I would like to get a research position in mathematics over the summer to deepen my understanding and help me to decide whether I want to be a research professor or a teaching professor. I also hope that securing a research position will make me a better candidate for graduate programs in mathematics. This would be my first research position and I am excited to get started!
This job was tons of fun! I led my own discussion section given some basic set of worksheets to start with (at the start I had some support from Student Learning Center tutor staff, but it quickly became just me and the students). Near the beginning, as I was finding my footing, I would stick closer to the worksheets (especially because I did not take Math 1B at Berkeley and some of the material was different than the Calculus BC material I had in high school). Near the end of the course, I became more creative and posed more of my own original problems. This course was important to me because it was the first course where I tried to be more metacognitive in my approach to teaching and to get the students to be more metacognitive. I also enjoyed the subject and the students were amazing!
This was my main summer project of 2020 and it lasted from late June to mid August. I was leading a discussion section on College Algebra for incoming Freshman students (I also helped grade exams and quizzes and tutor the subject outside of discussion times). The job allowed for some creativity in choosing lesson plans, although the worksheets for the topics were provided by the main instructor. I loved getting to know the students and sharing my cheesy math jokes at the start of discussions!
My first college tutoring position was helping out with Math 53 (Multivariable Calculus). The job mainly involved helping students who would come to Drop-In tutoring, which was available to all UC Berkeley undergrads who wanted to pop in. For the first semester and a bit of the second, I was helping out in-person at the SLC building, mostly answering questions students had on homework. For the rest of the semester, I persevered remotely via Zoom (it was difficult to write because I did not yet have an XP-Pen tablet that I got to be Workshop Facilitator in the summer). I learned a lot about tutoring through the training. I have realized that tutoring is less about showing the students the tools they need to succeed and more about getting the students to find and use these tools for themselves.
I am currently completing my Junior year at Berkeley. As of now, I am pretty certain I will be majoring in pure math (and not applied math). I have taken several proof-based classes (and all the core requirements for upper division math at Berkeley except Complex Analysis). I particularly enjoyed the math introduced in Math 55 (Discrete Math) and Math 123 (ODEs) and am excited to do Number Theory in the spring!
This will complete my double major at Berkeley. I love philosophy for its clarity, critical thinking, and reflection. I have also considered minoring in Logic, but I am not sure I will have the class space (I also may want to take education or a graduate-level math course if I have extra room). I particularly enjoyed the philosophy discussed in Philosophy 133 (Language) and Philosophy 100 (Methods, whose theme this past fall was identity).
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