Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Back to School

As well as working on the M.Sc. course at Birkbeck, I my Chinese classes at the City Lit have restarted. I've gone onto the second level, and the effort required to keep up has gone up a notch, although I've found it very hard to take even time on the train in the morning to keep up with all the new phrases, characters and written exercises.

I have the exam tomorrow for the introductory maths module of the M.Sc. Economics. I did it and passed it successfully two years ago, and then never followed up by doing the course. This time around, although I feel I've forgotten even more of my basic maths, I feel I've prepared much, much better. The module covers a lot of the material that I missed working on in depth at undergrad, such as matrix algebra and differential equations. For the most part, this stuff was assumed when I went onto the stochastic calculus and PDEs used for the derivatives models I studied during my M.Sc. Math Finance eight years ago.

I'm in two minds about the course as a whole. Maths and history , were my favourite subjects at school, but I turned my back on maths to some extent, dropping the maths, applied maths and physics I took in the Leaving Cert in favour of economics and accounting. Now going over this material, which the Birkbeck staff present logically and carefully, I'm enjoying learning it and look forward to going beyond the Sunday newspaper economics - as Paddy Waldron called it - I was stuck with at Trinity, not being allowed to take the more advanced math and econ classes there.

All the same, its a terrible burden to carry when working. Then, there's the question of how well I can actually do at the programme. Time will tell.