English Class Blog
Thursday, May 06, 2004
As the end of my first year of college nears it is time to look back and reflect. When I look at how much I have learned in nine short months I am amazed. First of all, I have learned more this year than probably the last six years of school combined, especially in the areas of math and science. In math I have expanded my knowledge of calculus to areas that I never even knew about before this. In high school I needed a whole year to learn about integration and derivatives. Now I can do line, surface, complex integrals and many other types of integrals, which are very important in physics. I have also learned so much in physics. Before this year I knew very little about relativity and quantum mechanics. Now I know how to use the Schrodinger wave equation to find simple wave equations of particles. Learning about relativity has changed my perceptions about time and space. Before I thought that time was an absolute quantity. Now I know that the perceived time between events can vary significantly between frames depending on the velocity of the frames, if someone had told me this before this year I never would have believed it. My chemistry class has taught me so much more than when I took chem in high school. In one semester I have learned more than in one entire year of high school. As I mentioned in my previous journal I have improved my writing so much as compared to my previous writings. Next year I hope to learn even more in the classes that I took.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Looking back at my earlier journals I think that I have improved quite a bit. First of all, I offer much more analysis and evidence in more recent journals than earlier ones. For example in the Feb. 15 journal in which I wrote about McCloud's main claim in one of his chapters. I simply had a claim and one piece of evidence. However, in the April 6 journal on whether college athletes should be paid, I offered a couple pieces of evidence that supported my main claim. I have also improved in creating more complex claims. Rather than just saying something is true I also go into saying why this important. I feel that my writing has improved a lot because of these journals. They have helped to improve my writing, these improvements have transferred into writing better papers. When I look back at the papers that I wrote last semester in my History 120 class I have noticed a lot of improvement. In those papers I didn't really have a strong claim and in the papers that I have written for this class my claim is much more complex.
Sunday, May 02, 2004
What is the greatest equation of all time? In It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science by Graham Farmelo he compiled a list of the 11 greatest equations of all time. Of those listed, I believe that the well know E=mc^2 is the greatest equation. The main reason is that while it is very important in physics, it is also very easy for the common public to understand what it means. It is a simple equation that relates the rest energy of an object with its mass. The equation has permeated in common culture, appearing in the recent movie "School of Rock". It has become synonomous with science in general and has lead to Einstein being a well known name. If you ask someone what they know about Einstein, chances are they will say something about E=mc^2. While other famous physicists, such as Schrodinger, De Broglie and Maxwell are less known for their equations, which are just as important, and for some, more important than Einstein's. I remember learning about Einstein and his work early in school and that equation was all I knew about physics until I took a physics class in high school. While understanding Schrodinger's and Maxwell's equations require more advanced math than just algebra which makes them less accessible to many people. By being accessible and understandable by the public, E=mc^2 is the greatest equation of all time.