Thursday, 20 December 2012

One more week to go

Yay! It’s only one more week to go before I fly out to Bangladesh with my Mum. I fly out on Wednesday 26th December. I’m so excited. This year I am going to attend my cousin sister’s wedding ceremony. Last year I went over there for my cousin brother’s wedding (her elder brother). It was a really interesting and exciting experience, so I am definitely looking forward to going back this winter holidays too.
I still haven’t started packing yet, as I still have lots to do in terms of my University studies over the next two days. Tomorrow I have my Mathematics in Society lecture at 10am in the morning. Uff, I really dislike early morning lectures. Considering I’m not a morning person, I think afternoon lectures suit me best. Well I am more alert and awake anyways.
On Friday, I have my placement at Wanstead High School, however considering it will be a half-day for the students, seeing as it’s the end of term, I will only have to participate in two lessons, and I still have to plan a starter activity for my Year 9 class. Over the past several weeks I have been lo0oking forward to carrying out my placement at Wanstead High School. The staff and students are all friendly and helpful, so I think so far my placement is going successfully, and this experience also makes me look forward to being a full-time teacher, sometime in the future.
It’s quite a short blog this week, but there’s not much else to say. Who knows? I may have some exciting stories with regards to my adventures in Bangladesh to tell you about after the New Year. So till then my readers, keep reading J

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Busy!


Last week was quite a busy week for me as I had work for the first four days – Monday to Thursday, and then of course I had my placement at Wanstead High School on Friday. 

Work on Tuesday and Thursday was most interesting. On both days I was working on the Greenwich campus. Interviews were held on both days in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Department. On Tuesday, the film and television interviews were taking place so the majority of students attending the interviews were predicted to achieve AAB or above for their A Level examinations which they are due to complete by the end of June 2013. My main role was to help answer any general questions they had with regards to university life, accommodation, etc.

On the Thursday, prospective maths students and other film students were being interviewed. Although I started work at a later time of 1:30 on Thursday (compared to Tuesday, when I started at 11:45pm) due to the fact that my lecture finished at 1pm, I enjoyed Thursday’s work much more. Perhaps it was because the prospective students were being interviewed for the subject I am currently studying. It was nice to talk to these students about the modules that were going to be studied in the first and second years of the Mathematics degree. They also had other questions with regards to extra–curricular activities within the Maths Department. I was able to talk about the student Maths Society which is a society that comprises of 7-10 maths students that organise various events and trips for all the maths students studying at the university. Past events which have taken place are- Ice- Skating, Trips to Thorpe Park, Christmas Balls as well as many others. I was also able to advise the prospective students that they have to be in their second year of study to be part of the Maths Society team.

Other things which they could do include being a second year mentor to the first year students – helping the first years settle in during the first few weeks of University life. Taking part in these extra–curricular activities is really impressive for the CV, and it shows employers that you’re capable not only academically but socially as well, which is always a bonus, especially working within a team environment.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My placement working at Wanstead High School

For the past six weeks or so I have been doing a placement at Wanstead High School. I go to the School every Friday to help out and sometimes do some starter lessons with the year 7, 8 and 9 class. Although this placement is part of my final year undergraduate programme, I believe that it is relevant experience for me to become a secondary school teacher. Doing this placement also gives me the added benefit of strengthening my PGCE application.  One of the requirements of a PGCE programme is to secure a minimum of 10 full, working days in a classroom setting, and so by doing the placement at Wanstead High School, I wou8ld be fulfilling this criteria.
Aside from doing the placement and attending my other maths courses, I also need to focus on writing up my personal statement, in my opinion, writing personal statements can be quite tricky, as sometimes there can be so much to write about, however I need to only think about the relevant points which would interest the admission tutors, reading my application.
The most important characteristics to have, to be a successful school teacher is to be motivating, a good listener and patience. Of course there are many other character traits which are also just as necessary, such as good organisational skills, communication and practical.

