x(t) = Asin(2πft + ϕ)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Now that I’ve finished the exercises for my music perception class (including that lovely equation at the top: wave function to describe amplitude variation over time), I figured it was time for a new LonLog.

My classmates and I survived the first week of classes (concluded with a celebratory pub night on Friday) and are well on our way to surviving the second week as well.

The first week contained mostly review: basic neuroscience (e.g. What is a neuron? An action potential?), introductory statistics (e.g. Measures of central tendency? Measures of variability?), and beginnings of research skills (e.g. Where is the library??); however, it also contained some things I didn’t know, like the acoustics I referenced above. Which brings me to my next question: why did I never take physics? Oh, well…I guess I’m learning physics now, and physics that actually pertains to things I like (ahem, music).

I realise that for everyone in the programme there will be certain topics that are more difficult than others. For some, an action potential is a completely foreign idea. I wonder, though, if what is most challenging for each of us at first will be most rewarding in the end. While I’ll never turn down watching a brain dissection, I am most excited about the unknowns, and I think acoustics is my first taste of that.

So, to celebrate my newfound love for waveform equations, we planned a night at a local pub called the Royal Albert. Our goal over the next few weeks is to test out all the local pubs in order to find “our spot”. The pub culture is probably one of my favourite aspects of London life because it’s just so laid back. No one’s pressuring you to get another beer, you don’t have to tip, and there’s always an old Englishman to talk to.

Other events last week included: going to the MA Musical Theatre showcase where I got incredibly confused about the difference between the games “Snakes and Ladders” and “Chute and Ladders” (they’re the same), taking a night-time walk of the Tower Bridge (so worth it–it’s really beautiful at night), and attending a Quaker meeting. This week is full of lectures and more lectures (and hopefully some more fun London-y things as well).

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