Once Upon a time, there is the Chinese University of Hing Kong, School of Science Mathematics Department hold a program call Enrichment Program for Mathematics Young Talent (EPYMT) which have four summer courses (Geometric Perspectives of Complex Numbers(GPCN), Number Theory and Cryptography(NTC), Towards Differential Geometry(TDG) and Understanding Non-Euclidean Geometry(UNEG))and a full of potential math student (me) finished the four courses in two summer. Memories, takeaways and full of treasures that this program, this blog post would show you.
No background information anymore, maybe you are ‘full of potential and confidence’, to check whether are you fake or really the pearl. Taking the four courses are really your cup of tea. If you are really treat math as your career, the four courses should be your evidences that you are really a math person. I mean, the first year experience (I take the first two, GPCN and NTC) really a complete wash my brain. In Hong Kong, an impotant criteria is your performance on the four courses. I admit I have some math (some what formal) training in UST. However the experience is still surprising. My first year hearing lots of mathematics, mumbling how hard they are, lots of quiz and the mighty final exam. I have a lot of fun telling the TAs (teaching assistant, mainly see them in tutorial) to talk more about groups, basic math foundation… If you are math olympian, then I also recommend you talking to TAs about Math Olympiad. Maybe you get several good advice. Learn as much as you can, don’t just stuck in the math lectures. Skipping the math tutorial is lots of fun, I skip several to attend some MO Training, some TAs are likely the best person you would ever seen, say, math make a person more prefect and be more good person. GPCN is the first course I took, the lecturer is great and the TAs treats me very well, after the tutorial we ate together, asking lots of questions, seeing TAs saying themselves don’t know there is EPYMT, saying they just playing computer games in my age. The second course NTC is more and more fascinating, the lecture is easy to follow and my TAs ‘ Dalton Bouvet and Alan, Nicholas are best TAs group I ever seen, I learnt absolute tons of things there. Group theory and IMO Number Theory, days finding a different restaurant to know. looking into the library. Stealing the chemistry notes (don’t tell anyone, hope that that the teacher don’t know)… I mean that worth a holiday going outside. I met friends there, getting to know them, some are just make the course be a sidekick (I mean they have different major(like Law, Biology, Physics…), but some doing math as a major importance, some give up math after this course…
UNEG is another lovely experience, after a year and EPYMT don’t fail my expectation, eight students, what a small class. Prof Wan is great, I can absolute follow up the main line what he is doing (ever I have written a note) The TAs is also good, although I admit the group I belong is awful. But that’s fine. Prof Wan is the best lecturer I have ever seen, telling lots of story about math, what you should do as a math researcher. And I start listening my math career, and you see, TAs is the best person to ask. Math is getting more and more exciting! And then the last course, TDG, a best course if you took calculus. Dr. Lau is good, but not a great lecturer. I missed some line of thought that’s ok, the main best thing is I can still see my last year friend together! Although I admit that is the worst course in EPYMT I have taken, the course is still have a good experience. Moreover, the whole theme of EPYMT, Geometry completely stands out, studying the arc length, curvature, distance… Geometry itself is no longer just Blackboard geometry. But a more wide area that awaits us to discover. Measuring the world and we discover the universe itself a curved space rather than a complete flat.
Now, here is my own list of concrete things which EPYMT has taught me, in no particular order:
- Learn about the whole theme: Geometry, I actually hope that after lessons, you can still manage to see that theme clearly.
- Career advice and sharing, asking them about how life studying math like.
- Meeting peers, you can meet lots of friends in nine days, eating together and they likely share the common interest with you.
- LaTex, you may learn typing math documents from them
At last, I represent the experience that once a student experience, and be my TAs.
Having participated in EPYMT for two years – Towards Differential Geometry (DG) in July 2010 and Understanding Non-Euclidean Geometry (NEG) in July 2011, I would say both of them are courses that have altered my life. Each programme lasted for 9 full days. On each day we attended a 3-hours lecture in the morning and a 3-hour tutorial session in the afternoon. During the lecture time, we learnt techniques and derived equations, while in the tutorial session we did practical exercises and brought up questions for discussion. Definitely, this intensive schedule of learning colorfully enriched my summer holiday in the past two years. EPYMT gives me not only an opportunity to grab a taste of what mathematics at university looks like, but it also improves both my fundamental knowledge and problem-solving skill on certain topics. DG has strengthened my understanding on calculus, whereas NEG widened my exposure to different realms of geometry from basic definitions to various models of hyperbolic geometry. Moreover, EPYMT also serves as a platform for students to exchange their knowledge and share their experiences. By joining this programme, I have met a lot of friends who share common interests. We talked about various topics ranging from our school life to extracurricular activities that we participated before. Even till now, we shall hold reunions regularly and have fun together during weekends and holidays. I am glad and proud of myself that I have been accepted to participate in EPYMT for two years. It is to my surprise and with great pleasure that I could make use of this opportunity to learn mathematics beyond the secondary school curriculum and explore my own interest. Thanks to EPYMT – I have decided to pursue my study in Mathematics in the coming university life. These two courses have definitely added value and gave me a wonderful memory in my life.
I have to announce that we obtained 18 blog posts (this one is the 19th), the 18th blog post is published on August. As 18 is the number that represents ‘impossible to complete’ for me (that’s another story). I celebrate by stop blogging the whole month(what a weird celebration), actually I did write blog post, but I schedule the publish time on September.As a result, if you have waited the whole month, then I am thank you for you patience.