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Enewsletter: Math help room multiplies

Help room

Mathematics graduate student Yu Cui (left) helps out undergrad Daniel Woodruff in the new Mathematics help room.

Sometimes you need to pick up a sledgehammer to help math students.

Early this academic year, the Department of Mathematics did some renovations to the second floor of the Mathematical Sciences Building. Part of the wall between room 211, a former classroom, and room 205, a meeting room for tutoring, was torn through to create a new mathematics help area. The rooms are now connected to allow space for 10 tables with up to 10 chairs at each. These tables are marked with signs of classes like Applied Calculus 1, 2 and 3. There are also algebra and trigonometry stations.

Undergraduates from all across campus walk in without having to set an appointment. They find the class that they need assistance with and wait for a Mathematics graduate assistant to come to the rescue. There are usually at least five or six assistants on hand during the day. Some undergraduate math students chip in help as well.

“I would say we’ve had as many 35 in here,” said Eddie Price, one of the many busy assistants that log hours and help hundreds of students a semester.

Price, whose graduate studies focus on commutative algebra, is enjoying the more streamlined process. Students quietly raise hands when stuck. They bring textbooks, laptops and scratch paper. Any student is allowed to come in as long as they are taking the classes marked on the tables. Price and his fellow grad students must know everything, but he and his colleagues are up to the task.

The new help room is open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Eddie Price

Mathematics graduate student Eddie Price takes a second to pose during a busy day at the new Mathematics help room.

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