The course coordinators were really hardworking and insightful people. I just finished teaching two sections of first semester calculus at the University of Michigan. The course maintains a problem bank of suggested questions to use on quizzes and in class. The exams, especially the last two, were almost all challenging conceptual problems. Before answering, I want to point out that university departments are not idealized firms, who aim to produce a service as efficiently as possible. Do you have any thoughts on what benefits your students might have had from having you teach the class rather than a proficient graduate student? Menu Skip to content.
It worked better than I expected, but I still have some concerns. I just finished teaching two sections of first semester calculus at the University of Michigan. If you are thinking of importing MI calculus into your school, you should think about how to take care of your teachers. I also wrote and graded weekly quizzes, and graded the team homework assignments. I did the day-to-day teaching 3 times a week, 80 minutes per meeting. There are a lot of problems in the webhomework mainly sections 5. Team homework My students were organized into groups of four who met weekly to work together on more challenging problems, which they wrote up as a group and received a single collective grade for.
I also wrote and graded weekly quizzes, and graded the team homework assignments.
Some thoughts on teaching Michigan calculus | Secret Blogging Seminar
Another geometric optimization problem asked students to construct a solid shaped like a cone on top of a cylinder to optimize some quantity, and the optimum was the degenerate case where the cone had height zero!
Consider a student who has learned the basic mechanical skills umicy numerically approximating a derivative from data, or of differentiating some complex expression.
So this advice really did turn out to work, despite my skepticism. The intended focus of the problem is on how to set up the correct integral in the first place.
I want to take the opportunity to brag about the most fun example of this: I think I took these messages too strongly to heart. Some subset of those people will also have the personality and drive to be teachers. If the promise of academia were withdrawn, would people with a passion and skills for mathematics still become instructors? As for the comments on departments not being idealized firms, I will just point out that most public institutions other than flagship universities, as well as lower tier liberal arts tsam, are under such budget pressures umidh they have no choice but to have most of their teaching tean by graduate students and adjuncts.
Feel free to read, and feel free to call me David rather than Professor Speyer. Menu Skip to content. Even if the math dept got to keep the money, I suspect there is nothing we would like to do with it more than hire a top researcher! There are very few people who will enjoy an activity at which they regularly have no small successes.
I felt guilty and awkward about it. But he also has mastered a nontrivial ujich.
Some thoughts on teaching Michigan calculus
I also had a lot of fun. It worked better than I expected, but I still have some concerns. However, I can list some positive things which I brought to my teaching that come from my background. But I hope that many politicians would see the point. The exams, especially the last two, were almost all challenging amth problems.
In my case, I was competing with grad students who had taken calculus far more recently than I had; had taught it several times before; and who 1116 often extraordinary competitors with a string of Olympiad medals and Putnam victories.
Right now, instructors are much cheaper than professors. He wound up tea off and, not only did this make him hugely popular, but it probably relieved him of a lot of the stress I felt in the final days of the Gateway period.
I feel that, psychologically, there is a big difference between having one or two questions that my hypothetical student can solidly get right, and having him pick up a smattering of partial credit on each of nine or ten questions that are too hard for him. In Spring I often was unable to sleep for fear that I had misplanned my Hodge Theory lectures, so it was a major relief to uumich so well taken care of.
None of this comes directly from anything that I learned in grad school or in research. I feel that the former was achieved fairly well in practice, though I have some complaints, but the latter was not. I think these are very appropriate goals in theory.
Michigan is a very competitive ummich and everyone who gets in here is excellent. Calculus at Michigan focuses very heavily on working with data and on understanding what computation to do, rather than how to do it.
Because, if I were a student in this maty, I would have highly resented being forced to work with students not at my level. My students were organized into groups of four who met weekly to work together on more challenging problems, which they wrote up mah a group and received a single collective grade for.
The mathlab Michigan has a large room called the mathlab it could probably hold people or so filled with round tables and staffed 8 hours a day by tutors who can provide help with mathematics courses. I think this is a great idea, and every university homeqork set this up. There are plenty of people who love math so much that they will continually learn and study new mathematics.