So, we just had midterm grades due and this may be a time for an update. With midterm grades came the midterm exams. Most Students did reasonably well on exams. Still, I have quite a few students, who will or who may fail this class that I intended for skill building and not for sorting out.

Some students, Luke, Jose (a late enrollment return student, who had contemplated to drop out of the major), and West (who just does not turn in homework) are under water. Cy is close to failing but may yet turn this around. I reached out to her to help, she thanked for that but did not follow up. Next week is advising week. If she shows up for that I will try to probe what she needs to succeed.

Stacy and Shannon are doing okay, but do not excel. Agnesh ditto, except that he does often not come to class for health reasons. Mason, a student athlete, and Danish, a young father with a sickly child, never come to lecture. Trevor and Dalton hang in by a thread and are trying to keep up.

The material we have covered and plan to cover still has undergone some major changes. After the first topics of special functions and Gaussian integrals, class was massively behind schedule. Most students do not read the book and that slows teaching down because one has to spend time on introducing definitions. The book we use is an interesting choice as it comments not just on the math but also on where the math matters in physics. I thought that would entice the students to read it. I was wrong. The book also came for free. I am wondering whether that is one reason why they do not read it.

Reese and Brock are the top students in class. They do read ahead. They can solve each task that I do interactively with the students during lecture. Some topics are more practical, like calculating gradient, divergence, or curls of scalar fields and vector fields. Or like using complex and imaginary numbers this week in class. Next up are Linear Vector Fields, the foundations of Quantum Mechanics. I will introduce bra and ket vectors. That will make for a difficult lift. Then homework four will be due, the first after midterms and it should tell me the direction this class is going.

Anybody, who is curious about the book or about the kind of math we are doing, can get a free book download here

Mathematical Physics, 9783030396824.

Free download link:

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-030-39680-0

Tomorrow, we will start on chapter ten. The bit I did most recently on complex numbers is not at all in this book, except for a very short review at the start of chapter 22 (22.1.1).

I did a whole lot more because my students have had to deal with complex numbers here or there, but I know that there was never an in-depth introduction given.