Last time I mentioned the drawbacks of following lectures. They serve as good stimulants for advancing through theories, but tend to befuddle the core concepts that are best instinctualized. So here is an ambitious list of courses I will take next quarter: C++, computational financial mathematics, and Stat 310c, plus a reading course with Persi on Kallenberg’s probability text. Still it’s way too ambitious from my past experience. Besides I might have to sit in Persi’s markov chain research course just to get to know him as a person better. His experience definitely has some parallel with my own, starting from a humble origin, and not tested by the standard talent selection procedure.
It is still something of a miracle that I passed the qualifying exams last year. That has since become my only trademark in the whole department, without which I might have to cringe into the corner of oblivion, not to mention that I am already drifting towards there.
Alas, to make my brain absorb, I need to pamper it with the following categorical delicacies:
1. great food: dining hall style, with additional juiciness from grocery.
2. comfortable environment: I would probably feel threatened if my bathroom is shared with more than 5 invidivuals, or some other critical number of people.
3. A good relationship with people you love, and developing confidence that you will never say selfish things to them, despite the fact that doing math is a lot of times a result of selfishness (e.g. proving a theorem by making short-cut in order to save your own time)
Further points will be recalled at a later occasion.