Okay, all jokes aside, this week was intense. I'm talking 3 problem sets and 3 exams. Modern Regression, Discrete Time Finance, and Econometrics. All of my hardest classes decided it would be a solid time to have midterms. It started off with a Sunday of organizing all my notes to figure out what I would have to start studying first/what I actually had complete notes for. Monday was all about Econometrics, and Tuesday was Discrete Time Finance preparation. I actually got nearly 7 hours of sleep Tuesday night, and went to both my Econometrics and DTF exams well-rested and very confident.
Even Modern Regression on Thursday wasn't so bad. Sure, I probably got a B on the exam cause there was barely enough time to finish, and of course there is a second Data Analysis part that is due next week, but overall, I nailed all three of my exams with good preparation and planning.
So enough about me, lets talk about exams in general.
Everyone takes them, whether its for work, or school, or college. They generally aren't the most exciting thing to pencil into your calendar, but I would argue that exams are actually good.
How often can you sit down and really realize how much you have learned in a class. After walking out of each of those exams it occurred to me how much I had learned in the past 6 weeks. I never realized we got through 4 chapters of Econometrics, and believe me I was kicking myself for not starting to review earlier, but after I finished, it felt really good to be done and really understand all that material.
Between all the other activities and things happening at Carnegie Mellon its easy to forget you are actually here to get an education. I'm sure it happens to a lot of you guys in your activities as well. So maybe instead of thinking about exams as this huge burden, think of it as a great way to really understand everything you know. Maybe this new positive mindset will help you score higher, but even if you don't quite get the score you want, at least you know how much you are learning.
Anyway, all this sentimental stuff aside, I'm done for the week, WHATUPPPP, and its time to celebrate. I'll be running the Shadyside 5K this Saturday, and tonight I'm sure some exciting plans will develop.
Here's to a stellar weekend, and another round of exams in 3 weeks that I hope leave me feeling as accomplished as I feel now!
By Mohit Moondra on September 26, 2009 12:34 PM
Meeting Bill Gates...oh and a
Little Bit About Our New Building
fellow readers, I indeed got to meet Bill Gates. Actually, I even got to shake
his hand! You might be wondering which global conference I had to travel to or
how I managed to get the time to meet with one of the pioneers in computer
science and now a pioneering philanthropic genius as well.
let me backtrack and talk a little bit about our new Gates and Hillman Centers
on campus. These are two brand new buildings that provide an exclusive home to
our School of Computer Science. The Gates building was made possible by a 20
million dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while the
Hillman Center was funded partly by a 10 million dollar grant from the Henry L.
Hillman Foundation. These two buildings are for a lack of better word...awesome.
has 310 offices...all with windows. 11 conference rooms, 10 new large lecture
spaces, and the Rashid Auditorium which seats 250. There is also a large 8000
sq. ft. open space for projects of all kinds. The building is also LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified. It boasts a
"green" roof garden, and has 300 new trees and a new Rain Garden and Winter
have been going on in the Gates Center since the start of this semester, but
September 22, was the official date of inauguration. While numerous SCS alumni,
and other esteemed faculty were present, the highlight of the day was the much-anticipated
arrival of Bill Gates.
Gates was going to be giving a short lecture on modern computing and its
effects on the developing world, which would be followed by a question and
answer session and the formal inauguration of the Gates and Hillman Centers.
With the help of our President, Jared Cohon, I secured a seat in the main
Wiegand gym and got a chance to listen to Bill Gates's lecture firsthand!
out Gates is both smart and funny. He kept the crowd quite entertained and even
when answering questions, he added some good humor into his responses. He spoke
a great deal on the progress of modern computing and its impact on our daily
lives. He commented on Twitter, open source software, and microfinancing,
providing some thought provoking answers.
the Gates Center was opened, I attended some fun events held in the
Gates-Hillman Complex. A SnackBot provided me with some delicious treats, and
got to learn about GigaPan, a new hi-def form of panoramic photography
(gigapan.org). After all these wonderful events, I did a bit of exploring on my
own, and was amazed by the various colors, and modern rooms in the building. It
is truly a piece of art as much as it is an efficient workplace. I'm sure no
student or faculty at Carnegie Mellon can disagree; the Gates Center is one
fantastic building that is a wonderful addition to campus.
to President Jared Cohon for getting me an excellent seat in the main gym on
such short notice. I really appreciate it!
Though I have been seriously enjoying my time back in Pittsburgh, I am taking a class that I usually wake up at 9 AM for. Its basically the fanciest counting class you will ever take. Concepts of Counting Mathematics
21-127-This course introduces the basic concepts, ideas and tools involved in
doing mathematics. As such, its main focus is on presenting informal
logic, and the methods of mathematical proof. These subjects are
closely related to the application of mathematics in many areas,
particularly computer science. Topics discussed include a basic
introduction to elementary number theory, induction, the algebra of
sets, relations, equivalence relations, congruences, partitions, and
functions, including injections, surjections, and bijections.
you read that and are still at a loss for what this class is really
about, its okay. Its probably going to be your first
introduction to theoretical math: mathematics that doesn't require
calculators as much but instead uses logic, and proofs to discuss numbers,
calculus, whatever. This class is certainly more geared towards number
theory, and is basically your first formal introduction to proof-based
math when you get to Carnegie Mellon.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, leave your fancy graphing calculators back at the dorm room for this class, you are more likely to see i, j, k, n and summation symbols than x, and y.
This is the book we use. It is filled with example after example of proofs. Want to actually show the square root of 2 is irrational...yeah you can prove that. You can prove even the most abstract concepts like 0 < 1. I bet you took that for granted.
At the moment we are nearly 3 1/2 weeks into the class, and we just
finished inductive logic, bijections and cardinality. Some of it is
certainly going wayyyy over my head, but with the help of office hours
and homework, I'm sure I'll be ready for the test this Friday.
We looked at the possibilities of getting a royal flush (1 in 65,000) and the how many legal license plates Pennsylvania can have (assuming no other vehicle has that plate already). Today we figured out every way to rearrange the letters of MISSISSIPPI and BANANA. Soon we will investigate divisibility rules and see why any number whose digits add up to a multiple of 9, is therefore divisible by 9. Its an interesting class that makes you think about numbers in a whole new way.
For example, and this was a fun test question.
Ex. The famous math fraternity on campus is having a special ceremony
today. It is their "induction ritual." Each brother either always tells
the truth, or always lies. Each other brother also knows whether each
other brother is lying or not. In this ritual, n brothers brothers stand in a line and say the following.
For each integer i, from 1 to n-1, brother i says, "Brother (i+1) is a liar."
The last brother, brother n, says, "At least one brother from 1 to (n-1) is telling the truth."
So the question is, for what values of n, is brother 1 telling
the truth. Basically if the first brother tells the truth, what can you
tell me about the number of brothers participating in this ritual?
Edit: Credit goes to my awesome TA, Dan Kilgallin, for coming up with this question!
Try writing it out, maybe lining up a few of your friends and trying to figure it out, I'll post a solution on my next entry.