You’ll notice there isn’t the characteristic exclamation mark on the end of this post’s title – I’m a bit embarrassed of these two assignments, since both got grades quite a bit lower than the previous ones. For M366 I got 84% (just 1% short of a distinction, dammit!), and for MS221 it was 89%. I’m actually more ashamed of the MS221 score, because almost all of the lost marks were due to stupid errors, which I absolutely should have picked up at the proofreading stage. My tutor’s comments were very nice, but I think he must be getting a bit frustrated with the trivial errors I keep making. Basically, his general feedback was:

  • Factorise expressions where possible
  • Check your work (Mathcad is useful for this)
  • Read the question carefully!

All very good advice, which I have been striving to apply today while working on TMA03. I’ve been checking everything, every little calculation, either in Mathcad or Wolfram Alpha – so far, I’ve caught some really stupid slip-ups, so hopefully I’ll be able to manage more than 89% for this assignment!

The M366 assignment got a lower mark, but I’m happier with that one because the lost marks were due to a genuine lack of understanding about various little details of the subject matter, rather than plain old carelessness. Actually, I get the impression that most of my lost marks were caused by me not fully understanding the questions themselves; some of them wanted slightly different or fuller answers than I expected. For example, in the question about the NetLogo rabbits simulation, I lost three out of six marks because I didn’t mention the details of the code behind the features I was talking about – I described the simulation at too high or abstract a level, without backing up what I was saying with a description of the “nuts & bolts” side of things. Which is an odd mistake for a programming student to make! Still, hopefully by the time the exam comes around I’ll be much better at interpreting the questions correctly. And at least there’s no NetLogo coding to mess about with in the exam!

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