I aim to submit my PGCE application by early December, so hopefully I can hear back from some universities to attend an interview. Practicing interview techniques is also important, as I want to make a good impression and show that I am a keen and serious learner, and I am eager to do well, if I were to be successful in securing a place on the PGCE Secondary Education programme.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Maths at Uni

Maths at university can be fun and interesting, but that’s only if you’re determined to work hard and be successful in your studies. It is more in depth and covers a much broader range of topics. My best piece of advice would be to study A Level Further Maths. It’s really useful, as some of the topics are repeated, especially within the first term.
Top tips to be successful for the exams would be to practice maths regularly. Try and do some maths every day even for at least an hour or two (if you can manage it). Practising maths regularly, helps keep your brain sharp and you find it easier to remember important formulae, and methods of solving mathematical problems.
Studying maths daily means that you complete the topics quickly leaving you more time to tackle past exam papers. It is best to do past papers under exam papers, without using the textbook. Doing past papers gives a good idea of the topics which you are most confident in and other topics, which you may need to, go back and revise again. By doing lots of past papers you can improve your understanding of maths, and overall improve you’re a Level grades.
My final piece of advice is to try and get it right from the beginning. Don’t depend on retaking the module again at a later time. Retaking modules again and again just adds more pressure and increases the workload, as you have to do well in the modules you are currently studying and also the modules you retake. Another reason not to be dependent on retakes is that students don’t get an opportunity to retake modules as easily as to when doing retakes in college. So of course, it’s a really good idea to get used to it, students who study hard and thoroughly at college life, find the transition from college or sixth form to university much easier and smoother.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Good Weekend!

I would say that I had quite a good weekend. It was Eid-Ul-Adha on Friday, which was really nice. My family and I didn’t go out or anything, as both my parents had work and my brother had university classes. So my family was busy overall, just as if it was a normal day.
Overall, we just had a peaceful and relaxing afternoon and evening, with us all just watching TV and just generally chatting together
Oh yeah and the time changed on Sunday. I read some of my messages on my Facebook account, and a lot of my friends were awake before 7am. I had to check the date to make sure it was Sunday, and not Monday, otherwise that would mean that I would have been late for work, which is a big ‘no no’. But waking up on Sundays before 7am seems so pointless for me. I guess I am one of those people who prefer my sleep, rather than watching TV or doing something else, whatever it is people do early mornings on a weekend. Although, saying that, I guess it is good practice for the weekdays, so we can get used to the time change.
On Sunday, my aunt and uncle came over to my house. My aunt is my dad’s sister. It was quite a long visit and for some reason I wasn’t feeling so sociable. I have seen them quite often over the last two months, so their visit wasn’t so exciting or special. My uncle is going back to Bangladesh on Wednesday, so that was his last visit before he goes back to his home country. I didn’t mind them coming to my house or anything, but I guess I was having one of those days, where I just wasn’t feeling so chipper.  

Monday, 22 October 2012

Bundle of Joy and potential winter wedding

Last Sunday we received news that my cousin had a baby boy. Aaw he looks absolutely
adorable. My uncle sent me pictures via text. My cousin and his family live in Bangladesh and the last time we saw each other was last December when he got married. Oh those were such exciting times.
We may be going back to Bangladesh for this Christmas holidays again, as his younger sister is due to get married on the last week of December of first week of January. We are very close to their family as their mum and my mum are sisters. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but as the weeks pass by, things seem more and more likely.
Yesterday was quite busy as one my uncle, aunt and his whole family came over for a lunch invite. We hadn’t seen them much since they got married back in February, so it was nice getting to know each other since the wedding day. We were supposed to go to my cousin’s house yesterday also for lunch as the whole family were going to meet up and just have lunch together, but we were unable to attend as my uncle and his family. It’s not too bad as Eid is coming up this Friday and even though most of us will be studying or working, we have the weekend to catch up with each other and next term is half term for all kids(except Uni students). Although saying that my brother has reading week next term, which is sort of like half-term, but I guess with lots of reading and other assignments to complete throughout the week.
So it seems like I have lots of things to look forward to and I can’t wait for the next 2 and half months to go by.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Busy weekend

This upcoming weekend is going to be quite busy for me and my family as we are holding a dinner party on Saturday night for my dad’s colleague and his family. I haven’t seen them in quite some time so I guess the atmosphere is going to be different compared to just having family or cousins over for an afternoon.

On Sunday, I’ve got a wedding party to attend. We are from the bride’s side and it’s my dad’s cousin’s daughter who is going to get married. I am very much looking forward to that as it’s been approximately a month or so since I last attended a wedding. Weddings are generally a good opportunity to socialise and talk to lots of different people.

Last month, I attended my cousin’s wedding. I was from the groom’s side. It was a really fun and interesting event and once again a brilliant chance to meet cousins and just generally spend time with them. The day was great in general. All the cousins along with the groom got to sit in the limo on the journey towards the wedding venue, and some cousins got to come back on the journey home.

