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Old School Integration

“Plum” reports on a scandal in the Math Department.

I discovered that the tutors at the Math/Science Resource Center for math 103/104 are the ones responsible for telling kids that int[f(x) * g(x)] = int[f(x)] * int[g(x)]. I might have to kill them. If they only knew the pain of grading homework and quizzes where half the class did the SAME WRONG THING… Enough of them did it that I started doubting my own calculus skills, which sucks, especially around 4am… There are five calculus tutors at the Resource Center. How is it that none of them knows how to integrate?? Maybe next semester I should work at the Resource Center and not be a TA.

Back in the day, Professor Silva always got this correct.

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#1 Comment By kim On November 22, 2005 @ 7:50 am

Yikes. I didn’t need a Professor Silva flashback, especially this early in the morning.

#2 Comment By Diana On November 22, 2005 @ 8:06 am

Okay, as a resource center tutor, let me defend the institution. We know how to integrate. But Math 104 — this is Math 104 that Plum is talking about, not math 103 — is a really hard class. You learn to integrate, you learn to differentiate, you memorize all the rules, you memorize innumerable tricks, and unfortunately, that’s usually just what it is: memorization. All the other math classes are pretty fun to TA or tutor; 104 is really not.

I peer tutored it in my freshman fall, not having taken the class as it is taught at Williams, and it was pretty rough going — the way they teach the material makes it that dry. Professor Silva may have it straight, and I’m sure he does, and it’s straight in the photocopied notes he hands out, but whether it gets from him to the student in a lecture is another matter entirely.

#3 Comment By Diana On November 22, 2005 @ 8:23 am

By the way, I’m not a resource center tutor this semester, obviously enough, but I have been the past two semesters and I may be when I get back (though the math department has apparently insituted a new rule where you cannot be a TA and a tutor at the same time, even if if is for totally different levels of math class — what?).