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My teaching in 2013/14

Some people have expressed an interest in what I am teaching this year. Here it is.

I am a lecturer in mathematics at Nottingham Trent University.1 In mathematics, the degrees are BSc (Hons) over three years (with an optional placement year) in Mathematics, Financial Mathematics, Maths & Computer Science and Maths & Sport Science. My teaching on the mathematics degrees:

  • I run a first year module on mathematical methods for 120-odd students. This starts in material covered in A-Level Maths, moves through material covered in A-Level Further Maths (which many of our students have not taken), and finally to material at the end of the year that hopefully no one has seen. It has interesting transition issues. The topics are differentiation, partial differentiation and integration, leading to ODEs; matrices and determinants, leading to linear systems; complex numbers; and, Taylor series. I give two lectures per week and four examples classes (one further examples class is given by a colleague).
  • I teach three Matlab labs of twenty-odd students each for a computational and numerical methods module in the second year. Later in the year there is some LaTeX and some group work.
  • In the final year I am supervising three project students. Two are evaluating aspects of my first year teaching as maths education projects. One is looking at the way I present my lectures using screen annotation, the other is looking at my use of formative e-assessment. My third student is completing a maths history project looking at the golden ratio and claims made about it. The project is to investigate which claims represent interesting mathematical properties, which are false, and to repeat the Fechner experiment.
  • I am personal tutor for thirteen first year students, and my role as project supervisor includes acting as personal tutor for the three students in the final year.

I am also due in the second semester to teach basic mathematics for about eighty students on the forensic science degree cluster. This covers basic algebra, simultaneous and quadratic equations, logarithms, differentiation and integration.

Outside of formal teaching, I am running the Maths Arcade twice a week and I have agreed to give a ‘popular’ lecture to the Mathsoc this month with the title ‘Five thousand years of mathematics summarised in a microcentury‘. ‘A brief history of mathematics: 5000 years from Egypt to Nottingham Trent’.

Finally, in addition to my job at Nottingham Trent, I have agreed to supervise one final year project student at Sheffield Hallam University.2 This student is doing a project with the title ‘Designing Coincidences’, which is looking at manipulating the combinatorics and probabilities of certain events, particularly how to design a successful lottery, and writing a software package on this topic.

  1. Having said this, I believe I am required to state that any views expressed here are mine and not those of the university. []
  2. I don’t speak for them either — just in case! []

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