Overall, the day was really enjoyable and fun. At the end of the day the wedding ceremony went smoothly and all my cousins and I gained a wonderful sister-in-law.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

New Beginnings


Once again another month has passed and we are in the middle of September. Thankfully the weather is bright and beautiful today which is always positive news. So, after anticipating my brother’s exciting news, he has now received his results for 2 A* in Mathematics and Biology and 2 grade A’s in Chemistry thus securing his place at the University College of London to study MEng Biochemical Engineering a 4 year full-time degree with intercalated masters. He will commence his study from 24th September. He is thrilled to be accepted into such a prestigious institution to study the programme of study of his choice.

As for my youngest brother, he will now proceed to his final year of A Levels with his subject choice of Economics, English Literature and History. As much as my eldest brother (eldest in terms of age compared to my youngest brother, not necessarily older than me) is into Sciences and my youngest brother is into Humanities. I suppose he is looking forward to completing his final year of college and then proceeding onto University. Although if you ask him what programme of study he wants to go into at undergraduate level, he has no idea. Hopefully he can sort his ideas out soon enough as he has approximately 4 months till he needs to submit his UCAS applications to different institutions for which ever programme he wishes to study. So far, he knows that he wants to study a degree related to his A Level courses. I have suggested that he could do a combined degree, for example Economics and History or English Literature and History. If he does decide to go ahead with a combined degree then I would advise him to study a joint honours with a 50-50 combination rather than 75-25 as he is equally good in both Economics and History and he enjoys both those subjects, however for all I know, he may just end up studying a single honours degree in BA Hons English Literature. Well whatever he decides to study, I will support him all the way. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Time flies by

Wow times passing by really quickly and we are nearing the middle of August. I’m so so excited for next Thursday which is… A Level results day. Yaayyy. Both my brother’s results will be released on that day. My oldest brother’s A Level Results and my youngest brothers AS Level results will be released on this day. Yes as you can probably tell by now, they are quite similar in age; there is only a 15 month age difference between them. I think my mom and I are more nervous for their results, than they actually are. Hopefully this means that they feel they have performed well in the examinations and will both receive brilliant results.
My cousins are also due to receive their final results this year. One of my cousins will receive her AS results on the 16th August and two of my other cousins will receive their GCSE results on 23rd August. So overall, there is quite a bit of pressure in all four families for the youngsters to perform well. Obviously the better grades they achieve in their A/AS Level and GCSE Examinations will mean that they can apply for good courses in college and University. The higher grades they achieve will open up more opportunities for them. 


In terms of other news, my closest friend text me the other day wanting to meet up and just generally catch up. We haven’t seen each other for nearly eight weeks now. So she suggested we link up after Ramadhan is over, that way we could probably go out for a meal together. My friend has text me and left some Facebook messages over the past two weeks so I guess she misses me. I do miss her too, but I'm busy with work nowadays, and I mostly spend my weekends sleeping, so I don’t have so much time catching up with friends, unless they text/message me first. It’s kind of one sided I know, but after another 6 weeks or so, I should be a little bit more free. After Ramadhan is over, I won’t need to sleep so much during the daytime in the weekends, so perhaps my friends and I can catch up then. 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Ramadhan

It’s the 11th day of Ramadhan, and I feel as if this blessed month is fading away fast. The first day of Ramadhan is determined by the sighting of the moon the night before. Originally, my family and I thought that the first day would be Saturday; this would have been great news for me as I could have had the whole weekend to get used to it, and then start work on Monday. However, on Thursday night, I received 2 texts from my friends confirming that Ramadhan would start on Friday.  Consequently this meant that I would have to start my evening prayers earlier than usual because I have to pray Tarawih(special prayers that Muslims pray during the 29/30 days of Ramadhan, in between the evening prayers). This can take some time – some people take 45 minutes and some take 1 hour to complete the evening prayers during Ramadhan, so it’s best advised to complete it early (the whole prayer should be complete before midnight)


This weekend I had quite a lot of family over, due to this I couldn’t catch up on my much needed sleep as I would have liked. I thought it would be a bit strange and awkward for people to visit other people’s houses during Ramadhan, considering everyone would be fasting, so we can’t offer them any refreshments, etc. They were unwilling to stay until Iftar(the meal used to break our fast) as we break it at sunset, which is close to 9pm nowadays, and my relatives left at like 6pm because they wanted to break their fasts, in their own homes, which was understandable.

On Sunday my cousins came. This was a pleasant surprise. As my cousin brother is due to get married on 26th August, they bought all the wedding dresses for the bride earlier in the day and they bought them to my house to show me and my family. I thought that this was a very sweet gesture. All together, they bought one lehenga and 5 sarees. They now need to send it over to the bride so that she can buy all her accessories, jewellery and shoes to match each outfit. My cousins parents who currently live in Bangladesh are due to come over to the UK a week or so before the wedding and they plan on living here for 6 months. My cousin’s mum and my dad are siblings, so we are quite close to each other in terms of family relationships.

