"In het verleden behaalde resultaten bieden geen garanties voor de toekomst"

These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

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Complexities

I've finished both of my exams for this quarter: Signals & Transformations and Circuit Analysis. The first is a master's course on mathematical models of (electrical) signals and performing (theoretical) transformations on them, involving a lot of complex numbers. The second is performing analysis on simple electrical networks with resistors, capacitors and inductors. Not too hard to grasp, but juggling around with hands full of different resistor values tends to get messy after a while. Also, the last part of the course involves, you might guess, complex numbers! Both these exams went pretty well, probably 7+ (out of 10 marks).

During the circuit analysis I've learned that electrical engineers have nasty habits. They have the tendency to not conform to the standard mathematical conventions that the rest of the world does (this view might be a little biased, though ;-p). The best example of this is the way they write complex numbers. Some time back, a bunch of mathematicians agreed that there was need to calculate with the square root of -1 (). While everybody agrees that this number is called i, they insist to call it j, since i conflicts with their symbol for electrical current. Anyway, I think I managed to do both exams without switching them, but I've been mixing them up all the time so far...

Besides these minor inconveniences my electrical engineering minor is starting out OK. Since I've already done Circuit Analysis, which I expected to be next quarter, this leaves only 15 ECTS in my minor. Since that is enough to fill two quarters (which was the original plan), I'll probably try to squeeze in instrumentation for embedded systems, a mandatory masters course, which should not cost too much time. Only problem is that it's given at the same time as another lab course, but I should be able to get away with that...