# Le Système Est Lent

I’ve heard this sentence repeated over and over to me. Basically, it implies that the network is slow to respond to queries.

Well.

School has started.

Analysis I will be a good class for me. It will refresh my memory on the elements that go into differential calculus. The upside is that this is a mixed group of about 100 students from mathematics, economy, education and others. The subject matter is pretty straightforward and I used to really enjoy it, so I’m guessing that I will do well.

I have a class that has been postponed for a week. Mathematics for college has been scheduled to start next week. The professor has had knee surgery. From the course description and the comments of my department director, it should be an easier class. Which is basically what I am looking for.

I spent some time installing Matlab on my laptop. I’ve got a few classes that will need this software and I’m eager to learn the language again. I’ve used it before.

Numerical Methods is basically an introduction to numerical analysis. It will come in handy because I have another class that is similar. Numerical Linear Algebra will be good. I like the professor. He keeps repeating “Quand même” all the time. It’s like a verbal tic. I remember that back in 2000, I used to count the number of “quand même” in one class. It must have been something like 50.

The good thing is that I’m getting really interested in the GIREF, the interdisciplinary research group in finite elements. It’s pretty interesting stuff. I’m getting right back into it. The finite element method is a way of approximating the solution of a partial differential equation. Partial differential equations come from:

[…] such as the propagation of sound or heat, electrostatics, electrodynamics, fluid flow, elasticity. Interestingly, seemingly distinct physical phenomena may have identical mathematical formulations, and thus be governed by the same underlying dynamic.

We already had our first practical homework in Analysis I. I was a bit rusty, but things like majoring and minoring functions and expressions came back to me pretty fast. My teammates were from economy and we worked well together.

I’ve been reading a book by one of my professors on the finite element method (PDF). It’s interesting, but you need to be familiar with a lot of math aspects in order to understand it. I need to work on my analysis and linear algebra skills a bit more.

Other than that, I’ve been reading about differential manifolds, manifolds and topology. Tomorrow is a short class day. I plan on studying in the morning and then going to class. I will go to the fitness center called PEPS. University Laval is home to over 35000 students. The PEPS has an Olympic sized pool. I plan on swimming for an hour and then hitting the sauna. Maybe I’ll go for a run. I don’t know. The best of this is that it’s all free. I looked through the classes and since I have a keen interest in backpacking and mountain climbing, I will take some climbing classes.

The weekend will be filled with some special classes that I’ll attend to get my brain back into math. The department has two days worth of classes available and I plan on attending them. It will be rough for me, since I’m used to taking the weekend off, but I need them. I might also go back to the PEPS on the weekend. I’ve always loved swimming. I used to swim in competitions when I was younger.

## Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.