 Overall it’s a really exciting time in our family with lots to look forward to.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Birthday Meal at Tayyabs


Well it’s been a few weeks since I’ve last written a blog. The last four weeks seemed to have just flown by. I’ve been busy with work and just life in general.

I had my birthday on Thursday and received some great gifts from my family; an Asian dress (called Anarkali), a teddy bear and pink flower tall glass, and a glass plaque with a wonderful message from my brothers. I don’t really remember what the message was, but it was really sweet. I haven’t really touched the plaque much, after receiving it. It’s really precious to me, considering it contains a thoughtful message from my brothers. I don’t want to mess around with it too much in case it scratched or slips from my fingers and breaks. Lol. So I’ve kept it in the box on the highest shelf of my room.

So last night, I had dinner with my family at Tayyabs, in Whitechapel. This was just a little outing, for my birthday which was last Thursday. We didn’t do much on the day, because it was a weekday and my parents and I were working on that day and Friday too. On Saturday evening, my dad had work once again, so that’s why we had the meal on Sunday evening.

The food was delicious. All five of us chose different dishes (Mom, Dad, my two brothers and I) and then we had a taste of each others with naan bread. Then for dessert, we had mango lassi. It was an extremely wonderful evening out.

My youngest brother was the most anxious to come home, due to the Euro game, England versus Italy. It turns out he didn’t have much to be excited about considering Italy won the match.

In terms of other news, my brother has finally finished all of his exams. He had his last two exams on Friday. At least he’s all done now and the whole house is relaxed. For some reason, there is always a little bit of tension in my household, even if even one of us (my brothers or I) have exams. Tension in a good way, like we support each other in terms of giving each other space and stuff; not watching too much TV or playing games whilst the other one is revising. It’s like if two of us are having fun, then naturally the other one will want to join as well. So we have to keep it low key. But yeah, that’s all over now and we can all have fun.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lots of lovely sunshine and the colour Blue

Wow! It’s another beautiful, bright and sunny day. Summer is truly here. The weekend is nearly here, and what a weekend it is. A four day weekend I could take a mini holiday couldn't I? Well I guess anyone could.

Alas it is not to be, as I have to attend a wedding this weekend with my parents.  I so wish could miss it, stay at home and maybe go to the park (which is just behind my house, by the way), less than five minute walk from my front door. Unfortunately I don’t have the excuse of studying and revision, the only thing that would have appeased my parents, especially my mum to allow me to stay at home. Luckily for my brother, he is allowed to stay home to revise, considering his exams have not even started, never mind completed. Yes, he starts his exam on 12th June. I think he is lucky because he gets to spend the next four weekends at home. He thinks I’m lucky considering I can go out during the weekends, attend weddings/parties and catch-up with friends and cousins, etc. Everyone has a different way of looking at things. It’s only a difference of opinion. The major difference between my brother and I is that I am more of a homely person, I like to keep myself to myself. For me the perfect weekend is staying in my pyjamas, watching TV, movies and eating lots of junk food, etc. Ooh and I also love reading books. I have lots of books to read over the summer holiday. On the other hand, my brother, is more of an outdoor sporty kind of person. He likes going out and playing sports like tennis and badminton.  You could never get him to sit down to watch a game of football, tennis, cricket or whatever, but ask him to play a game, and he’ll be the first one to agree, eagerly setting everything up and splitting the group into two groups. He’s very competitive when it comes to sports, but its the fun friendly competitive.  He’s most happy surrounded by people, friends and relatives, always making them laugh and wanting them to be happy.

In terms of my reading, first off i think I’m going to start with Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini. I bought the book way back in January, but it’s just been sitting on my bookshelf, untouched and unread. So I’m really looking forward to reading that.

So this Sunday I have a wedding to attend with my parents. I plan on wearing a Turkish blue Anarkali (Indian style dress). I didn’t have many accessories to match with the dress, so my mum took me out on Monday afternoon after my final exam to Ilford shopping centre.  It’s been a few months since I’ve had to attend any family functions/ weddings, but I am definitely looking forward to it. The wedding I am attending, the bride is a relative of my mum’s, well her aunt and my mum are closely related. It’s all a bit confusing and complicated, but I think it’s just the case of meeting them in real life and getting to know them properly.

Also I still have to get round to tidying up. No improvements have been made on that area since yesterday. Oh well what can I say?  That’s what Monday and Tuesday is going to be for. 


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Completed my Degree


Wow! It feels so good to say that now. Yesterday I completed my final exam; Financial Econometrics.  It was a good paper, that’s only because I went over last year’s exam paper as part of my revision. The questions that appeared on the actual exam paper were similar to last years, so there were no nasty surprises.

My closest friend had her last exam on Friday. We both had the same exam that day; Statistics. That exam was pretty difficult, not as good as my Econometrics paper. Thankfully I did achieve a really good coursework mark for Statistics, so all my marks should average out. I did tell my friend after our Thursday’s Partial Differential Equations exam, to not rub it my face the fact that she finished earlier than me. She was really good about it on Friday evening on the journey home. She was like she’ll be thinking about me over the weekend, while show goes out shopping and stuff. She was also saying that she needs to clean out her whole room, because it’s really messy with paper, books and folders everywhere. Her sister-in-law is too scared to go into her room now to use the laptop, because of the mess. Lol! How funny is that?

Actually speaking of my best friend and messy rooms, I’m no better. My books and files are everywhere around my room too. My room and desk table is scattered with paper and notes. My mum was telling me last night that I need to clean everything and tidy my room up, but I told her that considering I only finished my exam yesterday lunchtime, it’s obviously going to take me some time to sort my room out. Considering I am busy until Friday, I guess my cleaning duty will start in the weekend. Thankfully it’s going to be a very long weekend, so I’ll have plenty of time to clean my room and also to enjoy myself, doing other things except for studying. Lol! It feels so good to say that.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Family and Cousins!!

Revision classes have begun, from Monday, what with going over PDE coursework marks, comparing with friends and receiving general feedback. I have to say I am quite pleased with my mark, although looking back, it doesn't feel like I put much effort into it, considering I barely remember doing it. However, considering I submitted it more than a month ago, and I had 3 more assignments to complete since then it’s hardly too surprising, now is it?

Personally for me, I didn’t find all my third year modules hard, I would say that the PDE module was by far the easiest module I have studied throughout the whole year. Ok, maybe not so easy as I make out to be, that’s only because I think most of the major concepts which are taught in that class, just sort of click, it just makes sense to me. However that is not to say, that I will get the same mark in the final exam. I still must go over all my lecture notes and revision material for this course as well as the other modules, to ensure that I do well overall.

My timetable for the rest of the week is pretty jam packed. I’ve got a lecture on Thursday morning for 2 hours, an on Friday; I have a total of 6 hours of lecture and revision time to get through. I have 3 hours of Financial Econometrics and 3 hours of Actuarial Mathematics to get through. Oh Joy! If that’s not bad enough next week I have even more classes to get through. This week I have a total of 4 lectures however, next week I will have 5 lectures to get through. This makes sense seeing as I have 5 exams to complete this May,

On 8th April it was my granddad’s Birthday (my mum’s dad). He lives in America with my grand mom and Aunt (mum’s sister) and Uncles (mum’s brother, and brother-in-law) and cousins. They had a super great birthday party with cake and candles, etc. My cousins uploaded the pictures on Facebook, and then tagged my brother and I on the cake. This was his way of saying that although we weren’t there to enjoy the celebrations, we were very much in every one’s thoughts. Aaw, how cute is that? I found that a very kind and thoughtful gesture. I showed my mum the pictures from Facebook, she was well emotional, but I knew she was happy at the same time at seeing her parents. How Cute!!

I literally just remembered, last week on 14th April, it was New Year’s Day for Bangladesh. My cousins, whom live there, enjoyed the New Years day with great enthusiasm. They all dressed up in colourful saris, painted each other’s hands with henna tattoos, and went to fairs, etc. They all uploaded pictures on Facebook, just so I could see. Aaw, how cute!!

That’s one of the many things which I love about family and my cousins, it’s that whenever they are having fun, they don’t forget us and try to include us in some way, shape or form, this time in terms of uploading Facebook pictures and tagging us. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Holiday over

The Easter holidays have nearly come to an end. Only a few more days to go before I am due back to uni for three more weeks of structured revision with my friends and peers.  Most of my revision time has consisted of answering past paper questions and then going back and then rereading the lecture notes – mainly the one’s which were taught at the beginning of the year – only because those were the ones which were easier to forget.

