Thursday, January 21, 2016

The solution

Marcus is spending an hour each week with a maths mentor named Michael - a PhD student at the university. The idea is that Marcus needs to develop and practice his problems solving skills - get experience at picking the right approach to get a fast and elegant solution. There are many ways of solving a problem; some are elegant, and some are clunky and laboured, with more chances for simple mathematical errors that will scupper the whole thing.

Here is the solution to the problem they worked on yesterday. Marcus has completed the high school maths curriculum but doesn't yet have the advanced trigonometry to solve a problem like this the way Michael did.

While they were cogitating on that I went for a walk around the neighbourhood of the uni. I was musing that it is 29 years since I moved to Hobart to start uni - and while I studied down at the docks in the then-new art school, I lived around here and walked through the uni a lot. Then I twigged - hey its 2016 now, so that makes it 30 years next month! I might go and have 11 or 12 beers at the Uni Bar to celebrate.

It's out of term time, and so very quiet around the uni, and in the surrounding student-house streets. Alexander St is one block from the university, and it has a stretch of lovely weatherboard bungalows on land that slopes down to a little rivulet behind. A lot of them are empty and overgrown at present but will probably come to life in a month or so.

When I lived near here I don't think I ever realised there was a rivulet. It's a blackberry wonderland, but I noticed yesterday that on the slope beside the Uni Bar there is a soon-to-open mini organic farm and cafe. I will be exploring here a bit more in the next few uni visits.

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