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BSc at Kings College London

I studied for a Mathematics and Physics combined honours degree at King's College London with mixed success, eventually graduating with a pass degree.
When Sep 30, 1973 to
Jul 30, 1976
Where London
Reflection: Physics lab sessions made me angry with their expectations of repetition of the 'grand experiments', with little scope for my own inquiry.
Reflection: The Neurobiology module introduced me to ideas of neural plasticity - then a relatively new concept - which gave me the belief that learning was not limited by age nor fixed by genetics.
Reflection: War & Science encouraged me to think more freely about ethical and moral issues in science research and to develop discursive writing, otherwise absent in a degree focussing on mathematics and science.
Reflection: I failed Advanced Computing by being overambitious with a project to create four part harmony - I got stuck on the printing of musical notes on a line printer, by using arrays of characters for each note, a tough enough project in its own right. This gave me an early insight into the challenge of engineering software and managing software projects effectively.
Reflection: Games, Decisions and Gambling was the only module I studied which offered me pre-prepared printed notes at the start of each lecture, before a dialogic lecturing style based on those notes and the problems they described. This approach to teaching was completely new, making me think about resource-based learning and to see how wasteful most lecture-based teaching was, where our aim was to simply keep up with writing notes verbatim from the board. The freedom and creativity to think about the lecturer's material was very welcome and caused me to consider the concept of effectiveness in teaching.

After the first two years of my degree, it was clear that I should diversify in my third year, as pure mathematics failed to satisfy my growing curiosity about a wider world.

Luckily the modular scheme that King's College offered allowed me to create a rich year of study complementing the mathematics and physics required of me with modules in Neurobiology in the Biology Department, War & Science in the History Department, Advanced Computing in the Computer Science Department and Games Decisions & Gambling in the London School of Economics across the Strand.

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Lewis Carroll describes a fictional map that had:

"the scale of a mile to the mile."

A character notes some practical difficulties with such a map and states that:

"we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."
— Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Lewis Carroll, 1893

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