The scheduled revision sessions are planned to go over the past papers again and correct any silly mistakes we may have made during the holiday period. Another really useful reason to attend the revision sessions is that some of the lecturers just might give hints on which of the topics are most likely to come up on the final exam paper.  I don’t think they will state the topics so obviously, but some things can be picked up by what topics they go over during the revision sessions and also which topics repeatedly come up in the past exam papers. Some of the lecturers have provided additional sample questions as a set of revision booklet. This is really useful as it gives us the students ideas on what the lecturer wants us to go over in more detail.
This Easter has been one of the quietest holidays so far, mainly because it’s the most important set of exams (personally for my family). One of my brothers is sitting his A Level exams this June, his marks are really important for him to secure his place at his chosen university. My youngest brother is studying for his AS – Level exams which take place. His one is really important for him, only because he takes his studies very seriously.

I haven’t met any of my cousins this holiday. I suppose they are all really busy revising for their exams as well. Two of my cousin’s from two different families (my dad’s two sister’s children – one child for each sister) are both the same age and will be sitting their GCSE exams this summer. There is a bit of friendly competition going on amongst them, which one will come out with the better set of exam results.

Overall, it’s quite a short blog this week, but that’s what happens when May is just around the corner with all those exams to sit. I’ll write more when I can. Keep Reading. J

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Final week of uni!


Wow! It’s the final week of university and yet the workload is still the same, or maybe it could be said that it has increased! I have two more lectures to attend; Finance on Thursday and Actuarial Mathematics on Friday, so it’s busy, busy, busy for me.  On Monday we were going over the last topic, Finite Element for elliptic equations. It was quite an interesting lecture which only lasted for an hour. The second hour was spent answering a past exam question based on this topic as well as comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the three different methods; finite difference, finite volume and finite element of elliptic equations. In my opinion, it was a great idea to go over a past paper question as it gives an insight into what to expect in the real exam this May.

In terms of preparation for the exams, the best way to revise in my opinion is to do past papers my lecturers have recommended to look at 2 past paper one from May 2011 and May 2010. Tackling those two papers should give us enough confidence and reassurance to perform well in our own examinations. For most of my modules I have at least 3 past papers, in some cases 4 but this is only because I downloaded some 3rd year papers last April whilst I was studying for my 2nd year exams. Although my brothers did complain at the time that I should be focusing on the 2nd year exams and doing the past papers for that year only, looking back, I have no regrets. Sometimes the previous past papers can get taken down from the website automatically or otherwise by the lecturer’s request.

Before answering past exam questions, it’s a really good idea to go over the tutorial questions. Obviously its not compulsory to answer the computing based questions (some computing is involved in Mathematics), it’s much more important to answer the questions that are doable by hand especially considering all the final exams will be hand written and we won’t be allowed to use a computer. Answering the tutorial questions is really useful as it provides a summary of the lecture material. In my opinion, answering the tutorial questions and getting at least 80% of the questions correct, demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of the concepts of that particular topic.

Another good revision tip is to learn the formulas. Obviously some of the formulas are provided in the formula booklet; however I always find that I need to use some formula which is not written in the booklet. Only the most basic formulas are provided, and most of the time we don’t end up using them, either because they are not needed or we already know them.

One more good tip is to have a scientific calculator, or 2 or 3, but even I think that’s a bit over the top. Alternatively just have one scientific calculator and a few batteries. One of my favorite tips and most important for me is to bring a few pens and pencils. Pencils are extremely crucial for a maths exam because we have to draw diagrams, sometimes sketches, other times more accurately using fancy stuff like compasses and protractors. I usually find myself starting an exam with a pen, then as soon as there’s some drawing involved, I do switch to pencil and do my drawing. However, I do forget to switch again! Its only 20 minutes before the end of the exam that I realise that I have completed more than half of the exam in pencil. I often use HB pencils for drawing, simply because they are the best, they come out light on the paper and so it’s easy to rub out if I make a mistake. 

Other important items that are needed in a maths exam are a 30cm ruler and rubber. Me being who I am, I have 2 rubbers, 2 sharpeners; 1 single sharpener and 1 double sharpener and 2 rulers, one 30 cm and one 15cm. My brothers say I am a bit obsessive and over the top about my stationary, bur there you go.  Maybe I am. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Busy life but supportive friends :)


It’s been a few weeks since I lasted posted a blog, so I thought I’d write something. A few weeks ago, one of my friends called me up just for a casual chat and she commented on my blog writing. One of the things she recommended that I do was comment on what student life is like for a third year maths student. I thought this would a great idea and so I decided to write this blog. Back in January I wrote about the three options which I am studying this term; Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations, Financial Modelling and Analysis and Actuarial Mathematics.

