Monday, October 22, 2007


Earlier today I received my score for my math test. To my joy, I received 79 points out of a total of 90 points. As much as I hate getting a B on my math test, I'm still glad that it wasn't the train wreck that I was somewhat concerned with. For this quarter, my tests average to a 93.4% for each test. Those are scores I can be confident with. Mrs. Shepard said that this section was the hardest covered, so I expect better performance in the future. A part of me is a bit regretful in not studying harder, or even completing all the homework. I could have easily achieved a solid A if I had studied my trig identities and did what was assigned (in fact, I am confident that I would have received around 100% if that was true). Mathematics relies on two things, perfection, and a solid grasp of the underlying concepts. Thankfully my experience goofing off in High School has proven to be a valuable lesson.

In high school I didn't care much, and much like a calculator only learned the methods to solving problems. By not understanding the concepts behind the work I did, I suffered both in problem solving, that required a strong grasp on how to use these ideas, and suffered in building upon that knowledge when new concepts were introduced (if you don't understand what you are doing now, its really hard to understand anything else!). College for me was a nice restart, both in electronics and math. If there's one thing I make sure of, it's that I understand what I am doing! (although my mind does wonder in Electronics 2...)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Halfway through, Midterms and my new best friend.

Midterms started unofficially with a math test this past week. Unfortunately the review for the test was a lot easier than the actual test, so I had a false sense of security going into the test. I failed to remember all my trig identities(sin(x)^2 = (1-cos(2x))/2) and the integral of cosecant. I passed my last math test with a 99%, so I'm hoping for a B on this test. With a B I can easily make up for it with my other tests, and I may even be able to pull off an A in the class if I get a C on the test(I'm pretty confident in at least achieving a C). If all else fails, I still have the opportunity to make up one test at finals. College is important to me, so I do always make sure to cover my bases. While on the topic of math, I recently purchased a used Ti-89 Titanium. The titanium is, at least in my opinion, the best calculator on the market to own for Calculus. It has a built in solver that handles anything, derivatives, integration, and anything else you can think of. It's a dream come true for me, and I love the diversity of programs available for it. I even have a PLC simulator on my calculator!

Next week I have four midterms, DC motors, Circuit Analysis, Electronics 2, and Microcontrollers. I'm confident in my abilities with Microcontrollers, my favorite class this semester. As for the others, Electronics 2 and Circuit Analysis will provide a challenge, but DC motors should be mediocre in difficulty, at least from what the teacher has provided for sample questions.

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbons was just released. As I type this my computer is upgrading from 7.04 Feisty Fawn. Although I'm on top of my Linux, Python has been receiving some neglect. With so much going on( more school), I rarely have motive to read my Python books on my free time. I hope over the holidays I can dedicate more time to Python, but with learning assembly I may dedicate more time to that instead. I'm probably going to purchase a microcontroller kit at the end of the semester and study assembly for the 68k processor(the processor used on my calculator). Electronics can be so overwhelming, so many things I wish I could learn!