Ian (ringbark) wrote,

Friday five

1. Are you going to school this year?
No, I'm too old for that. But my "continuing professional development" includes attendance at meetings of many organisations, so I pick up the points I needs one at a time over the year.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
I went to Birkenhead School from 1972 to 1979, Keble College, Oxford from 1979 to1980 and The University of Liverpool from 1980 to 1983. I gained an honours degree in Computational and Statistical Science with Pure Mathematics, which was surprisingly in the Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies. Yes, I am in fact a social scientist.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
Mathematics and General Studies.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
History and geography. These are almost entirely the fault of poor teaching. I now have an interest in geography, but not in the things they tried to teach me. I struggled with history because it was not then apparent to me why it could possibly be of any interest.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
At school, Mr Smith was the favourite. More than anyone else, he was the one who inspired my interest in mathematics. In the sixth form, he went on to inspire my interest in Wagner's Ring. At University, Dr Kuran's unusual approach to analysis and to the management of a class were also inspirational. He was able to deal with a class of 180 freshmen, some of them majoring in mathematics, some of them majoring in sciences, and teach them the foundations of mathematical analysis in such a way that they wanted to attend the class. A remarkable man.
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