Blogs, U Musings

U Musings: Embracing my inner nerd through cross-disciplinary subjects

I’ve always known I was a grade-A nerd, but nothing makes that more apparent to me and everyone around me than when I notice cross-disciplinary subjects. I get so excited when something taught to me in one class is utilized in another. One example is Logic Design and Introduction to Linear Algebra.

I was sitting in Logic Design, wishing I was somewhere else as our teacher explained decoders to the class. He explained how a decoder takes the inputs and isolates each output variable in one equation by itself. As I watched him explain this, it suddenly occurred to me that this was an identity matrix! An identity matrix is a matrix with an equal length and height, with ones on the diagonal and zeros everywhere else.

identity matrix

Identity matrices

It’s so cool that there’s a connection between classes that seem totally unrelated. I couldn’t keep the information to myself! Naturally, I turned to my buddy to give her the good news. After all, we were both suffering, and clearly this tidbit of information would make the lesson a bit more bearable. After I told her about this exciting connection, she turned to me and said, “What?”

So I repeated myself, describing to her the wondrous connection I made. She turned back to the board, again processed what I said, then turned back to me and said, “Oh. I never would’ve noticed that.” She then returned to taking notes.

It was then I knew that I shouldn’t be nearly as excited that decoders produce identity matrices, but I was. It was like my excitement was the evil inside Pandora’s box. Since I’d unwittingly opened it, I struggled for a way to close the lid. I eventually managed to reign in my excitement, but not before I was reminded of how truly nerdy I can be.

Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user kaboompics.

October 13, 2015

Reporters

Virginia Colkley


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