but I made a decision not to tell them in case they crashed the car on the way home in their haste. So I played it cool and wandered around the store for the next twenty minutes looking at toothpaste and pasta sauce. 

When I eventually made it home, I trudged up the stairs, turned on my computer and found my hands shaking. Why was I so nervous? Well last year, I was kinda disappointed by my results. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to so I worked my butt off this year to compensate for it. I just wasn’t sure whether I’d done enough. 

I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT when I saw that it said ‘First Class Honours’ next to the degree classification. I think I blinked several times just to check I wasn’t imagining it. I even asked Shakira if that meant a First because I seemed to have lost my handle on the English language.  

Even better I saw that I got a First in every module except one which was off by two marks. On top of that I got a First in my project/ dissertation which blew my mind. Hands down the best set of marks I have ever obtained at university. 

So basically I was standing in my room kinda overwhelmed and on the verge of tears (but I managed to hold it it together). The fun part was telling my parents. I crept downstairs and calmly announced my results. The next thing I know I’m being squished to a within an inch of my life by my mum and we were jumping up and down like crazy people. My dad was much more subdued though I’d say equally pleased. 

So yeh I am pretty darn happy right now and this grin I’m wearing ain’t going nowhere for a while. 

Over and Out!

151. The End of an Era

It been a few weeks since I finished uni for good, finished my full time education for good. Last year I wasn’t ready to leave. This year I am. I have loved Imperial College London. I have never been worked so hard, never had my brain fried so thoroughly, never taken such terrifying exams. At the same time, I have never been so proud of what I’ve achieved or learnt so much so quickly or loved the people around me so fiercely. These four years have been really special.

Despite still living at home, I have experienced independence in a way I had previously not known. My oyster card has been my gateway to London, with which I have mastered the underground. I could sleepwalk my way to Gloucester Road; in fact I probably have…9am lectures are rough.

Anyway I don’t want to gush. The pictures say it better than I could ever describe. *gets out tissues*

 

 

I made a video montage with many more pics which can be viewed here, if you wish to experience the full journey.

Over and Out!

149. Done and Dusted.

I am officially exam free- can I get a HELL YEAH?! Do I have my life back yet though? HELL NO.

Basicallyy I still have my fourth year project to finish off which is kinda like a dissertation but with maths instead of words. This project (and an accompanying presentation on said project) is worth quarter of the year which is A LOT. Additionally if you’re borderline between degree classes like I am, they look at your project marks to help decide which side of the boundary you should be on.

Now I’ve been working on this project on and off from November so I’ve done a fair bit. However I’m not sure if it’s utter bollocks or actually relevant. Mine’s not the most ‘mathematical’ of projects either; it’s more statistical analysis focused. Before you start thinking oooh analysis, let me clarify that it’s more like ‘errrm this mean is higher…oh look low variance’ and other mindless insights rather than meaningful inference.  I kinda feel sorry for my supervisor who has to read this drivel.

As for the exams… I did six of them which is two less than what I did in 1st and 2nd year but it still felt overwhelming. Must be the insane content. How did they go?

The Mastery Paper

This bastard of a paper is reserved for us lucky fourth years to try and distinguish us from the third years. They made us sit an exam where we were given one question from each of the modules we took. Note that even though I study maths which is ‘one subject’, individual modules are vastly different. It was like a five in one exam or more accurately THE MOTHER OF ALL EXAMS. Even worse it was the very first exam. I had zero hope that it would go well- I just wanted to not fail. In the end I had one very good question, two average questions and one piss poor one so I’d say it all averages out to meh.

Algebraic Combinatorics

This is a pure Maths module and by definition, that makes it HARD. You’ve actually got to think in the exam *shock* *horror*. I was terrified going into it because the past papers from the last few years were foul and there were bits of the course that I just didn’t get. However it turned out better than expected. That’s not to say I smacked it. I just had low expectations and it exceeded those.

Time Series

Preparing for this exam felt like preparing for an A-Level Mathematics exam ie. you hit the past papers and you do as many practice questions as possible rather than examine the lecture notes. I had a terrible journey getting into uni that day and although I wasn’t late, it messed up my mental preparation. I was all over the place at the beginning of the exam but luckily I managed to pull myself together and I hope I salvaged it. I *hope*.

Applied Probability

I really liked this course mainly because I really like the lecturer but my god was this module a bitch to revise for. You have to know the lecture notes INSIDE OUT. Every minute detail is examinable and there are so many proofs and methods which you’re expected to know. I felt like I understood the content but I wasn’t sure I could convert that into a good exam mark. Before the exam I did a quick revision session with a dude from my course and I explained some stuff to him and he explained some stuff to me. Both things came up. I could have hugged him.

Statistical Theory

The name of this course is Statistical theory but we knew the exam was all about applying the theory. Due to my timetable I sort of only had 6 days to revise for it properly. The lecture notes were waffle so I just did the papers and hoped for the best. I even learnt definitions on the train on the exam day. It was all very last minute dot com. The exam itself was HARD but I honestly tried so I’m not disappointed. I did everything I could.

