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Kevin: Finals are right around the corner

We have two more weeks of classes and then finals. Let’s take a second and let that sink in. This semester has flown by seemingly at warp speed, and it’s crazy to think that it’s almost done. We’ll have a week of class next week, a week off for Thanksgiving, one more week of class and then finals week. I realize I am repeating myself but it’s crazy to think that my third fall here at Linfield is nearly complete. It feels like just yesterday I was a senior in high school and rushing to finish my application.

I’ll quit with the nostalgia and get back to current events. Today in my Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) class we were given our take-home final. This is a 400-level math class that develops solutions to problems modeling waves, heat flow, diffusion, etc., and these problems take many pages and sometimes multiple days of work. We also use Mathematica, uniquely powerful, automated computation system, to help solve these problems. Usually a take-home final is a blessing, but the only blessing here is that we have a month to do it. I think a better name would be to call it a final project, similar to how classes in the humanities may write a final paper. However, I don’t want to make it seem as though I am complaining. Steve (Professor Bricher)¬†has taught this class at the graduate school level, and this is definitely a graduate school level¬†assignment. It’s really cool to be exposed to this level of Mathematics at such an early point in my education, especially since it helps to supplement and even explain what I am learning in a number of my science classes.

To bring things full circle, I thought I was going to be done with Math after freshman year. Now I can honestly say I am grateful for staying with it and really glad that I am a Math major in addition to being just a Chemistry major. So with that, I’m going to get to work. I’ll keep you posted on how this test, project, or whatever you want to call it, goes.

Til next time,