Maths Institute

Return of applied maths

Despite proclaiming that I wouldn’t take any more applied mathematics half a year ago, I’ve decided to take classical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and electromagnetism this year, taking almost half of my credits for year 3.

There’s various reasons. Firstly, my summer project ended up containing a lot more physics than I originally planned. While I’m not so interested that I’d like to do further reserach on the topic in the near future, I’m still quite captivated by the ideas there that it seems appropriate to learn more about the physics that I glossed over.

Secondly, the courses this year are, in my view, more captivating and intuitive compared to the fluids and quantum courses I took last year. It almost feels like I should’ve done the year 3 courses before fluids and quantum. Perhaps this is also partially because I’ve studied mechanics and electromagnetism in secondary school. Hopefully this makes me more motivated to understand it deeply.

Thirdly, physics has an awful lot to do with geometry. For example, I was surprised how almost half of the lecture notes on general relativity was spent on Riemmanian geometry. The courses also prepares me for the MMathPhys degree, which I’m considering switching to for a change of pace.

Complex function plotter

As expected, I was incredibly burnt out from maths near week 6 / 7. My mind wanted to latch on to anything that’s not maths in the syllabus. Just at the start of week 7, a good friend of mine told me about some problem that needed a visual understanding of how the function \(f((x,y)) = (x^2, y^2)\) acted on the Euclidean plane. Soon enough I thought of mabotkin’s complex function plotter and how great it would be if it supported functions from the real plane to the real plane. I’ve always wanted to contribute to the plotter and thought that adding support for real functions couldn’t possibly be that hard. After succesfully doing that, I overcame the initial barrier and it snowballed into a full-time project that lasted a week and caused me to miss three problem sheets.

Still, it was very much worth it. I’ve always been a firm believer that learning programming without a genuine, semi-original project is impossible. This project has given me a chance to finally learn some javascript. Now I feel like I’m 10% to being a web dev instead of 5%. You can check out the plotter here.

Climbing and Karting

On a more casual note, I’ve started bouldering at Brookes and karting. Am looking forward to the opening of Gallery Bouldering.