I have completed the coursework for both Numerical Methods and Actuarial Mathematics. I have one final piece of coursework to complete which is the Financial Modelling and Analysis as well as my final year project report. The Financial Modelling coursework is going well and is due to be submitted next Thursday. In my opinion, the golden rule to being successful in any subject, but especially Mathematics is to practice regularly. The best way to do this is answer the tutorial questions and have a go at the past exam papers (answer all the questions).

To complete the coursework successfully, always read and reread the lecture material thoroughly, make additional notes in the margins during lecture time, whilst the lecturer is speaking. If any difficulties arise during the lecture, then write down the question quickly in the margin, so you can ask the lecturer later during the tutorial or student/staff office hours. Personally, I find in this university the maths lecturers are pretty thorough in the way they go about explaining the notes.

My friends and I help each other, especially during the tutorials. We do the questions separately and then group together to discuss our answers and compare the solutions. If we get different solutions (which has happened on more than one occasion, all three of us obtained completely different solutions), then we try and justify why we believe that our solutions are correct. If we still remain unconvinced, then we ask for guidance from our lecturer who points out what mistakes we have made. We then try and redo the same question again and hopefully obtain the correct answer. Although the correct answers and full solutions are posted on the student intranet about two or three weeks after the tutorial took place. The lecturers do this to give us students the opportunity to try all the tutorial questions by ourselves, not just during the tutorial hour but also at home in our own time.

Overall, I am really happy with the modules I took. Of course I do have some difficulties with mathematics sometimes, but if I give it a few days or even a week or so, eventually things to click into place.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Fab Weekend

Yesterday evening, my family and I visited my aunt’s house (Dad’s sister). We went to visit her because she had twisted her ankle and had trouble walking. This incident took place on the last day of the half-term holidays in Dubai. Her children both aged 15 and 13 are still attending secondary school, so therefore they get half term holidays.

Coincidentally, my other cousins (dad’s youngest brother and his family) also came to my aunt’s house to visit her. My family have this tradition or custom to visit people who are ill or in poor health, just to help them out with providing a meal for them and their family, or just help them out in a useful manner. One of my cousin sisters’s as been staying at my aunt’s house since Tuesday, helping her around the house with cooking, cleaning and tidying up, etc. She said that she arrived at my aunt’s house on Tuesday (21st February) and plans to go back to her house on 5th March.

Another one of my cousin sister’s (dad’s oldest brother) also arrived with her husband and 19 month – old son. So as you can tell, it was another girly get together at my aunt’s house, this time unplanned with my other cousins who arrived (obviously we rang our aunts house first before we left our house to ask if it would be ok for a short visit).

My cousin (aunt’s daughter) showed us some pictures of her and her family, and the amazing time they spent in Dubai. They took lots of pictures most of which I saw from her laptop. She also had a couple framed in those smart covers (those which get taken after a Theme Park ride – similar). One of my cousins commented on the numbers of framed photos which were being passed around for show. Then my cousins (the one that went to Dubai with her parents and brother) said that although yes they were quite expensive and there were quite a few of them (like 6 or 7), they couldn’t resist the temptation of not buying them, as if they left Dubai without those framed pictures then they would have regretted it. For them it was like a once in a lifetime opportunity, although they do have plans of visiting Dubai again in the future.  




Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Last Weekend

I had a really enjoyable weekend, as it was my uncle’s wedding. This was a brilliant opportunity for me to catch up with my cousins as I hadn’t seen them since 1st November (it was Eid on that day). It was really a just a chance to dress up and have a good gossip with the girls.

At the wedding hall, I sat with my mum, my sister in law, my cousin brothers and sister and also my brother-in-law. We just found ourselves just talking about random, things that we find personally interesting. My  sis-in-law and I were talking about how much we’ve got on at the moment in terms of uni work; project and coursework, etc and her with her job (she works full time as an accountant), but she also does work at home on her laptop and she’s got mountains of paperwork to complete. Basically the point was that neither of us was that enthusiastic to attend the wedding. Neither of us attended the Mehndi party on Saturday evening and also neither of us attended my cousin brother’s engagement party, the previous Sunday. This is a different cousin of mine. My cousin brother heard our conversation and said to us that it wouldn’t be the best conversation to be having at the dinner table at a wedding party. We just smiled at each other and changed the topic.

My cousin and my sis-in-law were teasing each other about food. He said to her to eat less, etc. This was obviously a joke, considering she’s stick thin and an exercise freak. Luckily for her, she has a cross-trainer at home, so no need to hit the gym.

After the meal, we went and took pictures of the bride. A little while later, we took pictures of just us cousins and sis-in-laws. We also went on stage and took family photos with the bride and groom.

