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    Hi. For A Levels, I am doing P2, P3 and M2. I also want to do either D1 or S2, independently, which is more interesting to learn and also not extremely difficult?

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    (Original post by Branded Spark)
    Hi. For A Levels, I am doing P2, P3 and M2. I also want to do either D1 or S2, independently, which is more interesting to learn and also not extremely difficult?

    Mark
    It depends what you find interesting! If you are interested in the computer side of maths then D1 with its algorithms is supposed to be useful, as well as easy! S2 is obviously great if you're thinking of economics. I've only studied Stats to S1 (which I assume you have!) and personally found it boring and easy, but I imagine S2 is slightly harder and I also believe there is coursework involved. Ultimately, the best thing to do is print off syllabuses from your exam board's website and read throuhg them and see which you think sounds more interesting!
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    I havent done D1 but i have seen some questions and many of my friends have done it. D1 sounds very stupid with questions like sort the 5 names alphabetically. I think there is very little mathematics involved, it is more a way of thinking using algorithms and rubbish.

    If you have done S1, S2 is quite straightforward although is more pure like rather than number crunching which is S1. You learn about different models and hypothsis tests (confusing at first). I found S2 quite boring but having heard what D1 is like it will be much more interesting.
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    S2, please take S2, D1 is the most appauling excuse for maths I've ever had the pleasure of laughing at. If I wanted to go to sleep in my lessons, I would have taken an A level in sleeping.
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    I think I might just go and have a read through both the S2 and D1 books, then I can see which one seems more interesting, at the moment its leaning towards D1, because I didnt particualrly find S1 that interesting
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    If it was me I'd do D1. I hate stats with passion. I've just done D1 and I'm doing D2 now (game theory wheeee). We have to as part of further maths.

    I liked pure a lot. Mechanics a bit. So if you're like that I'd say do D1.

    It starts out a bit poo. With stuff like sorting alphabetically and stuff. The idea is that you learn the algorithms used by computers to sort massive lists and you apply them to much shorter lists with pen and paper. You do two algorithms for sorting and one for things like assigning boxes to containers so that you use the minimum number of containers.

    Then you do some graph theory. Stuff like quickest route from one place to another and Euclidean and Hamiltonian cycles (used to sole the seven bridges of konigsberg problem which you may have heard of) and minimum spanning trees used for laying roads or railway between cities using the minimum amount of railway. And a few other things.

    Then it's critical path problems which deal with how to organize tasks so the whole project is completed in the shortest amount of time or whatever. For example when building a house you can't put the walls up until the foundations are down, you can't put the roof on until the walls are up and you can't start plastering until the electricity and plumbing is in. Each of these take a certain amount of time to do and you can work stuff out to optimize the whole project.

    Then linear programming. Say a company can make so many of chair X selling at £x each and so many of char Y selling at £y each. You are limited in how many you can make by man hours and material. How many of each should you make to get maximum profit. These problems are solved using various methods including the DREADED simplex algorithm.

    Matchings is a fairly trivial chapter. Deals with matching people or things up with an activity or subject or number or colour or whatever. Say A can be matched to 1,2 or 3, B can be matched with 2 or 3 and C can be matched with 4. Then a "maximum matching would be A1 B2 and C4 or something like that. It's those sort of problems.

    And finally you do flows in networks. Imagine a system of pipes, each of a certain diameter. You have an input and an output. What's the maximum amount of water you can put in so the whole thing doesn't flow back on you. If a 4 diameter pipe joins to a 2 diameter pipe you can only put 2 units of water in the 4 pipe or the thing flows back. Obviously you look at much more complex systems though.

    You do need a good memory.
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    My further maths class democractically decided that D1 would be a good module to choose to study, because we had reliably been informed that it was very easy indeed. This is true, it is exceptionally easy, and also exceptionally boring. So boring in fact that my two friends and I couldnt stand to finish the module and decided to go against the grain and do mechanics 3 instead - which was about 1000 times more interesting. But then again, stats 2 is also kind of boring, though it does contain some actual maths which D1 seems to lack. So I would say given the choice do S2 all the way. Unless you like drawing numbers in circles connected by little lines for hours on end, in which case do D1.
 
 
 
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