Last year I wrote a guide for students taking the University of Toronto’s big (2000 student) first year calculus class MAT135. It was so successful that I wrote another guide to MAT137, the more specialized first year calculus class. Let me share them with you:
“How to Succeed in MAT135.”
“How to Succeed in MAT137.”
They are both links to Reddit, but you don’t need an account there to read them.
Continue reading Succeeding in First-Year Calculus: My guides to MAT135 and MAT137
2022 update: I’ve added a couple of sentences about the context of this event to emphasize how positive this experience was.
In my second year of undergrad I had a formative experience with Delta-Epsilon proofs that stuck with me for a long time. Last week I was able to provide a similar experience for some first year calculus students.
Continue reading Delta-Epsilon Magic
(This talk was given on March 31, 2014, at the University of Toronto to a class of mostly MAT 137 students. It was standing room only!)
In my first year of undergrad I was bad at proofs. In my second year of undergrad I was terrible at proofs. In my third year I was okay at proofs, but I was terrible at studying proofs.
The way I used to learn proofs was by memorizing the words in the textbook’s proof, word by word, with almost no understanding. I knew math, and I was fairly good at problems, but I just couldn’t get any purchase when it came to learning proofs.
Eventually I started to pick up various “tricks” and strategies for learning proofs. This talk is aimed at me in first year, and what I needed to hear so that I could have studied proofs better. (“I no proof good.”)
We’ll look at the basics of proof reading, the idea of definition unwinding and clever ideas, and finally we’ll present a general method for reading proofs.
Continue reading How to Read, Understand and Study Proofs