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Monday, May 23, 2005

Number crunching 

Over the last few months asI've slowly been preparing for the start of b-school, there's been one thing constantly rumbling in the back of my mind - maths. I don't consider myself mathematically incompetent by any means, but it's fourteen years since I was last in a maths classroom. The GMAT made me realise how much I'd forgotten, and I know that a lot of the stuff I reminded myself of while preparing for the test has floated out of my brain again.

So, I've been sort of doing a distance learning maths course to get those mathematical muscles in my brain working again. 'Sort of' becasue it became apparent early on that, with everything else happening, I wasn't going to be able to get all the assignments in on time (and I'l have left the country before the exam). As it's the learning I'm interested in rather than the qualification, that's fine with me.

Yesterday, while ploughing through numbers for work, I had a bit of an "aha!" moment. I looked at some figures, thought "how do I calculate what I want to calculate?", and then this little voice in my head said "it's obvious, you need the fourth root of that divided by the other". A small victory perhaps, but a sign that my synapses are starting to fire in the ways that I'm going to need them to. Now if I can just get myself to the stage where I can look at a differential equation without feeling faint . . .

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