Difficult but enjoyable nonetheless
This semester I am taking 5 courses. I am already starting to feel the pressure of my workload slowly accumulating. However, a weird side of me is enjoying every moment of it.
There is some sort of surreal feeling of being productive and getting some assignments and readings done. I cannot deny that the courses being so interesting doesn’t play a huge part in my constant desire to study.
Let this blog become a very early midterm review for me..
and hopefully a half-decent description of these Courses as taught in Concordia to you.
This course has by far the most time consuming assignments in my very short studying career. So far I have spent around a combined 50 hours for the first two assignments. Honestly, cannot complain, I am learning quite a lot of interesting concepts. And incentives to solve problems in my downtime are always vey welcome.
The course so far covers these very important ideas:
- The Binomial Theorem
- Principle of Exclusion-Inclusion
- Combinatorial Proofs and Identities
- Generating Functions
That’s indeed a lot of knowledge.. I am certain it will serve me in the future. At the very least it has already drastically improved my problem solving skills.
Numerical Methods Summary
For this course, I had to provide an analysis of several different recurrence patterns and provide some code along with it.
Obviously I decide to use Jupyter, Pandas and Plotly to support my analysis.
This course covers sooo much material, and there is very little time attributed to doing exercises and reviewing previous concepts.
Here are the following topics that we covered (but not limited to):
- Newton’s Method
- Banach’s Lemma
- Computational Complexity of Gaussian Elimination
- Numerical Solutions to NonLinear Equations
- Matrix and Vector Norms
The teaching quality for this course is impeccable and I am extremely enjoying the content. However, I find it difficult to motivate myself to go beyong the classroom for this class.
Operating Systems Summary
This class has surprisingly been my favorite so far. I direct this source of motivation and love to the beautiful people who wrote OSTEP. I honestly cannot recommend this resource enough. It is very concise, provides examples through code and history, and has a few touches of humor here and there.
Some of the topics we covered so far are as follows:
- Structure of the OS
- Multi-threading and Parralellism
- Critical Sections and Mutual Exclusion and Deadlocks
I am currently in the midst of writing the second theory and programming assignments which have a lot to do with Semaphores and Deadlocks. Quite interesting and confusing at the same time..
I am having a love hate relationship with this course at the moment. I am extremely grateful for the teacher and the people I have met in this class. They have all contributed to my deeper appreciation of Jazz and music in general. However, especially recently, I have started to despise the process of analyzing Jazz music. I simply get tired very quickly as we analyse every bar of music and write the scales for each new chord..
I guess all I can say is: thank goodness I am not studying as a Music Major.
Here are some of the techniques and ideas we have learned so far:
- Harmonic and Melodic Minor Destination
- Recognizing common chords (diminished, augmented, flat 5, sharp 5, flat 9, etc)
- Relating the a chord to its neighbours to construct its corresponding scale.
- Composing ideas (soon!)
- General analysis of common patterns (V-I, II-V-I, bIII, etc.)
I cannot really speak for how productive it is to take this course, in regards to my career and current time management. But I sure am quite glad I chose to study this course despite its challenges.
Linear Algebra Summary
This course has been relatively easy so far. The bulk of our learning was simply review of Linear Algebra concepts that I more or less already knew. The only challenge is to learn this computational tool called Maple, and trying to be efficient with the various commands.
The topics we have covered so far are:
- Determinants, Invertibility of Matrices
- Linear Combinations and Linear Independence
- Homogeneous Systems of Equations
- Change of Basis, from R^2 to R^2 and R^2 to R^3
- Plotting using Maple