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A Few Updates

I just finished up my first week of classes, though it did not officially start until Tuesday, so was not a complete week. My classes seem smaller and more challenging than last year. I know this will be good for me when it's all over with, but for right now I am seeing things as strenuous. I am taking (1) Probability Models, (2) Linear Models, and (3) Mathematical Statistics which equates to a 10-credit load. Full-tmie status for a graduate student is deemed to be 6 or more credits, so needless to say, this is definitely a full-load. Am I nervous? Yes! Am I scared? Somewhat, yes! Am I excited? Yes! When it's all over, I will definitely know my stuff. Either that, or it will overtake me. Just Kidding! I will never let that happen.

During my first day of Probability Models, I received eight homework problems, all of which are proofs. During the second day of this course I received three or four more proofs to complete. The positive side of this is that the proofs are short and sweet. Furthermore, we are covering essentially the same material, at least for this first week, in my Mathematical Statistics class. Nice! I love when my classes align like that. It makes you really understand things better when you learn it from two different teaching styles.

During my first day of Linear Models, I received a quick homework assignment, which I haven't done yet purely because of procrastination. I have to email my professor a description of myself and my expectations for this course. I love it when professors give a semi-personal assignment like this. I makes me feel like they actually care or at least want to care about you as a student.

During my first day of Mathematical Statistics, I received a 34-problem homework assignment which is supposed to be "review". I looked at it the other night and it seems LONG! Many of the problems have multiple parts. Secondly, the problems seem rather involved and will definitely take some thought and lots of time to complete. We have ten days to complete it. Yikes! It is worth 5% of our final grade. On top of this, during my second day of this class today, my professor gave us many in-class "exercises" to be completed at our own leisure and posted twelve more problems on his website. However, we do not have to submit these or any other additional problems. There is to be no more submitted homework after the first "review" assignment. The professor did forewarn us that any homework he assigns but does not collect will come back to haunt us and could potentially show up verbatum on a exam. This also means that 95% of our final grade is based on our performance on the two exams (midterm is 35% and final exam is 60%). I feel like I may be struggling my way through this class to ensure I stay on top of things.

In other news, I did win a parking spot through the parking lot lottery. This does not mean the spot is free. It is essentially $224 per semester. A lot of money to a student, but to me this is worth it since I live a distance from campus. I get to park in the Ski-U-Mah parking lot, which is just down the street from my traineeship on campus. Furthermore, I did get my traineeship renewed for this school year taking me through August 31st of 2008. This is conditional on my success in the program.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the annual biostat/stat picnic. Both th Biostatistics dept and Statistics dept come together during this event, which is nice because many students in the Statistics dept share a class with me. Last year, besides the weather being cold, it was fun and relaxing. Immediately following the picnic tomorrow I am off to a wedding. Also, in the morning I have to complete a 14-mile run for my marathon training. Sunday will be a day of homework, nothing but homework, and a short run of course.

Until next time...