When it was time to leave the venue, we couldn’t leave straight away to go back to our house. Considering how close we were to the groom (my dad’s cousin brother), my mum and I went to my aunt’s house in the limousine. My aunt is my uncle’s sister (the one that got married).  The bride and groom will be spending the week at her house before moving closer to where he works. 






Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Monday Mornings


Monday mornings; aren’t usually the best time for me to attend uni classes. Actually this is my first year in which I’ve had a class on Monday morning. In my first year, the class that I had on Mondays started at 3pm and in second year, 2pm. The first term of my final year, I had class at 2pm as well. 

This term however, the class starts at 10am. I suppose it should be OK seeing as I chose to study this course (in the final year of my degree, we have options that we need to chose from).  Honestly, I do really enjoy this course as we can put other aspects of our learning into this course. This course does involve a lot of computing work as we regularly have to use Microsoft Excel to compute different differential equations using a wide variety of numerical methods. Currently we have learnt about the Jacobi and Gauss Siedel method. These are two methods which we learnt about from last year in our Liner Algebra class, and now we are using these two methods in a different context. 

From attending classes, I have learnt that it’s really useful to keep up with last year’s notes and get up to date with them. This is because a lot of background information in the new lecture material comes from last year’s notes, but at a much more advanced level. 

So far I don’t have any coursework to complete, but I have to continue writing my report (equivalent of a dissertation). At the moment I am carrying out background research and writing my ideas down. This does actually need to be written down in an orderly fashion as it is part of my logbook. The log books counts towards 20% of my Research Methods and Project module which is worth 30 credits of my final year. I am enjoying carrying out my research, as it helps to develop my observation and analytical skills. These are two skills which I believe to be crucial and vital, especially when studying for a degree in Mathematics.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Back to Uni!


It’s been a week and a half since I’ve been back at university. So far, I am enjoying university life and hanging around my friends again. This term is going to be really quite busy what with me studying three new modules compared to last term. This term I am studying; Numerical Methods and Software for Partial Differential Equations. Wow! That’s quite a mouthful to say, isn’t it? Basically this course involves solving partial differential equations as well as ordinary differential equations using different methods, both by hand calculations (crucial for the May exams) and also using different software: Excel and Matlab, just to name a few.  A partial differential equation (PDE) is an equation involving one or more partial derivatives of an unknown function of several variables. The highest order derivative in the PDE determines the order of the PDE.  PDEs are used extensively to represent real world phenomena and processes. For example: Heat transfer in nuclear reactors, Airflow around an aircraft, Structural dynamics of a bridge and Movement of money in financial markets. The modelling and simulation of such processes then requires solution of these PDEs.  Having only attended two lectures so far, I’m not sure about the exact content on the course, but I know that I will learn much more over the next few months.

The second option I am taking is called Financial Modelling and Analysis.  This course investigates modern financial modeling using stochastic processes, arbitrage theory and partial differential equations. I chose this course because I am really interested in finance and financial markets. My final year dissertation is based heavily on finance and therefore I thought that this would be a brilliant module for me to study. This course covers a wide variety of interesting and exciting aspects of finance, for example; The Black – Scholes PDE, Basket and Asian Options (I wonder what that’s about?) and something I’m very familiar with; the Monte Carlo Integration using Matlab. I am familiar with the Monte Carlo Method as it was covered last year in one of my modules called Numerical Methods with Computer Algorithms. Interestingly enough, the lecturer who taught the Numerical Methods course last year, is teaching the Financial Modeling course this year.

The final module which I am taking this year is called Actuarial Mathematics. This course investigates modern actuarial modeling and examines the basic techniques used in actuarial analysis. This module covers interesting topics such as: life insurance, premium calculations, Simple & Compound Interest, Present Value, Annuities, etc amongst many other topics. This module does require a lot of statistics and calculus, but I suppose that’s okay considering I did study Statistical Modelling last term. I also studied statistics last year and the year before that as well. I studied Calculus in my first year of uni. So I am quite looking forward to learning more regarding this module.

There are other modules which are offered and we are allowed two weeks to try and test as many of them as we wish, (this Friday is the last day for testing) and if we want to change modules then we need to email our personal tutor by Friday. From next Monday onwards we can only attend the courses which we are registered for. There are five courses running this term, one module every day. We can only be registered to three of them. In my opinion, the first two weeks are relatively easy compared to the weeks ahead as they just cover the basics of what you need to know in that module. I think they do it that way so that everyone should have roughly the same or similar knowledge in order to understand the lecture material. They can then decide if this course is right for them.