During my Fall 2011 semester I took one class, Applied Linear Algebra. It was a total blast. You just can’t believe some of the wild stuff that you can do with matrices. It was a lot of fun and the hardest that I’ve ever worked, and my grade reflected that.
During my Fall 2010 semester I took one class, a survey class, Applied Mathetical Analysis. It was a total blast. Sure, every topic covered had entire classes for and books written about them… but that just made it more interesting!
This semester is in my top-three favorite semesters of all time. I worked extremely hard, learned a lot, and will only have fond memories of it.
Here is one person’s top ten list of ways to fail to obtain a PhD.
Ph.D. school seems to be a magnet for every kind of procrastinator.
Advisors expect near-terminal Ph.D. students to be proto-professors with intimate knowledge of the challenges in their field. They should be capable of selecting and attacking research problems of appropriate size and scope.
A Ph.D. is a small but significant contribution to human knowledge. Impact is something students should aim for over a lifetime of research. Making a big impact with a Ph.D. is about as likely as hitting a bullseye the very first time you’ve fired a gun. Once you know how to shoot, you can keep shooting until you hit it. Plus, with a Ph.D., you get a lifetime supply of ammo.
It does not matter at all what you get your Ph.D. in. All that matters is that you get one. It’s the training that counts–not the topic.
This past May, I completed the Simulation and Parallel and Distributed Systems class that I was attending. While taking two classes while working full time was challenging; the pure fun of it all more than made up for the challenge! I will have fond memories of that semester for a long time.
I can’t wait to get started with Applied Mathematical Analysis next week.
Sometimes good company can be the difference between reaching your goals and failing to do so.
I’m wondering what online communities people find value in on their path to obtaining their PhDs?
This past December, on the fifteenth, I completed the Probability class that I was attending.
We covered Probability from the theoretical (Calculus) and analytical (MATLAB) side of things. In my first foray into theory behind Statistics, I found the relationships between the distributions to be really neat to see, and along with the Calculus, a lot to chew on all at once ;).
Overall it was a lot of fun; I can’t wait to get started with Simulation on the eighteenth.
In the first half of the semester in the Probability course I am taking we learned (among other things) how to, given the probability distribution function for any distribution, derive, if possible, the:
- Commulative Distribution Function
- Population Mean
- Population Variance
- Population Standard Deviation
- Population Median
- Population Mode
- Moment Generating Function
Everyone seems to be excited about the second half of the semester when we will start building on this foundation.