Sunday, August 8, 2010

Out of the Flatlands !

Today, I commence lecturing in HMS 112 (the second session subject mathematics subject for first year students at Swinburne), which is exciting for me and hopefully also for the students ! Of course, I appreciate that students returning from the break may still be building up enthusiasm for the subject ... I suggest a shot of caffeine and a gentle start.

Why is it exciting ? Because I get to escape the "flatlands" of high school mathematics for once and all; I leave behind x y plots and simple one variable problems and head towards the valleys and byways of 3-D land, where unexpected dips and rises test your powers of visualisation and calculus. Where a slope is not a simple slope but needs to be defined relative to the land around it and where the mathematical symbols get curly and more cryptic !

Even at this stage of the adventure, our powers of imagination are being tested (was is the difference between a circular paraboloid and a two sheet hyperboloid ?) and we haven't even entered complex number land yet !!!!

My advice to students entering this new land .... hold on, enjoy the ride and keep a sense of humour.

10 comments:

  1. Absolutely love your enthusiasm for Maths. It's a beautiful thing! L

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  2. HMS112 is a joke.
    If you look at second semester maths subjects at Monash and Melbourne (for first year, 2nd sem engineering students), the topics of HMS112 are very introductory.

    Stanley Kosasih, B.Eng Grad.Cert.Ed Monash Grad.Dip.Ed LaTrobe.

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