Who are you?

Hello! My name is Rob, and I’m a 28 year old Open University student from Yorkshire. I started studying with the OU in 2006, and I initially planned to do a degree in Computing & Mathematical Sciences. However I’ve been lured away from computing by the pleasures of pure mathematics, and these days my aim is to simply work my way through as many of the OU’s maths courses as my abilities and finances will allow.

My main interests at the moment are group theory and number theory, inspired by the wonderful stuff I’ve been studying in my current course, M208 Pure mathematics. In future, I hope to take several Level 3 maths courses, particularly M381 Number theory and mathematical logic, and M336 Groups and geometry.

When I’m not studying, I’m working part-time in an unremarkable office job, or getting out and about in the countryside with my partner Alex, who is also an OU student (currently studying S282 Astronomy).

What’s a TMA?

It stands for Tutor Marked Assignment, as opposed to Computer Marked Assignment. Most of the courses I do tend to entail three or four TMAs, followed by an end of course exam, so as an OU student I spend most of my time working on TMAs or eagerly awaiting the return of marked assignments.

Why is your site called TMA Machine?

It’s a reference to the old joke about mathematicians being machines for turning coffee into theorems. Since I’m only a student, I have to settle for turning cups of coffee into TMAs! And into rambling blog posts about TMAs…

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