Sabbatical Day 34 – Workload

Last night I was up until 4:30am finishing my homework for my class today.  It’s the second assignment and had just 5 questions.  The last question really kicked my butt for a while; it took me 8 hours on its own.  The question was:

Prove that a finite ring R cannot have characteristic zero. (Hint: Begin by showing that for each element x ϵR, there must exist some positive integer kxsuch that kxx = 0R.)

I did manage to solve it, but it took a lot of tries.  Basically, I ended up using a kind of proof by nested contradiction.  I won’t share the details here, but after class this morning, I went to see the prof and asked him about my work (after handing it in).  My logic was sound, but there was a simpler proof available which he explained.  It’s actually kinda cool.  The class, Math 3020 Introduction to Abstract Algebra, is all that I hoped it would be: challenging, interesting, and totally devoid of practical application!  Also, I don’t have to do any computing… just reasoning and creativity.  I don’t have to deal with numbers (much) – it’s much more like programming than bookkeeping.  I’ve also learned to use LibreOffice Formula Editor (Math) and I love it!  Yesterday I learned how to add my own custom symbols (I added a star and a not-congruent symbol).

Verity’s bicycle got stolen today.  That’s a real bummer.  This weekend I have to get her a new bike.  It was a nice bike from MEC that cost about 800 bucks.  I gotta file a police report and see about insurance cause losing that much is not cool.  Also, I have to get a better lock for her next bike!  I only have a short video clip of her riding it when we first got it back in April (so it was still pretty new too!)  Bike thieves stealing from students are the worst.  I would be okay with such thieves being dismembered.  I had a beautiful bike stolen from me in my university days.  It was (maybe?) a Trek 420 that I got in the very early 1990’s – probably 90 or 91.  I’ll have to dig through my stuff to see if I can find photos of it somewhere…

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