Wow, GTB1 Conjugacy was a lot more gruelling than I expected! I really thought that I’d sail through this unit, given how much I enjoyed Group Theory Block A, but I actually thought the middle sections of the unit contained some of the toughest material I’ve encountered so far. Perhaps I’m just very out of practice, but it really did seem like a step up in complexity – and in hindsight, I’m quite happy about that, because now that I’ve finished the unit I feel like I’ve had a little taste of more intense and esoteric group theory work. And I’m still interested in doing M336: Groups and geometry at some point in the future, so this unit can’t have been that bad!

I struggled a bit with the associated TMA questions, though. I tend to find anything involving visualising the symmetries of three-dimensional shapes quite difficult, and without giving too much away about that particular question, I can safely say that TMA05 gave me quite a workout in that respect. I also fell foul of my usual “misreading the question, and consequently trying to solve a much harder problem than it actually is” issue – I spent about an hour bashing my head against a particular part of Question 1, only to realise that I’d omitted one important word from my reading of the question, which meant that I could prove the required result in about 10 minutes. Arrgh! I hope I can manage a more careful reading of the exam questions than I seem to do for TMA questions!

So now I’m making a start on GTB2 Homomorphisms, which seems a bit more straightforward than GTB1 – at least so far! Who knows what lurks in the later sectionsâ€¦