Stochastic Simulation

We all got royally screwed over. It was nothing like the past papers. I can’t say it was ‘unfair’ but it was just weird and I didn’t feel like the questions were direct. I could see everyone’s faces in the hall as they flicked through the questions all unanimously thinking ‘what the hell is this?’. It was a pretty bad exam to end on. My only consolation is that I think everyone found it bad so hopefully they’ll sort out the boundaries…

But yeah. That’s that. All done and dusted. I thought I’d have some closure after this or feel like a great burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Instead I felt..nothing and my attention immediately switched to my project. Maybe I’ll feel like celebrating when that’s done?

At least I hope so.

Over and Out!

 

143. Things I Think I’m Good At

Well hello there! My term ended last Thursday and whilst I thought it would be an emotional day having my last lecture, it turns out I was just pretty darned relieved that I didn’t have any further content to revise.

Which brings me onto REVISION. I’ve only just begun and I’m already sick of it. Too much bloody content. Anyway during this rather horrible period I always feel a bit shit so I thought I’d remind myself and share with you guys that I’m not actually (completely) incompetent.

Without further ado, here is a list of things I *think* I’m good at:

  1. Candy Crush– I am GOOD at this game. I can spot a speckled candy or a packet faster than you can spot your mum. OHHHHHHHH.
  2. Formatting on Microsoft Word– I’ll have you know that this is an art form. Tables, borders, shaded cells. You name it, I can do it. I even got commended during my internship for sorting out some dodgy line spacing. Don’t mess.
  3. Remembering song lyrics– I often recite entire songs in my head when I can’t sleep. My favourites are ‘She will be loved’ by Maroon 5 and ‘Just Lose It’ by Eminem when I’m feeling adventurous.
  4. Flipping omelettes– I don’t do anything extravagant like chuck it in the air but I have perfected balancing it on the spatula and turning it over before it breaks. It’s all in the wrist action.
  5. Clicking my joints in weird and wonderful ways– Disgusted? I hope so. *clicks neck*
  6. Identifying sequences– There’s a reason I study Mathematics. I was once good at it.
  7. Acting like I’m listening when I’m not– You need to strike the balance between smiling and nodding and mhmm-ing at the right time.
  8. Enjoying my own company– I think more people need to get better at this. I am perfectly happy entertaining myself (titter). No but seriously I don’t feel alone even if I’m by myself.
  9. Reading quickly– I don’t know how many words per minute but I’m fast. I can read heavyweight books in a day.
  10. Finding good gifts– If Maths doesn’t work out, I think I could set up a successful tailored gift service. I like giving people kooky but practical things.
  11. Using keyboard shortcuts– It physically pains me to see people using their mouse to do things a keyboard could do in half the time.
  12. Not wasting money– I don’t get a high from retail therapy but I do when I see my bank statement.
  13. Being on time– not late, not early, on time. I think people who arrive early are nearly as annoying as people who arrive late.
  14. Adjusting to the situation– I can be sharp and serious when it matters, quiet when I need to be, loud when I want to be, and social if I have to.

Wowwww this list really isn’t very impressive.

Over and Out!

133. Can it be the end of term already?!

The end of term is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more grateful. I am exhausted both mentally and physically; I think commuting 3 hours a day has finally taken its toll. Over Christmas I have a truckload of work to do (will it ever end?!) but at least I’ll get to do it in the comfort of my home where I can wake up when I want, eat when I want and work on things at my own pace.

I believe I complained about one of my modules (Stat Theory) in my second to last post. You’re in luck- I’m going to complain about it some more. I had my last every lecture for it today *Hallelujah!*. Considering how much I’ve struggled with the course and felt like I had no idea what was going on, I did well in the coursework which has put my lecturer under the illusion that I am competent.

I’m not.

What I realised was that he likes things done his way and I have no qualms about adjusting my notation and methods to suit him. However there is one guy in my class who started arguing with the lecturer today after he got docked marks for doing something in a different way not taught in the course. I wouldn’t have had a problem if he had spoken to the lecturer in private but he decided to start making his point during the lecture in front of everyone about how ‘real’ mathematicians can accept that there are numerous ways to approach the same problem. The lecturer essentially told him to STFU and I thought the guy would do us all a favour and take the hint but he just carried on.

It very quickly turned into a pissing contest where he’d just start pointing out every mistake the lecturer made, even something minor like brackets. At the end of the lecture he was still moaning and he tried asking other students if we supported his view. I said I didn’t want to get involved and he straight up called us all ‘PUSSIES’. My bad. Sorry for not wanting to be a dick to my lecturer who’ll be marking my exam this Summer.

Personally I don’t see why it’s so hard for him to be flexible- surely that’s also an important skill for a mathematician too. Whatever.

On a lighter note, tomorrow I am celebrating the end of term with my friends by watching the new Hobbit movie. Really excited! Hope it’s worth the hype.

Over and Out!