Graduating to Grownup Math

1 minute read

I’ve now spent almost a month working on my maths with Aleks.  We’ve gotten along famously, and I’ve gotten a handle on most of the things one might need in order to slide into harder math with relative ease.  Congratulations, me.  I’ve graduated!

I have a few branches I can choose from in order to further myself along the evolutionary path to “someone who can play with robots” and also “someone who can fully understand casual lunchtime conversation at work,” not to mention “someone who can solve impossible problems in 42 seconds.” 

I think my next steps should be Linear Algebra and The Theory of Computability.  After that I can look again at the algorithms and machine learning books, but for now I think this is the most obvious next step.  So, how to go about this?  I have at my disposal many people who know these things forwards and backwards, but I still need some guidance to grasp the concepts so I don’t drive them insane and inadvertently cause my premature death.  I could just read the textbooks but history says I won’t.

After some research, I’ve decided to take advantage of the MIT OpenCourseWare courses, which seem to have been put out there for people like me to slurp up difficult concepts.  At least for this, um, “semester.”  I will take their Linear Algebra class (with super cool java applets to play with!) as well as the Theory of Computation.   I think I’ll also sneak in some Street Fighting Mathematics, because that course just looks fun. I’ll keep myself honest by journaling my progress and keeping my mentor/clone apprised of how I’m doing.  And of course you, my imaginary friends.

In my work life, I’m spending this week attempting the impossible – take some code from someone else, and make it work and sing with a tight deadline.  So far it’s going well.  And this morning I made it through most of a Bikram class.  I must be getting back to something nearing normal.