So much has been happening (hence the lack of posts), i’ve been trying to get my life sorted and this semester doesn’t sound like it’s going to be as easy as planned for/hoped for/envisioned.
I met with Ed for a research meeting and thought that it was a given that I was going to continue with research this semester when he gave me a nice long chat about what I’m intending for the future and where I’m intending to go next because to him, my continuing with research in my final semester was not a given and I could be better employed doing things like core grad courses. Which generations of singaporean math majors before me have done in their undergraduate career but do bear in mind that all of them are far more brilliant than I can ever aspire to be. I just wanted to sit around and y’know, just sorta rot. I never intended to do any grad courses this semester! But Ed told me very seriously that the one thing that nobody really tells you is CRUCIAL for getting into math grad school, is having done grad courses and succeeded at them. And I am deathly afraid of not getting into grad school, my track record being far from perfect. So I enrolled in Hubbard’s course and have now replaced my fear of not getting into any grad school with fear of not succeeding at this cpx analysis course. It is wonderful to start and end my mathematical education at cornell under Hubbard though. He is a darling old man, as witty and illegible as ever.

People in the previous class have been asking him what certain words on the blackboard are and he said “this? it’s neighborhood. you mean you’ve never seen it before? Well! nbhd is a well-known abbreviation for neighborhood. It is definitely well known! Is it difficult to read? I think my handwriting is actually doing quite well today… by my standards.. admittedly they are rather low standards but it’s been known to be a lot worse… you’ll see.”

So! I actually got through my audition but told the teacher i’m not going to take lessons because I don’t think I’ll have the time. especially after Ed told me that many math grad students study 8 hours a day for months leading up to their quals and don’t get through, and later added “actually it’s more like 10 hours”. my current bad habits are going to hinder any sort of academic ambition so i’d really better start working hard. Have naturally perished all hopes of taking biking or backcountry cooking, and am doing four math courses now, three of out which are grad courses (but only one is core, i.e. requires more work). I never ever thought I’d do more than 3 math courses in a semester. Everything in Dennis’ Topics in Algebra makes a whooshing sound as it flies over my head before it sees the light of comprehension, I think the other students can hear it. Ernest sits in my seminar courses and doesn’t write anything down because he knows it all. How wonderful to be on the other side of the river! The “accepted” pile.

Today Ed let us take a break at 3.30pm because there were cookies in the math lounge. Every Thursday, cookies are put out in the lounge as refreshments for some seminar. So Ed has accordingly scheduled 3-5 minute cookie breaks at 3.30pm on thursdays. We, like hungry little mice, all obediently trooped up the four levels to the math lounge to kope some cookies and juice before slinking back down into class without actually attending the seminar. bad behaviour that is actually endorsed/championed by a professor needs no remorse.

The new rates for tuition for the 2012-2013 school year were released and undergrad tuition is being increased by $1860 to pay for other students’ financial aid. I personally don’t think it is at all fair to the people who can afford their tuition to be so blatantly paying for other kids’ tuitions. Anyhow it surprised me that the graduate student tuition is so much less (maybe about half) that of undergraduate student. You obviously learn a lot deeper, more important things in grad school, why is the price of that so much less than all the useless things you learn as an undergrad? I know the demand for a graduate education is not that high but that doesn’t make it inherently value-less -.-

I’ve uploaded pictures of the lali postcards AND their answers. You should try solving the problems first, I’ve captioned each postcard with the translation of the riddle it contains, and you have to find a certain thing in each postcard. To check if you’re right, all you have to do is click on the picture and it will lead you to the answer. scanned some more postcards today! Made me regret sending out all those lovely arty postcards without scanning them first and keeping the soft copy for ever.


2 pensieri su “Upheaval

    1. Well, he said the exams at Maryland were such that routinely, only 5 people out of a 20 something person class would pass, and these are people who have studied 10 hours a day for the past few months and my jaw dropped. And they’d just have to take it again. T-T


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