Special calculus recitations

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Howdy. I had spoken to you (Prof. Schroeder) about the need for special calculus recitations where differential and integrals are explored and explained strictly within the context of the chemistry that we are doing at the time. I'm posing this message to see if other students may have something to say, because I would like to see this materialize SOONER rather than later....

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2000


I would suggest students who suspect weaknesses in their math comprehension to look into the textbook (Zumdahl, e.g., pp. 515-520) to get a feeling of what type of math is required for this course. To evaluate second derivatives and integration is as difficult as it ever gets in this course, -- what should have been covered in high school math.

Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for the introduction of math into physical sciences. That is to the credit of generations of my scientific predecessors. I just use it as is appropriate for the purpose and do not really deserve the credit that some of the students seem to bestow on me.

I like the answer posted by chemie2 on this forum. Seems like a very reasonable thought offered here. Who could disagree, honestly?!!

This brings me to two points:

a) A certain etiquette is to be observed on the Bulletin Board, otherwise no real discussion will evolve or be sustained. This implies that direct comments or even attacks on other contributors must be avoided. Comments should be given merely to express opinions in a polite fashion. People who do not develop such "people skills" will typically become isolated or even "weeded" out rapidly in professional life.

b) Help for students to overcome basic math weaknesses would be provided by the chemistry TAs as a special service to the class. Students should understand that TAs are typically very busy with their own study and research, in addition to their regular TA duties. Extra work outside of their main expertise represents extra efforts that hopefully is recognized by the class. Soon, many of you may be in the same position as your TAs are in right now.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

I agree--I'd like special calculus recitations also, especially since Prof. Schroder is starting to use formulas with integrals and derivatives. I don't know anything about integrals so if we are expected to use them on future tests, extra recitations would be nice...

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2000

Weren't we supposed to learn the math somewhere else??? Like say perhaps in a MATH class??

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2000

The fact of the matter is that not everyone has had the opportunity to learn the math required. Your comment is less than helpful, but I hasten to point out that these shouldn't be mandatory sessions if that is what your concern is, 'just a thought'.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2000

......as 'unhelpful' as everyone might find it.

By your own admission the math is "required"....looking at the prerequisites for the class (104) I find 103 with a grade of c or better. So, looking up the prerequisites for 103 I find analytical geometry....when I took analytical geometry--guess what I learned???? You guessed it, the math that is required for this course.

I am wondering how so many people without the proper prereqs got into this course!!!

Can't the people who need math help, either revisit the proper math class, or find a tutor?

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2000

In talking with DR.Schroeder, we have decided to take a poll on the bullentin board to see how many students are interested in extra help with the calculus you will be using. So if you are interested contribute an answer to that affect, if you are not interested in extra help you need not post an answer. If there is enough interest shown, there will probably be a few night recitations and some problems on the calculus.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2000

If these calculus recitations are optional, WHY are you (chemie2) so against them? They wouldn't even affect you.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2000

Perhaps Dr. Schroeder could announce this opportunity in class on tuesday; this way those who don't visit the BB will have a heads up regarding what is in the works.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

As Dr. Schroeder has already openly proclaimed that we need not fear his retaliation to thoughtful and outspoken posts to this BB, I am assuming that my candid but reasonable comments will not cause me any detriment. At the outset, I would like to state that I originally created this thread as a result of favorable responses to the notion of special chem math sessions from both those students staying after class and *the instructor* alike.

I believe that this issue fundamentally revolves around the noticeable absence of the evening help sessions, which were provided last semester but are no longer available despite the fact that 104 is more demanding in multiple aspects. We have moved from a 4 to a 5 credit course, and this change is reflected in the greater complexity and emphasis on theoretical concepts, an (obviously) intensified math component, and weekly instead of bimonthly lab sessions. It seems that evening help sessions are called for more this semester than last!

If you take this as a complaint, then you are not understanding my statements. I think that what we have been learning is very cool, and I am dedicated to performing my best in this class. If Dr. Schroeder is truly committed to improving science education, as he has emphasized in class more than once, then actions and not lip service are in order.

I also find it distasteful and disappointing that Dr. Schroeder could make assertions about 'etiquette' and in the same breath give praise to a perpetrator against this self-same lauded principle. Are chemie2's thoughts in fact very reasonable? Is a brash demeanor reasonable? Is the following statement reasonable sounding, Dr. Schroeder?

"Weren't we supposed to learn the math somewhere else??? Like say perhaps in a MATH class??"?

My grandmom used to say, 'If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all.'

Finally, the demand on the TA's cannot be ignored, I know because I've TA'd other courses; My suggestion is that a weekly evening session specifically for math could be rotated through by all the TA's. We are at a point in the semester that each TA would have to do it only once! I think that *this* is reasonable, honestly.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

Dr. Schroeder, I dont' really care what chemie2 thinks about how I got into this Chem104 class. I am only interested in understanding the math, which I have not had yet. Just because I decided to take AP Statistics instead of the calculus route in high school, and still was accepted into this University, I do not believe that I should suffer for it. I would really appreciate a calculus review, and please do not invite chemie2, since they seem to know everything already. But for us students who care, and WANT to understand the mathematics through the higher level that you are teaching, please consider a calculus review. If there is an immediate need for me as a student without calculus background to learn this before the next exam, please let me know, so if you're planning on NOT having a calculus review I will find help on my own. Thank you Dr. Schroeder. And by the way, no offense chemie2, but why are you even involved in the conversation, shouldn't you be spending your time studying for the exam, instead of wasting it replying to the bulletin board on something that does not concern you.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

While chemie2 may have a point, I understand that the math may not be something that is comfortable even for those who have had the exposure in some other class. I know that as a student in chemistry I don't always use calculus, and though I have taken more than one class on the subject, I still feel better having some sort of guideline in front of me when I am doing the math. This semester my professor gave a wonderful calculus handout to our class. I think some of you could find it beneficial. If you would like a copy, please stop by my office hours. In fact, I don't think any TA would mind you stopping by their office hours to discuss any of the problems you are having with this course. I am not speaking for any other TA, but I haven't had a student come by mine yet, though I have announced my hours as Thursdays 2-3 in room Hutch. 220c. Office hours might be a good way for those of you who feel you need help to get one on one assistance with any and all of the problems in this course.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

I would also find it helpful to have a math review session. I looked at the prerequisites to this class and I found no math requirement. I am personally offended by chemie2's comments. I have not taken calculus, nor do I plan to. This is not a requirement for this class according to the course description handbook for spring 2000. I have not done serious math since high school (4 years). While I am not a stupid person, I have forgotten some of it from lack of use. It would be helpful to have an extra math review.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2000

I realize that for most of you the calculus is second nature because you are also taking the math presently. I, however, as a Uof R grad have not taken calculus for five years and could certainly use a "crash course". It seems that I am not the only person in the class who is uncomfortable with the situation and regardless of what others think, a class should be taught to all enrolled, not only to those who are able to do complex math.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2000

I feel that I owe Dr. Schroeder an apology for my pointed statements. It is obvious that he is sincere in his attempts to help us learn this material. Further, I see that I ended up doing the same thing that I criticised chemie2 for doing. I don't know what else to say, so I'll now shut up.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2000

In discussing the special math recitations with Dr.Schorder, we decided that instead of having these recitations, students needing extra help would be better off setting up appointments or going to the office hours of their TA in order to get help.

-- Anonymous, February 24, 2000

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