Hints For Student Success

  1. Read your book. Read it before class, then again before attempting the homework, and again after doing the problems. When you read the book do it slowly and carefully, with pencil in hand. Pay careful attention to the definitions and examples. Omit the proofs on a first reading.

  2.  
  3. Come to class. Don't be afraid to ask questions (there is no such thing as a stupid question). If you don't get all of you questions answered in class, come to my office.

  4.  
  5. Do lots of problems. Don't give up too soon nor fail to return later to those you could not do the first time.

  6.  
  7. Work together. This is an excellent way to learn. But remember to do some problems first so that you can contribute to the discussion.

  8.  
  9. See me, but before you are lost. (This doctor prefers preventative medicine to running an emergency room.)

  10.  
  11. Complain.

  12.  
  13. Before a test the best thing to do is to outline the material, make sure you understand the basic concepts and theorems, do the review problems, and go to bed early.

  14.  
  15. Work at least ten (yes, 10!) hours per week outside of class on this course.

  16.  
  17. Do not sell your textbook. This is false economy. Keep it for reference.

  18.  
  19. Learn to take notes by ear.



The following advice has been cribbed from a course syllabus by M. J. DeLeon at Florida Atlantic University.


STUDYING ALONE OR STUDYING IN A GROUP Research by Uri Treisman at the University of California at Berkeley
suggests that students can improve their performance in mathematics classes if they study in groups with group work being a
complement to (not a replacement of) individual study. Group work also has the advantage of promoting a blurring of the
distinctions between the academic and social spheres of students' lives. Each student in History of Mathematics should consider
forming a study group with two to five other students. Each student in this History of Mathematics class should have the phone
number of from two to five students in this class in order to find out what was missed if absent from class.


STUDYING ALL NIGHT. The following is from page 20 of the August 8, 1994 issue of Time magazine. It is unabridged.

     Students who think nothing of pulling all-nighters, take note: experiments with both rats and humans have
     convinced researchers that people who get plenty of sleep are better at learning things. The brain evidently uses its
     rest periods to consolidate new memories.


PACING YOURSELF. Mathematics is not suitable for cramming. Always review the day's lecture shortly after the lecture and
begin the assigned problems while the lecture is fresh in your mind. Do a few problems every day; do not do all the problems at
once. A little bit now and a little bit later is good advice for doing homework problems.