By ANDREW SOULSBY
If you’re drowning in a sea of numbers, equations and ancient Greek mathematical theories, the Learning Commons’ math centre can be a lifesaver.
Located across the hall from the Tim Hortons at Doon, the math centre opened last September and has been helping students with their least favourite subject in a variety of ways. According to Laura Iacocca, the centre’s co-ordinator, math drop-ins are available for first-year students who are struggling to grasp new concepts and theories. The drop-ins are set up for students in specific programs, such as pre-nursing and business, and are taught by senior students who are “the best of the best,” said Iacocca. Schedules for the math drop-ins can be found online through the Student Services’ drop-down menu or by picking up a paper copy from the front desk.
However, drop-ins aren’t the only way the centre can help you brush up on your math skills. One-on-one tutoring is available for students who learn best with an individualized approach. Whether you’re looking to take that 80 per cent to a 90, or are completely lost in Pythagoras’ theorem, Iacocca believes tutoring can be a worthwhile experience.
“Students invest in the tutors and the tutors invest in the students and it becomes this really neat partnership,” she said, adding she often tells tutors in the beginning that they’ll soon know people’s names by how often they come back.
After reading quotes she had saved on her desktop from students who came to thank her after passing a big test, Iacocca choked up telling a story in which a student hugged her and said “we did it,” giving her that “warm and fuzzy” feeling all over. This attitude of wanting to help people is something she looks for when selecting students who wish to tutor, a part-time position that pays $3 more than the student minimum wage.
Although all the part-time positions for tutoring are full this semester, Iacocca is looking for those who are exceptional in math and have strong communication and presentation skills to come forward for the upcoming winter semester.
While “math is often not a loved course,” Iacocca said laughingly, the Learning Commons’ math centre is available to those who want to learn and teach the radical subject.