All entries for May 2012

May 31, 2012

A1: Final Reflection and a Tired, Tired Trend

Dr Laura Davies; 3rd May.

Missed last week, deadline is tomorrow, suppose 2 mid-entries is okay according to the spec.

First consideration: skimming is much harder on a screen - to do it effectively you need to be able to see as much as possible at the same time. Scrolling does no good. All that’s really happened with this action point is I’ve found a lot of things to not do, and can get something decent working under certain conditions.

In the same vein as a fair few of the other workshops, I started off with a ‘bright idea’ that simply didn’t work out as I’d hoped, so I decided to go back to how it was before. I suppose one could say the experimentation itself was the important thing.

A book list has been made, and hopefully this can be a port of call in remembering where I found something. Unfortunately it lacks a ‘find’ function - if I haven’t written it in the comments section, it’s unlikely to be found. I find opening the PDFs I read in Google Docs adds them to my account, so I can search through those there as well. Additionally, the list is unlikely to get substantially off the ground until exams are over and I can start reading more widely.

These action points remind me of how A4 went - one that didn’t work, one that I’ll continue with, and one that meandered around and possibly had some effect but I don’t really know.

As for what I would have done differently—I suspect attending a workshop on taking better lecture notes (and other things) after all my lectures had finished wasn’t the wisest of moves :).

May 19, 2012

A1: Note–Making and Reading but Rather More of the Latter

Follow-up to A1: Reading and Reading and More of the Same from Midgley, Christopher - Pointless twaddle and meaningless diatribes

Dr Laura Davies; 3rd May.

Recording publishing date may be interesting if just so I can see how old all the books I’m reading are. Decided to go for original date in terms of republishing if the edition hasn’t been updated.

Penwise: Looking at this, it’s just not my preference. I like to have a solid goal in mind: “record all theorems, definitions in a list” for instance. Without anything proper it’s far too easy to just have a set of disorganized (or generally notes that don’t add anything to the course notes) notes heading linearly through the course. I can do well without writing down anything extra, so when I do I want to have a plan, for an unattractive set of notes simply won’t be looked at again :)

Skimming: for material I’m relatively familiar with (in general), it seems to go okay - but for unfamiliar material I’m unable to effectively link and recall the headings unless I slow down and focus on recitation. I could note the headings as I move past them, but that would seem to rather defeat the point :)

May 12, 2012

A1: Reading and Reading and More of the Same

Follow-up to A1: Note–Making and Reading but Rather More of the Former from Midgley, Christopher - Pointless twaddle and meaningless diatribes

Dr Laura Davies; 3rd May.

I haven’t been reading anything (major) from a screen, so point 2 has nothing done :).

books.txt has been created and already looks unwieldy, but I don’t like the loadtime of a proper xls so I’ll probably just try to keep it consistently csv-like for now. Currently ISBN,Name,Author,Comments. ISBN for lookup, name and author so I know what book I’m talking about, comments for self-explanatory.

Skimming: eh, I tried. However, when I see something interesting, the inclination is just to read that immediately, and then get distracted and carry on from there. Ah well, more time is available.

May 04, 2012

Cauchy Condensation Test

The Cauchy condensation test is a convergence test. It’s also, from what I can see, one of the few we didn’t cover in Analysis. Which is a shame, because it’s rather nice.

For a positive non-increasing sequence f(n), the sum \sum_{n=1}^{\infty}f(n) converges if and only if the sum \sum_{n=1}^{\infty}2^nf(2^n) converges.

A sketch proof in one direction should be rather evident: as the sequence is non-increasing, we can replace every group of length 2^n by its initial value. For the reverse, the idea is similar.

Let us consider our old friend \sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n^p}. Consider \sum_{n=1}^{\infty}2^n(\frac{1}{2^n})^p=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}2^{n-np}=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}2^{n(1-p)} which is a geometric series and convergent if and only if p>1.

A1: Note–Making and Reading but Rather More of the Former

Dr Laura Davies; 3rd May.

Looks like a slight (major :P) adaptation of the Cornell method could be useful; in particular having a summary of every page would be nice. Unfortunately I’ve no longer lectures so this won’t be something I’ll be able to put into practice as such. My current favoured techniques are plain linear on lined paper for lectures, and a sort of “patchwork” or “tortoiseshell” method, which takes a blank sheet of A4, starts writing at the top left and, when a section is completed, draws a line around it and continues writing. It’s rather dense, quick and fun to write, but not too simple to read quickly. I tend to transfer notes made this way to the computer afterwards.

One interesting point brought up was noting the books you read: where you read them, and interesting points. This seems like a good idea - I recently found a message in which I’d commented that the book in question contained a countable covering of R2, but hadn’t noted which book (it was probably Apostol’s Analysis, based on the person I was talking to). This seems a good idea, although I wonder how to do it nicely - it would seem easy to get cluttered.

One point made was having a pen in hand to encourage specificity and focus. While reading from a screen this seems a decent idea, while reading from a book I doubt I’ll do it (my specialty is certainly reading from a screen).

The last of interest were comments (however brief) on skimming/scanning. Scanning seems to be what the Survey part of SQ3R intends, instead of “contemplate the issue”, so that’s something to try. My current outlook on the issue is that of the fellow who has learnt to move his hands at ridiculous speeds and so has never learnt of touch-typing, as his current methods allow him to type perfectly well (to use a somewhat strenuous metaphor) - that is, my default reading speed is rather fast, so I’ve never had to skim to be able to read something within a time limit.

So, let us:
#Note books (probably in a .txt, I like those files)
#Pen in hand, paper ready

May 2012

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