Making a good start with Mathematics and Statistics


Hello readers.LSE Study guides

Today’s conversation marks roughly one year since I started collaborating with the Official Student Blog. To celebrate the event, I titled this post after my very first one, the subjects involved being obviously different.

I’m sure many newly-enrolled students in Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (EMFSS) programmes will have to take a combination of Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Statistics 1, and/or Statistics 2. With this in mind, why not share with you some general information about those units? Even prospective students might find it useful.

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Banking and finance through the lens of the past. From merchant-bankers to the first (modern) banks


Medieval Bankers

Medieval Bankers

Some months ago, I watched a wonderful series on Aljazeera, called Marco Polo: a very modern journey. The tale is fascinating and addresses diverse (current) themes while Marco’s story flows in the background. It reminded me of another amazing series called The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson.While watching the adventures of the Venetian traveller, my train of thoughts wound the clocks back in time… Towards the XII century, a new profession was emerging within the medieval Italian city: the ‘merchant-banker’.

These bold entrepreneurs and travellers soon became sedentary and created companies in the major central and northern Italian communes, built on the ashes of the Roman Empire. Such commercial and financial organisations relied on a complex structure (considering the epoch): regular and fast correspondence, accurate accounting practices, bills of exchange, and articulated manuals on measures, currencies, and business customs of many regions of the world (here’s an example).

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To the future!


This happens to be the final page of my travel(b)logue, which is what I referred to my blogs as in my first post… On completion of my study, I set off for some adventure-packed fun. Launching myself off the platform and flying down the zipline was somewhat like my study experience over the past four years – a journey, from bracing myself to embracing the world!

Hema Thakur ziplining

So here’s to the ‘long and short’ of my trip with the programmes (spellcheck hasn’t got used to this word yet). I’ve expanded the word ‘trip’ itself, to incorporate some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from it.

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10 Study Tips: small steps, big feat


In this blog, I share with you a few study and examination guidelines that I have penned during ‘motivating moments’! Happy reading ;)

1) Breathing before a study session prevents sighing post it…

So let’s take a deep breath and plunge!

Breath - the universe is taking care of everything else

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Getting around roadblocks


Super Mario stomping on obstacles

It’s time to get on top of those study roadblocks!

What makes the earth spin? Day to day experiences dictate that an applied force is required to keep something in constant motion. However, contrary to belief, a force is required to stop movement – for example, what stops a rolling ball is the force of friction. Movement is presumed to be a natural tendency…

This may seem far stretched, but drawing parallels,  it makes me ponder over what keeps us from moving on in accordance with our plans; case in point, study plans.  A shift of focus from motivation, or the lack of it, to the roadblocks, is a good starting point for its assessment.

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How far we’ve come…


I have been away from the blogging arena for a while.. I haven’t been up to much though, besides settling back in India after a long vacation in Chile and thereafter plunging into my studies for my final academic year for the BSc Banking and Finance. Which makes me look back and wonder why everything looks so different today than it looked a few months ago, while each day didn’t seem all that revolutionary (in spite of my day-centric methodology which I speak of below)… Perhaps it’s because, until a few months ago I still had the flexibility to choose modules – a yearly process I’m always going to miss! I had the option to ‘do what I like’. Now that I have registered for my final examinations, I have the obligation to ‘like what I do’ – creating a liking, if it doesn’t come naturally. Paradoxically, it is only in the fulfillment of certain obligations that we achieve freedom – freedom from the fear about results, freedom from schedules that bind us rather than unwind us…

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‘Up´for it?!


Farellones in Chile.

Farellones in Chile.

In my previous blog, I wrote about an adventure sport… Gliding in the air was not enough, so I hit the snow-capped Andes to glide on their descent.  It’s winter in Chile right now, the roads were icy and the clouds descended upon the way up to the little ski resort of Farellones which made the experience akin to cruising on cloud number nine!

As I stepped out of the car and into the resort, the first thing I noticed were trails of the people who left their footprints on the snows of time, which made my hike to the peak that much easier.  Indeed, we receive guidance on every path in life we choose to tread, from the example set by the brave men who chose to tread it before. But after following those trails for miles, you arrive at a point where they seem to fade away. You’re on your own now.

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Going Chile, going places…


After a rather intensive year, the gist of which I compiled in my previous blog, I’m on a post-examination trip to Chile, South America, to meet my father who is settled there.

The examination period was a journey in itself, similar to the over-30 hour journey (including transit) from India to Chile! But once you reach the destination, even though you can describe how agonizing the wait was, you can’t feel the pangs. Now I understand what my mother means when she says she can ‘appreciate but not apprehend’ my exam related stress….

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All the Best – The best of times!


So we all need a hideout corner in the midst of stressful times such as these.

For me, the only ‘corner’ I resort to is the one where my piano lay. Playing a tune and penning down an ode alongside reminds me of the importance of rhythm: Not too slow, not too fast. I always try to employ that idea in the field of academics too.

This blog contains one such ode by me, which goes out to all my fellow students at the University of London International Programmes. Cheers!

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Women and their HOLIness!


In my previous blog, I wrote about bridging gaps. Speaking of which, there’s a noticeable gap between Planet Venus and Mars, the apparent origins of women and men respectively. If you come to think of it, the descriptions do make sense.. After all, planet Venus is pretty much in between the cool-blue earth and the blazing sun – It reaches out for the star yet remains down to earth! So this blog is dedicated to those who’ve come down from that beautiful planet.

As the cliché goes, the essence of being a woman is her gentleness and her tenderness. But, these traits are misunderstood to be her weakness. In fact, I’d say they’re like grass blades which are also gentle and tender – That is what makes them flexible to bend with the storm and spring back into action thereafter. The gentleness, therefore, is a grass blades’ strength, not its weakness. The same goes for women.

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