Fall 2008 Course Work

By Lu


(Ann Arbor, Michigan) The End of Summer

The seasons changed, and now Fall is aproaching. The leaves on the trees nearby are turning shades of orange. I finally finalized my course schedule for the coming Fall. In the medium range workload from what I estimate. But then, when I saw that most of my friends are dropping off courses to have lighter workload in comparison to mine, I wonder if my planned out schedule is too heavy.

MATH 215 Calculus III 4 cr. Topics include vector algebra and vector functions; analytic geometry of planes, surfaces, and solids; functions of several variables and partial differentiation; line, surface, and volume integrals and applications; vector fields and integration; Green’s Theorem and Stokes’ Theorem. There is a weekly computer lab using MAPLE.

I will be fulfilling my core requirement for mathematics with this course. I quite like this course, except for the fact that I cannot understand what the GSI is talking about.

ECON 102 Macroeconomics 4 cr. In ECON 102, the fundamental concepts and theories of macroeconomics are developed and used to analyze problems of current interest. Major topics include the determinants of aggregate output, employment and unemployment, inflation, the balance of international trade, and economic growth.

Another of my core requirement to be fulfilled. From what I gathered, this introductory course is supposed to be very simple and have a light workload. But my experience until now prove otherwise. I just had my quiz today and according to my GSI, Prof. Kapinos just took over the class and decided to raise the bar a bit. The quiz today is one of the hardest my GSI had seen administered to students. The weekly problem sets doesn’t help to reduce the workload either. Though this is one of my heaviest course for this semester, Prof. Kapinos does provide some interesthing insights in his own way. For example, “Don’t expect me to smile in this class because I’m a Russian, and we Russian don’t smile. It hurts my jaw muscle if I am to keep a smilling facial expression throughout the class.”

STATS 425 Intro. to Probability 3 cr. This course introduces students to useful and interesting ideas of the mathematical theory of probability and to a number of applications of probability to a variety of fields including genetics, economics, geology, business, and engineering. The theory developed together with other mathematical tools such as combinatorics and calculus are applied to everyday problems. Concepts, calculations, and derivations are emphasized. The course will make essential use of the material of MATH 116 and 215.

From what the seniors told me. This is suppose to be my hardest course in my semester. Introduction to Probability is supposed to be taken after Calculus III since it requires the mastery of multivariable calculus, but I hope that I can grasp some basic from the Calculus III I’m taking right now to compensate for it. Ironicly, I’m taking Calculus III knowing well that I do not have credits in Calculus II. Hopefully, my mathematical background and analytical mind would cover up for any contents I might have missed out. Although presumably my hardest course, I found that this is my easier course yet. Perhaps time will prove me wrong (hopefully not since I like this class).

ANTHRCUL 101 Intro. to Anthropology 4 cr. This introductory course surveys the field’s four subdisciplines (biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology), providing a first glimpse of the field’s overall context, history, present status, and importance. The principal aim of the course is to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that typify the discipline. It stresses unifying principles that link the subdisciplines and thereby create anthropology’s comprehensive, holistic world view. It teaches students various ways of learning and thinking about the world’s many designs for living in time and space. It prepares them to integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and diversity, and to think critically.

Well, ANTHRCUL 101 is supposed to be my reading course this semester and to take my mind of my other more quantitative courses. Since my academic advisor greatly encourage me to take this course as a mean to broaden my perspective on human society and since it is an introductory course, it is supposed to be easy.  But the intensive reading and high grading level makes me think twice about it. This course is not according to curve and the mark for an A+ is 100. O.O Sigh, no space for me to experiment with thoughts.