How Fourier Transforms helped improve my personal performance

Maths
Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash


It was 41 years ago that I started my physics degree at Strathclyde University.

I found physics a challenging and demanding area of study, especially the mathematical knowledge that it required.

In 1980 I was introduced to the world of Fourier transforms, FT, I froze, I was afraid, I just did not understand them. I eventually recognised that I needed to address this issue head-on. I borrowed £5 from my mother and bought a book on this, to me, intimidating area of mathematics.

I stayed in and read. I studied the book, chapter by chapter; I worked through all the exercises. Within a few weeks, Fourier transforms were no longer a mystery to me. The topic was now a strong point for me.

When the end of year exam came, I opened my mathematics paper and read

Answer four from six. 20 marks each.

I glanced through the six questions and there to my delight was a Fourier transform question, my certain 20/20 question.

Through a little self-sacrifice and discipline, I changed a fear and a weakness into an assurance and a strength.

My experience of Fourier transforms was a valuable lesson for me. Today if I come across a topic that I am afraid of, I approach it with curiosity and reach for the books and start studying.

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