AMS Learning Center helps out with math

The Applied Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center, more commonly known as the “Math Catch Up Lab,” is the place to go for additional math help. The AMS Learning Center, located on the second floor of Stratton Hall in room 201, opened its doors on January 25, 2012, specifically to help undergraduate students with their math classes.

According to Teaching Associate Professor Holly Eklund, the purpose of the AMS Learning Center is “to better serve the freshman and sophomores who are taking our core classes.”

Because everyone is required to take these core classes, the Math Department created the Learning Center for everyone on the campus to benefit from, not just the math majors. One tutor, Jason Gates, who proclaims himself as “a Differential Equations Guy,” confirmed the widespread use of the center. “We get anyone from Calculus 1 to Calculus 3, Differential Equations to Advanced Engineering Math. Occasionally a random student with a math question for their research,” said Gates.

Another tutor, Stephanie Isacco, enjoys helping the students, saying that “it’s cool seeing students get that ‘aha’ moment.” She then elaborated that it is not uncommon for students to often stay for four or five hours. “We don’t even kick them out or anything.”

The Learning Center is staffed by graduate students as well as undergraduate math majors and is available to students Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. To assist students, the Learning Center has multiple areas for work and study. In the primary area there are two large whiteboards the tutors use to assist the visiting students with their work.

For Mathematica projects, students are free to use a bank of four computers that sit against one of the walls. Just around the corner is a breakout room that has been used by the math teachers for makeup exams, as well as an extra space for professors assist students during their office hours. This allows the professors to accommodate larger groups of students seeking assistance than could normally be helped in a regular office.

There are also two sets of tables for students to collaborate as they work on their homework with the help of the tutors. And for further reference materials, the center has a bookshelf filled with math textbooks and solutions manuals for students to use while they are there.

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