Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Jeffrey Rizza '16 and Alison Ware '16 have been named as the first Quantitative Reasoning and Symbolic Logic Fellows for the new Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) program. The Q Fellows will work closely with their peers, helping with mathematic concepts across disciplines from psychology to economics to physics and environmental science, the fellows hope to assist those who may need a review of math concepts from Algebra to Calculus II.
"Like writing, math is used widely across all disciplines, not just in the mathematics and computer science classes," explains CTL Assistant Director Ruth Shields.
"There are a lot of classes that have math and reasoning aspects to them, but are not necessarily geared to a deeper understanding of those concepts," says Ware, an economics and international relations double major. "When students don't anticipate that, it can be really challenging."
"Alison and Jeff have a knack for really teaching how to use math concepts in practice - they don't just provide students with answer to a question, they are teaching them how to reason through problems and utilize the correct math concepts," says Shields.
Although the program began only this semester, it has already seen a steady stream of students seeking help. In the future, Shields hopes that the program can expand to include assistance with Excel and develop a resource for professors and students in need of review materials.
"Because many of these students haven't had intensive math courses since high school, they may have gaps in their knowledge," explains physics and environmental science double major Rizza, who believes the Q Fellows will fill a need not met by other services.
Rizza has spent much of this semester developing a website with easy-access resources and a comprehensive structure; this includes not only important tools and tables, but helpful articles and videos.
Ware sees the new position in CTL as an extension of the center's mission. "We want this to be a comfortable place for students, where they won't feel bad asking questions - no matter how basic."
"They can come to us, and know that we won't assume any sort of basic level of mathematics," says Rizza. "We are here to make sure that we give them the fundamental tools they need."
No appointment is necessary. The CTL located on the second floor of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Fall hours for the Q Fellows are as follows: Tues. 6 - 9 p.m.; Wed. 12 - 2 p.m.; Fri. 2 - 4 p.m. On Sundays, the Q Fellows meet with students from 7 - 9 p.m. at 451 Pulteney St.