Thursday, September 22, 2005


In the course Stochastic Systems - I, we have, till now, been dealing with probability. Well, in fact, a very small portion of our course actually deals with stochastic systems as such. And it is justified, because these are the foundations of stochastic systems. I've been a bit rusty with probability, so in the first two homeworks, I had difficulty putting a finger on how to solve the problems and when I did solve them, on some of them, I wasnt very confident whether I got it right or not. I saw the TA for the course a couple of days ago and discussed homework # 2 problems with him, citing my solutions, and that seems to have helped a lot. Plus, prior to that, I had visited one of the faculty members here, Dr. Sohaib Khan, who is like a friend to me. He had suggested that I just need a lot of practice. I need to get a few books others than the textbook and practice. Schaum's series, while it sucks, does have a lot of questions and solved examples, so it is good for gaining the expertise of attacking problems. Prior to going to Dr. Sohaib, I was shaky, but today, when I sat down to solve the problems, I found myself solving the problems, seeing my mistakes and correcting them. I am sure the TA's discussion helped me. I really look up to Dr. Sohaib, he is an incredibly intelligent person, so his advice also boosted my confidence, and I have asked my neighborhood bookstore to get me three books on probability.

  • A frist course in probability by Sheldon Ross

  • Probability and random processes for electrical engineering by Albert Leon-Garcia

  • Schaum's outline of probability, random variables and random processes by Hwei Hsu

In higher studies, probability is a tool that you can not live without, whether it is at masters level or PhD level. So, if you're thinking of doing masters or PhD, and nearly everyone is doing it these days, then my sincere advice to you is, get your probability in order. Most of the contents of this course had been taught to us in a course Telecommunications and another course Computer System Modelling at undergraduate level, which is a testimonial to the technical level of our undergraduate program, compared to most other universities.
I went to my neighborhood bookstore and he told me that he found the books, but since they were quite expensive, Rs. 500 and Rs. 700 for two of them, for instance, he didnt buy them wondering whether or not I would want to buy them. I mean, hey Einstein, I need those books. And books, dont have a price, they pay themselves off. So, I asked him to kindly get them for me irrespective of the price. He will get them tomorrow. I hope he doesnt make any mistakes, because I am about ready to get my hands dirty asap.

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