Experiences at Berkeley

Posted on September 28th, 2006 by

I thought I’d update the math department on life as a grad student at Berkeley.  First of all, I am living in the same apartment (maybe even room) as David Wolfe did when he was at Berkeley, and with one of the same roommates.  Some bad news is that I failed the preliminary exam, but the good news is that I actually did a lot better than I thought I would and I think my prospects for next time are good.  So I’ve got a little linear algebra and complex analysis studying ahead of me this Christmas break.  My classes are “Groups, Rings, and Fields” and Algebraic Topology.  It was exciting when we covered all that I previously knew about groups in three days.  And then I lead two discussion sections of Calculus II, which I really enjoy, but marvel at the responsibility which seems to have been given me almost flippantly.  It’s especially fun when the students and I get to learn new things together.  Who would’ve thought there was a really cool integration technique called Weierstrass substitution?  In conclusion, grad school has been great so far (I am getting paid to do math, after all), and I’d like to thank all of my professors in the MCS department for their help in getting out here.  Now let’s see, what’s all this about the homotopy extension property . . .

Trevor Potter ’06




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