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Sunday Math

USA | Tuesday, 23 June 2015 | Views [168]

On Sunday, it was time to actually do math again. In the early afternoon, we met up in the lounge to look at the problem that Dr. Farley had given us over the weekend. (By which I mean 10 o'clock the night before.) It was a three part problem, though only the first and second parts had questions attached to them. At the end of the document, he told us that we could go over it on Monday, or maybe he could come on Sunday to help us if we were really confused. (At least one of the students has seen Dr. Farley pretty much every day since the program started. Allegedly he has an apartment really nearby, but it's possible he just sleeps here.)

So we worked through it, and managed to get the first part figured out. Then we moved on to the second part and very quickly got stuck. So, after a bit of debating as to who should send it, Fernando sent him an e-mail explaining what we'd done and where we'd gotten stuck. A few hours later, Dr. Farley responded with an e-mail that amounted to “if you got the first part, you should do the second part next.” So that was super helpful.

It took us several hours to get on topic, do the first part, and conclude that there was no way we were going to figure out how the second part worked. After that, we broke for dinner and made plans to meet in the evening to watch a movie.

After dinner, Griselda, Dana, and I went for a walk. What I didn't realize until we were already on the way was that I was suppsoed to be navigating them to the Formal Gardens. I'd found them by wandering around, and, although I knew roughly where they were, I was not going to be able to find the shortest path to them. Which is what Dana and Griselda both wanted, and they were very unahppy when I took them towards what turned out to be a dead end. (In my defense, it probably would not have been a dead end if they'd been willing to wander through the woods. Also, we saw a deer, which should have made it completely worth it. I bet Angelo would have been impressed by the deer.)

We got there eventually, and Griselda was happy enough with the flowers and gardens to feel the walk had been worth it. Dana was a bit more skeptical, but they were both grateful I'd shown them there. The route back was straightfoward. (Yet another victory of me not getting lost on the way back to the dorms. I feel like people are not appreciating that enough.)

At 9:45, we went over to the guys dorm to start the movie. Because of course, starting a two hour movie at 10 the night before our one 8:30 AM class is a good plan...

The movie this week was Good Wil Hunting. It was fine, though a bit predictable. And they didn't display the math problems for long enough. And, to be honest, it kind of lost me with the first problem that he solved. Because there's no way someone without formal training in mathematics would know what an adjacency matrix is. It's not an intuitve concept, and if you're going through pulling math books off the shelves, you'l have a lot of books to read before you encounter them. I know this because I've been there. I've never found a book on linear algebra that has listed graphs as one of its applications, and of about a dozen books on graphs and discrete mathematics I've checked the index of, maybe two mentioned adjacency matrices. There's no good reason he would have been able to solve that. (I did not go on that rant with the people in the program. I feel like they would have rolled their eyes and gone “Sabrina and her graphs.”)

And then it was a bit after midnight, so we went back to dorm. I went down to the lounge, and found Delaney and Maram at the piano filming a song. By sitting down on the couch I managed to earn myself a place in the video, complete with an introduction. The introduction varied with every take (there were a number of takes, because the two of them kept cracking up,) bu thte final version turned out to be that I was performing interpretive dance by sitting on the couch. If I'd known earlier that's what was expected of me, I would have prepared better.

At last, they got an acceptable version, and we went to bed. It would be an early morning tomorrow, but probably a good one. (I'm pretty sure I can prove everyone wants to be in analysis at 8:30 on a Monday morning.)

Tags: math, movie, music

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