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01 August 2010 @ 10:58 pm
Argh, Math: a reprise  
On Friday evening, my math teacher e-mailed out eight problems for us to do over the weekend. It was a take home test. Beats doing the work in the classroom, right?

The problems were MURDER. I glanced over them Saturday morning, and read the appropriate book chapters, but I just didn't get it. I thought it'd be best to wait until I got home, and found some of my other math texts, to see if a different author might explain it better. (We're talking about the Simplex method of maximizing/minimizing a system of inequalities. Stupid matrices.) One thing led to another (on Saturday night my Mom came home from France, where she's been for all of July) and I didn't have a chance to read my other math book until this morning. It was a struggle, I gotta say. I worked and re-worked and re-worked the test problems, following the example problems in the textbook, and by the time I left work at 3:00pm - after wrestling with the concept for about six hours, off and on - I'd completed four of the eight problems.

I asked my Dad for help on one of them, and he - a computer engineer who studied mathematics under the man who presented the first proof of this Simplex Method - was stumped. He struggled with the problem for nearly an hour before he'd worked it out, and the difficulties haunted him for the rest of the evening. I felt bad for him. I mean, me? I'm just stupid. But my dad knows this stuff; linear programming is what he does at work! He was not happy.

I kept working on the problems, taking a break only to go out and eat dinner with my parents at a Taiwan restaurant in downtown Willow Glen, and finished around 10:00pm. I'm pretty confident I did the problems correctly, finally, but it has been a LONG time since I devoted so much time to a single enterprise without an extended break. (That's probably a bad thing.)

At least this is the last week of the summer quarter!
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brokenliich on August 3rd, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
would i be terrible if i asked you to post the problems so i can look at them? i used to love matricies in school. ^_^;;
i just wanna play...
Suzik00kaburra on August 3rd, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
;-p You so crazy.

What's your e-mail? I can just forward the test to you.
brokenliich on August 3rd, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
xroadkillx AT gmail DOT com

^___^
Suzik00kaburra on August 3rd, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
And sent! Enjoy.
deathjoydeathjoy on August 3rd, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
Matrices are those long rows of numbers in brackets, right? You got to keep multiplying by the right number? Yeah those killed me.

Honestly, I bet most of your classmates went online and got the answers.
Suzik00kaburra on August 3rd, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
Dude, I tried to go on-line and find the answers, or a calculator to use or something, but no luck! I found a couple of tutorials and that was it. And yes, matrices are those accursed rows of numbers. My calculator can speed up the multiplication process considerably, but it still takes a long chunk of time!
jeanniejeannietran on August 3rd, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
Mortar!
Mr Baggins: Jokermrbaggins1 on August 3rd, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)
My honest opinion?
Maths sucks - I'm in finance for my livelihood managing quite a large company successfully selling educational books. I hated maths, statistics etc and get on quite well with a calculator and Excel and knowing the difference between a debit and a credit. There is no way that I'll agonize a whole weekend about some abstract sets of numbers. That's me. My advice is to drop maths and become a stripper - much more lucrative I swear. :b

Suzik00kaburra on August 3rd, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: My honest opinion?
I can't afford to fail this class, or else I probably would have totally blown off the problems. I hate math passionately. At least there's only 2 days left of the class!