My MS221 books finally arrived on Wednesday, and it wasn’t until I’d opened the package that I realised I was supposed to use the copy of Mathcad that I’d been sent for MST121 a couple of years ago – if I’d realised sooner, I could have been installed it days ago! I had a brief panic when the installation wizard asked for a password, but thankfully the OU Computing FAQ page contains a valid password (this is the link, which I presume will only work if you’re currently enrolled on MS221).

So with that little crisis out of the way, I’ve been working through Section 3 of MS221 Chapter A1, which is about finding closed forms for linear second-order recurrence sequences. In particular we looked at Binet’s formula:

Binet's formula, a closed form for Fibonacci numbers

So now I can impress and astound Alex by quickly calculating any term of the Fibonacci number sequence he likes!

The activities in this section were lots of fun, but there were a few bits where I suffered from being clumsy and out of practice with various algebraic techniques. In particular, I couldn’t remember how to solve simultaneous equations, so I had a look at the very helpful Simultaneous Linear Equations leaflet from mathcentre.ac.uk, which sorted the problem out fairly quickly.

It’s embarrassing not to remember stuff like that, but I suppose it’s to be expected when you don’t practice a certain technique for a long time. Which is a good reason to keep doing maths courses – or at least, to keep doing maths *problems*, even if they’re not in the context of a formal qualification or course; I’m sure if ever I run out of money for OU course fees, I’ll end up haunting the educational textbook section of my local library every evening and weekend!

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Hello,

Are you still using these books? If not maybe you could help out a fellow OU student? š

Thanks,

Kayleigh.

Message for Neil with regards to Mathcad?

Hi Neil,

I have done MS221 and used Mathcad. I have since moved onto M208. However, i have since lost my Mathcad password – that is, I want to re-install Mathcad again but on my new computer but cannot get to install Mathcad because i do not know the password? I do not unfortunately have some of my passed OU course material either so impossible to install Mathcad again without this? I recall it being a very unusual combination of symbols with letters and as i recall some numbers as well!

Can you help me out here Neil please? I would like it again on my PC as it is an invaluable asset to have..

I have included my personal email address if you would prefer to contact me directly?

Many thanks,

Simon Owen

I still have my CDs and study material from MST207 in 1999/2000, and this came with an earlier version of MathCad. I went to install it the other day and no longer have any password data, so the CDs are useless to me now.

That is the way of Technology. It costs you a fortune, is unreliable, formats and media types change each year, and within 5 years what you have is both ancient history…and so out of date it is useless as a long term reference tool.

I want to refresh my studies from that year, but cannot now, because it is all so tied up electronically to an “ancient” set of IT equiipment that relies on a certain era and the remembering of a password!