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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Math Advice

picture by Rovnet
"Math does not have to be intimidating." -- Victoria Phung.

Here is an interview with City College Math Professor, Victoria Phung, who is teaching Math 38 this semester. The actual interview took place in the fall of 2012, but we thought it would be appropriate to post it at the beginning of the semester. 

What classes are you teaching this semester?
-I am teaching Math 38, Pre-Algebra.

How long have you been at City? 
-I've been here for at least 10 years.

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of teaching math?
-Help students come to understand mathematics.  It is very rewarding when I see that they get the concept and the students themselves are excited that they get it.

In our global society, why is it important to have a strong foundation in math?
-Because math is everywhere, all around us.  Understanding mathematics enhances your reasoning and problem solving skills. 

A strong background in math can open the door to what kind of careers?
-Numerous careers; especially, science and technology oriented fields.

Some students have a fear of math and delay taking it. What advice do you have about dealing with math anxiety?
-Math does not have to be intimidating.  Students can ease the math anxiety by making the effort to understand the subject and invest the time to practice it to reinforce what they've learned.

What can students do at the beginning of a semester to further their success in a math class?
-Again, invest the time to learn the subject and practice practice.  In addition, students should get help (i.e., go to the tutoring center) as soon as they need it.

If some students are unable to get into a math class this semester, what things can they do to prepare themselves for math the next semester?
-While waiting, students should review the mathematics concepts, rules and definitions to keep the information fresh.

Victoria Phung

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