Giving math the old college try

Many people are talking about the recent presidential inauguration.

They will most likely talk about President Obama’s speech with admiration, as they should. It was a beautiful and powerful speech that inspired hope, and from the reaction of the crowd, was readily praised. People might talk about the expressionless face of former President Bush and analyze what he was thinking.

All of the 24-hour news shows will scrutinize every idiosyncrasy while inviting ‘experts’ to share their analysis on the subject. These shows will also talk about how during the inauguration introductions, middle names were announced; for instance, President George Walker Bush. However when they introduced President Barack H. Obama they conveniently left out the his middle name, Hussein, replacing it with just the initial ‘H.’ All a futile effort to gain viewers, these news networks need to realize that President Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th president of the United States of America and get over themselves. That is my vain opinion, but so it is.

There is a more pressing matter affecting UVU students today. No, I am not talking about the budget cuts. I am talking about the math department. While there are many students who have gone the way of ‘Easiest Math Ever’ there is still a majority of students who are stuck going through the route of developmental math. Some may not realize that they do not get any real credit for these developmental math courses. But they are required pre-requisites for the classes they really need to graduate.

For the majority of majors these needed classes are Math 1030, 1040, or 1050. For someone who is not a “math person” here is some advice. If you can’t test out of the developmental math classes through the COMPASS test, keep trying. Study in the math lab for the test, talk to the tutors, I know it is $10 to retake the test and you can only take it once a semester, but it is still cheaper than taking Math 1010 five times. If that fails, see if you can sit in on Alma Wilson’s 1030 class.

Wilson is one of the best math professors on this campus. I learned more in his 1030 class than all of my years of high school and the five times I took 1010 combined. He gets back to basics and then expounds on them. There are those who took his class that did not catch on to some of his methods of teaching. Nevertheless, for those who needed to learn math in a new way rather than getting it pounded into their head the same way over and over, it was like a breath of fresh air.

Many consider math a necessary evil and before Wilson’s class, I would have agreed. He has inspired me to learn math in a new way and that math is not as scary as all of my other math teachers made it out to be. So here it is: math is your friend- you use it everyday and if you need a new way to learn, or to pass MATH 1030 Alma Wilson is your man.

Leave a Reply