It looks like the M208 honeymoon is finally over – I actually didn’t enjoy Unit LA1 very much at all. It was a bit of a strange unit, made up of an introduction to coordinate geometry, a couple of sections on vectors, and then a bit about conics. Perhaps I’m missing something, but there didn’t really seem to be much connection between the vector bits and the conics stuff, so it felt a bit weird to suddenly go from learning about dot products to messing about with parabolas.

I found it quite hard to get back into working with conics, even though they were covered in almost as much detail in MS221 last year; in fact, oddly enough, I had less trouble getting used to vectors again, and the last time I studied those was in 2007! I also made a complete mess of all the “draw the intersection of these two planes in \mathbb{R}^3” exercises – you’d think that drawing what are essentially two overlapping parallelograms would be fairly straightforward, but my sketches end up looking like Cubist interpretations of the planes. Hopefully there won’t be a sketching-planes-in-\mathbb{R}^3 question in the exam…

Anyway, I’m looking forward Unit LA2 – it’s about matrices, so hopefully it will be more my kind of thing!

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