Being Second Atop the mountain

Doing research isn’t an easy thing to do. There’s a reason that not everyone is an academic. Trying to bang one’s head up against the wall of science isn’t most people’s idea of a fun time. That being said, when you do get an idea of a direction it can go, it’s exciting. You start gaining momentum, and before you know it, you’ve gotten a paper drafted up. Soon, you will be able to publish…

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Where Are Your Weaknesses?

During one of my calculus classes in university, we were running behind in terms of class content. Within the last few days of class, the professor announced that the topic of Taylor and McLaurin series and expansions weren’t going to be part of the final exam, but he would hold an optional “extra” class for those who were interested. I was interested, but I also live far away from the university, which meant I didn’t…

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Pairing Simple Examples With Complex Machinery

Teaching a new concept within mathematics or science isn’t easy. It requires taking students outside of their comfort zones to try and understand how we model phenomena that is more complex than previously seen. This tends to require new tools and techniques, which means students have to shed their old tools in favour of these new ones. This can leave students disgruntled, particularly those who were attached to the old method of solving problems. While…

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Attempting Problems

One of the most important things you can do when learning a new subject is attempting it with your best effort. While this sounds simple, so many people think they are too good for this step and skip it. I was reminded of this at the beginning of last semester. One of my professors said, “When you read the chapters in the book, do the examples that are there. It’s extremely important that you do.…

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Permission to Learn

When you were in elementary school, did you get a say in what you learned? How about in secondary school? Odds are, you were given a set of classes, and your time at school looked something like this: We all had these instances when we wondered, “Why am I learning this?” We were then either told that we had no choice, or that that there were benefits to learning that material that we couldn’t see…

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