Tuesday, January 17, 2017

836. The curious case of Laplace theorem

Laplace theorem is a term that gives any Engineering student nightmares. For some students, the nightmare lasts for 6 months and for many it is a lifelong horror story.

Laplace theorem is one of the three major stumbling blocks for engineering students not completing their degrees. The other two are
1) Fourier tranforms
2) Digital Signal Processing

But before an engineering student encounters these three stumbling blocks, he or she has to first cross the first level (i,e.) Basic Engineering Mathematics.

I have never understood Laplace theorem at all. For those who have no clue on what I am talking about, please take a look at this picture below

Did you understand anything? Neither did we. When we encountered this in our third semester, we could not make heads or tails out of it. The equation looked like a triangle/pyramid followed by the letter "y". One thing was clear for all of us who tried to mug this equation. We all knew that we would get "0" marks in our exams because the equation itself denoted that to us. If that was not enough to knock us down, we were asked to learn the following equations too.

When all these equations were introduced to us, we had already become numb to pain and all sorts of mental trauma as we were already walking in the campus like dead bodies. Imagine sitting in a class without understanding anything. 

During exam time,we would write these equations in a small chit and take it inside the exam hall with hopes of using it to write answers. But we had no clue on where to apply these formulas. To make matters worse, the exam question paper would look like this,
You can't write stories as answers for these questions. All we could do was, stare at the question paper, look around, cry and leave the exam hall like a guy kicked between his legs. 

A shocking thing happened in my life. In my third semester Laplace university exam, I ended up getting 99 out of 100. When many classmates had failed in that exam, all of them were shocked at my marks. Some even asked me how I lost that one mark; but my head was ( and is still) occupied with the question "How the hell did I get the remaining 99 marks?".


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