Monday, July 13, 2015

(K)Not Just Theory

Because today was the first day, we met our proctor groups at 7:50 and ate breakfast together. After breakfast the TAs from each class came to get everyone and bring them to the classrooms, to make sure everyone knew where everything was.

In Knot Theory, taught by Johanna Stromberg, we learned about the basics of knots, a few different types of knots (the unknot, knots with three crossings, knots with four crossings, links, etc.), and drew some examples. One assignment was to find the four unique knots that have five or fewer crossings, which took the class about ten or fifteen minutes. We also learned about truth tables, which are basically just charts showing all possible combinations of true and false things, and whether each combination makes some statement true or false.

The Knot--Actually an Unknot
We had a break for lunch at 11:40, and I ate with Hummd and Arnold and Katherine. I had four-cheese grilled cheese, which was very buttery and delicious. It was definitely better than last night's dinner, so I hope it's a new trend. After lunch, I went back to Knot Theory while Katherine, Hummd, and Arnold went to their class, Medicine, Health and Society.

We learned about Reidemeister moves (two-dimensional) and elementary moves (the three-dimensional equivalent), which were transformations you could make on a knot without making it into a different knot. (Basically, unknotting it.) We proved Reidemeister's Theorem, which essentially states that if two knots can be turned into each other by a series of Reidemeister moves, then they are the same knot. Then she gave us an example knot and told us to simplify it as much as we could ourselves, using what we'd learned. I solved it fairly quickly, because it only requires four moves, and one other person (of our class of sixteen) figured it out within the twenty-five minutes she'd given us. I took a picture of the knot, and you're welcome to try it out yourself.

At 3:00 class officially ended and we had TA-led discussion and review for an hour. Also, we will each have to present a topic one day during the course, and my name was chosen first, so tomorrow I'm giving a presentation on truth tables, and I have to prepare that. Fortunately, that was one of the things that the TA, Jeff, talked about during the review.

I found a helicopter! I managed to get a picture with it before it flew away,
After class was my Arete class, juggling! At first I thought it would be disappointing because the teacher was going to be teaching us all to juggle, and I already know how. However, while he was walking around checking on people's progress I showed him that I could already juggle and do tricks, and asked him if I could learn to juggle pins (also known as clubs). Luckily, he said yes, so that's what I'm learning now. They are quite difficult, and getting just the right amount of spin is tricky! I'm still working on that.

After dinner, we met our proctor groups and we all did a scavenger hunt, with each proctor group competing against each other. Many of the items on the list were, shall we say, "creatively interpreted." For example, we needed to get a picture with a helicopter, but we hadn't seen any, so I "found" one. My personal favorite, though, was the twenty bonus points I earned for my team by finding a four-leaf clover. We are supposed to find out the results sometime between tomorrow evening and Friday evening, depending on when they remember to tally them. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive