OpenLab Assignment #10: Advice for the future

Assignment (due Monday, May 21).  Imagine that you are invited to speak on the first day of MAT 1275, to give advice to entering students.  Write a paragraph responding to one of the following, describing what you would tell them.

  1. What do you wish that you had been told at the start of this class, to help you succeed?
  2. Choose one topic in the course that is especially challenging. Identify it, and give advice to students trying to master that topic.
  3. What is the most important prior knowledge (not taught in the class) that you need in order to succeed?  Why is it important?

Extra Credit.  Respond to someone else’s comment.  Do you agree? disagree? Have anything to add?

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39 Responses to OpenLab Assignment #10: Advice for the future

  1. Maisa1491 says:

    2. One topic that I struggled with was the trigonometry part. It really took a toll when it came to the homework and tests. As much as I tried to pay attention and understand, nothing helped. It was just plain horrible especially when it came to triangles. I was good with amplitude, period, radians and things of that nature but otherwise I was clueless. I even went to tutoring and that’s where I learned the little things I just named. Algebra I was good for the most part. If you want to be great at it make sure you can do the beginner stuff and have it down to a T…like Trig =) —Maisa Abdelrahim

    • I agree 🙁 i hate trig its too many formulas to remember at one time and it’s going to be so confusing on the final. If it wasn’t for tutoring i wouldn’t have understood anything, even though i took notes in class once i got home i didn’t even understand them. This is a topic that should be introduced a bit eairler especially for people with horrible memory like me

    • brina92 says:

      I also agree with you, I hate trig. Especially sin cos those formulas, all that stuff. In high school that almost made me fail the class, I had to pass Math B regents or else the teacher would fail me, and I barely pass with a 65

      • perez92 says:

        Yes i also agree with both of you the trig part of the course is like the toughest part for me. Especially remembering those identities. Trig is full of formulas and having to remember all of them is a huge hassle.

  2. 1. I can’t say there’s one specific thing I wish I had been told, the class was pretty much described, and like all college courses this class takes a lot of studying and time especially if math isn’t your strong subject. If you don’t have the textbook even though it’s not required it’s a great study guide.
    2. The most challenging topic would have to be the trig identities being that we got it so late in the semester and it’s a lot of info to retain my advice would be go to tutoring at least once to get a different perspective on how to approach the topic and do the homework for extra practice.
    3. The MOST important prior knowledge is basic arithmetic and factoring, This is important because everything you do in this class if you can’t factor or divide or add the right way it will make everything a lot harder.

    • i dont know if i agree with the whole text book idea. i have it and even when i actually have a pretty good grasp on a topic the text book just confuses the hell outta me. mabe its just me but i understand things when they are explained in plain english, the book is written asif the reader has a PHD in Math and will understand the concepts

  3. arielyip says:

    3. I think one prior knowledge coming into this math class is to be open minded and if someone find a solution that is easier try to listen out. Conversate with them after class and try to immerse yourself into the topic that is challenging. Try to figure out every solution to a problem and figure out what is easier to remember and bring to a test. &MAKE FRIENDS IN THE CLASS!

  4. Manuel Z. says:

    3) The most important prior knowledge is : To know the ins and outs of Arithmetic and Algebra I. Why is it important? It is important because every math problem (well, almost) has an answer. If any arithmetic mistake is made, it will prevent one from getting the right answer.
    –Manuel Zetino

  5. aboodhoo93 says:

    2. I’d say that factoring is probably one of the most challenging topics in this course. Factoring is difficult because there are many methods to factor a problem and you have to know how to do all of them. I usually got different methods confused with each other. I advise you new students to pay keen attention to the professor when this subject is being taught because it is very easy to get lost. However if you can study and remember the methods, and how to use them then factoring will not be an issue for you.

  6. The most important thing to know about this class and any other math class is PAY ATTENTION TO THE LECTURE cause that were you will learn everything. The books are usless they dont explain the work in a easy to understand manner it will just confuse you. if u need the book for anything use it for doing practice problems so you can better retain what u learned from the lecture. Other then that this was particularly one of the few math classes i enjoyed Prof. Reitz is awesome he teaches math in a relatible way which makes it easier to remember.


  7. capello325 says:

    3. I think by having very simple prior knowledge can help you succeed in this course. Some knowledge of taking very good notes and listening in class really can helped. This helped me in doing good not only in math but all my classes. Besides that also ask for help when needed and make lots of friends to keep not only company but help you in anything you might need. This helped me by going to a tutor or even asking a friend, and I learned alot by doing so. Good Luck
    Talia Ordonez

    • arielyip says:

      I agree having company only increases the chance of anyone passing the class and simply respecting the professor and or, his rules you will succeed.

    • Maisa1491 says:

      I agree, I was almost clueless coming into the class expecting it to be exrtremely hard but it was better than i thought expect for the trig part…but i managed.

  8. brina92 says:

    I have a combination of topics that when combine is the death of me. They are trigonometry, geometry, and word problems, which you can easily throw in basics like algebra too. Deciphering the word problem difficult enough, like its in another language. Then you cos, sin, identities, formulas, triangles, circles. Even a visit from past to further complicate things graphing, quadratic formula etc. My advice to you is to pay attention in class, do hw for pratice and extra credit, go to tutoring if u need it, or prof in their free hours for help, make friends maybe another student could teach you better. Try to remember your basics and hope you get a real good math teach.
    P.S. Find out when professor Reitz teach 🙂

  9. Rodrigo Rojas says:

    What do you wish that you had been told at the start of this class, to help you succeed?

    I wish i would of knew that we had lots of formulas to memorize and that calculator was not graphic
    Choose one topic in the course that is especially challenging. Identify it, and give advice to students trying to master that topic?
    well trig identities is a challenge need to practice a lottt which was hard since i have other classes to worry about it but trig identies are harddd
    What is the most important prior knowledge (not taught in the class) that you need in order to succeed? Why is it important?
    The most important thing is to practice math a lot to actually get it …Honestly i was at the border line but i study hard practice and the math comes easyyy….
    mr reitz taught well and clear which i appreciate it a lot and the fact he motivates u to do the math GREAT CLASS


  10. perez92 says:

    2.The most challenging topic for me has to be the trigonometry part of the course. In particular the trigonometric identities that was the hardest thing to remember. When I have to do them i don’t even know where to START!! Trigonometric identities can be a huge hassle if you don’t pay attention on how to solve them. Especially trying to remember all the different types of identities that you can use, that is a little difficult. My advice to other students, well you have to pay attention from the beginning! in order to get it, because if you don’t pay close attention from the start it will get really difficult to solve those problems.
    -John Perez

  11. Sometimes things do not comes as easy we think, but there’s nothing impossible in life even in math when people believe it’s the worst ever. Well I can say I has been struggling with The Trigonometric Expression or ( Identities) since high school, for its complexity shifting, and changing variables but after been working with this since long I has learn that the best way of getting or understanding somenting your not good at is giving it more time and practice “ haven’t you heard that the practice make the master” well I will suggest that “practice” not only in the identities if that’s your case, but also what ever area you are not good at and want to improve.

  12. Peter Huang says:

    2. The trig identities gave me a hard time. You had to solve for only one side and remember the formulas. I didn’t really know which formulas to plug in. Then you learn that you can move away with the formula which made it even more confusing. Really all i can say is that you got to keep working out these types of problems and get better at it. Study it well and go back to it even if you get stuck.

    -Peter Huang

  13. cindy soto says:

    In my opinion math is one of the hardest subjects, there are a lot of steps to solving problems and a lot of formulas to know. I think that in order to succeed in this class you need to pay attention, always go over your notes because it is very helpful and it is also very important to remember the formulas that you will need to solve problems.

    Cindy Soto

  14. lucyao says:

    2. the trig topic is challenge, first we need to remember the trig function and identify the trig function. second the log number and the formula need to remember to slove the log number in to decimal place. Also the qudurate of the trig function in the I II III IV in a graphing to determin the angle degree or radius in to tan, cos, sin, csc, cot, sec.

  15. mizzdemy says:

    First I’ll address number 3: I would say that a prior knowledge (ability) to have is PATIENCE and willingness to learn something that isnt particularly easy like trig. Math isnt for everyone, not all of us are going to grasp it the first or second time around; however, if you have patience you will gradually begin to understand at least some of the material.

    Secondly, as for number 2 The Trigonometry Identities are by far the hardest thing you will be taught in 1275 (in my opinion). I still to this day dont understand it. If you can grasp and “master” the trig functions then I believe this will be quite easy for you to get.

    But my one advice is to STUDY STUDY STUDY and PRACTICE! You’ll be fine as long as you follow that!

  16. jdorismond22 says:

    Some of the most important skills to know when taking this course are the following.
    1) Factoring
    2) Solving Equations
    3) Completing the Square

    These tools are essential in passing this class because they constantly show up. Whether you are trying to find the center & radius of a circle. Or trying to solve a simple equation. These are skills that you need to practice continuously and vigorously. The key to understanding math is not to memorize but to understand. When you understand something you will remember much better, compared to forcing yourself to memorize.

  17. 1. i wished i would have know that we would be doing most of our homework online . if i would have know before i took the class i could have made so time in my schedule so i can do it without rushing
    2. one topic that always get me are systems of equations. the one thing i can say about them is just to practice the more you practice the easier they will become.
    3. before taking this class you must know how to study properly if you just jump into studying you will get no where. also practice makes perfect the more you do the easier the class will be

    • tatiana says:

      your so right! i hated the online hw assigments. though i know they are to sharpen your skills, they are pretty annoying to get used to especially if you have’nt done online work. you have to start somewhere though

  18. Derrick Lau says:

    3 – Studying is important for any class but, challenge yourself against goes a long way to try and compete for higher grades, the drive to do well will push you and allow you to enjoy math and even have fun.

  19. johnny says:

    i wish in the begining of the i would have been told that this class was going to need to use openlab in a math class i never did math online till this class.
    i hated system of equations it was chalenging for me my advice to incoming students is to pay attentoin to the steps
    the most important knowledge i believe was very important was know how to fully use your scientific calculator it really comes in handy.

  20. kaylena17 says:

    I wish I was told at the start of the class is that web work is important even if you think it isnt. To me everything in this class is hard! But the worse thing for me is Sin Cos and Tan . I over came it by studying my butt off and even then I still have problems with it
    You need to know your basic math and be really good at it. its important because if you still stuck with the basics how can you advance?

  21. tatiana says:

    The most challenging topic of the course defintely is the trigonometry section.Thealgerbra section was preety much abreeze only because it was all things that we have learned prior either in Math 1175 or at some point prior. The trigonometry was a bit tough at first because it a whole lot different than the usual problem solving. It takes alot more the usual studying to grasp the information. i recommend studying as soon as u get home from learning a new topic. homework helps alot to practice your skills.

  22. german822 says:

    1.I wish I knew in advance that 35% of your grade in this class was online work. If you have two jobs and more than 3 classes, you can easily lose track of time and forget that the online h.w (or project) is due. But I would give a all positive feedback about Professor Reitz. He really takes his time on explaining all of the work and he would do anything to his power to explain something that you don’t get. I wish I knew in advance of what awesome professor I got =)
    2. Everything was confusing in this class. IDK how im passing. One advice on what I give to upcoming 1275 students is that YOU MUST TAKE YOUR TIME AND GO TO TUTORING !!! IT REALLY HELPS.
    3.Prior Knowledge you need to know in life or in general is “”Music is not a very stable business, you know it just comes and it goes and so does money. But your education stays with you for the rest of your life and when you have that education and you have nothing to fall back on you can go get a job anywhere” – Selena Quintanilla” I think the quote pretty much explains itself… =)

  23. Jesse says:

    2. The toughest topic in this course is the trig identities. There are a lot of formulas to memorize. It looks like it’s easy but it really isn’t. You have to know what trig functions equals what and substitute it with something and up to now I don’t really understand it. Everything else isn’t really that hard, you just need to pay attention and don’t fall asleep.

    Mr. Reitz, you have been the best math teacher that I’ve ever had!

  24. mzraza says:

    One thing I would have told myself was to look over stuff before actually getting it, and also to do harder problems since the ones we went over are easy, and the ones are the test are far harder,…i think that some parts of trig were a bit confusing,

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