Revisiting Old Friends……..

I desperately need to get some structure to my day. I’ve been spending far too much time watching videos on YouTube and my brain is stagnating. My hobbies do not tax my brain enough so I have decided to prepare myself for doing an Open University degree in mathematics.

I did a number of university level courses in maths on about 8 years ago which I really enjoyed but feel that I need a thorough revision of the fundamentals to ensure that I have all the bases covered.

I had a quick look at the current A-level text books and found that they didn’t appear to be at the same level that I remember from sixth form. I remembered the books I had at school being far superior but I couldn’t remember the authors. I knew the pure mathematics book was blue and the applied mathematics book was orange. I did a search on amazon and initially came up with nothing. I then saw a book that looked similar and immediately recognised the names of the authors; L. Bostock and S. Chandler. The text books by these authors for A-Level Maths and Further Maths were still in print but pricey at over £40 each but I managed to buy a second hand set at a total of £40 for all four.

I am now eagerly awaiting delivery and welcoming back some old friends. Hopefully this will fill the void in my life at the moment.


The Joy of Mathematics……..

I want to try and move on from posting about my health for a while and return to topics that are a bit more cheerful.

I have always been fascinated by numbers and patterns. I can pick out a pattern very quickly and can get very OCD if a perceived pattern is disturbed. I loved mathematics at school and always excelled at the subject. Initially I studied both mathematics and further mathematics at A level but was forced to drop the latter due to the impact of my depression. I think if I’d continued it would have been a tough decision between mathematics and biology as to what to study at university.

Since leaving school I have done several online university level courses in mathematics just for fun. I have been rather neglectful of late but fully intend to get back to it. If I win the lottery I may even do an Open University degree in the subject.

I used to have an obsession with the number 3 after discovering that if the sum of the digits in a number are a multiple of 3 then the whole number is divisible by 3. I used to use a digital clock and the time as starting points to perform calculations involving the number 3 and I would challenge myself to do them before the clock changed. I also used to calculate powers of 3 in my head to ridiculous numbers. Thankfully I managed to stop these activities as they used to prevent me from sleeping.

I also had a fascination with the number pi after finding that the formula for pi was as follows:

Screenshot 2019-04-15 at 14.38.17

I decided to calculate this infinite series by hand to see if I could establish pi myself to set number of decimal points (I can’t remember how many). I spent an entire morning with a calculator and pad of paper. In the end I wrote a computer program to see just how many calculations I would have to do to achieve my aim. I worked out that if I did one calculation every 10 seconds it would have have taken me 212 years. Needless to say I gave up.

I think the reason I love numbers is that they are objective; there is a definite right and wrong and they’re the same everywhere regardless of where you are in the universe. In a world where I often struggle to make sense of things, mathematics is a constant friend.