OpenLab #8: Advice for the Future

Assignment (due Thursday, December 14).  Imagine that you are invited to speak on the first day of MAT 2071, to give advice to entering students.  Write at least three sentences responding to at least 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?


  1. Kelly

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

    As with any class where a student does not have a bases of prior understanding I would advice being proactive. Reading each chapter and attempting to do some of the problems BEFORE the subject are discussed in class. It is doubtful whether the student will grasp all of the information, but the time and effort put in before hand will not be wasted. Understanding basic terminology and concepts will allow the student to absorb the information presented in class quicker, help retain more of the information, and allow the student to be more involved in the discussions. I’ve personally have taken this approach with challenging courses, Organic Chem I and II. While time consuming, the payoff in understanding, and the grades that follow, is well worth the time.

  2. Evelin

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

    In order to well in this class I recommend you to do the two P’s. The two P’s stand for practice and participate. In Professor Reitz class, he does assign homework on paper and on Webwork. You might think it might be overwhelming but believe me it will pay off to do your homework assignments. By doing your homework it will help you understand the theorems better and it will help you do well on the tests. So practice, practice, practice!
    Now participation might not be easy to do for some students, I know because I don’t like participating myself. Don’t stay quiet if you are having trouble understanding something, Professor Reitz is always happy to receive your questions. If you still don’t feel comfortable enough to participate, you can always email him and he will help you with any issues you are having in class. Overall, you will learn to enjoy the class, especially with the help of Professor Reitz patience, kindness and happy energy to teach the class.

    • Yasmine

      I like the idea of two P’s because it easy to remember. As you said sometimes participation is not easy to do, but we have to push ourselves ahead to express and exchange different thoughts and ideas.

  3. Yasmine

    First, you are lucky because you are taking this class with professor Reitz. You will never feel lost with this professor unless you choose to.

    Second, since you will start this class with sets, you may not take it seriously, but you have to take it seriously from day one because it is going to be more challenging later on.
    Do not miss any class because you are going to miss a lot and everything is build up in this class.

    Do your homework on time in order to practice and enhance your knowledge throughout the semester and, of course, to get good grades.

    Take advantage of extra credit because it is so easy. You just have to comment to your classmates’ post on Openlab or do an extra problem.
    Go to Professor’s office hours if you have questions or ask him before or after classes, he is always happy to help.

    The challenging part in this class is the kind of proof you should use to prove proposition so be ready to distinguish the difference. Sometimes you can proof your proposition using different kinds of proofs.

    I think you don’t need that much of prior knowledge for this class but at least you will have some general knowledge about functions and sets.

    Good luck!

    • Stephanie Cuate

      I agree with you, the most challenging part of this class is knowing which proof to use and how to use it. Especially since it could be solve more than one way. and I also agree with you that Professor Reitz is always happy to help, but also he’s alway happy in general, he makes the class interesting.

  4. Stephanie Cuate

    To the new students that are taking Proof & Logic, let me start off by saying that Professor Reitz is a great professor. He’s great at explaining what to do, so ask lots of questions!!!

    Try your best to not miss any classes, it can be hard catch up on the new material. Lots of information to learn.

    Don’t forget to do your homework!
    Homework helps you practices more especially for the exams. And try doing all the problems, don’t leave anything blank. It’s for your own good.

    Professor Reitz gives EXTRA CREDIT, which is amazing and its honestly not that hard, plus it will help you with your grade a lot. Also with the homework, he counts 80% of it, and the rest are extra credit. So, take advantage, adding a little more work won’t hurt.

    I honestly don’t see how hard this class can be since Professor Reitz is giving you opportunity to do good in the class. But remember you still have to study hard for the exams. For this, make sure you do the review sheet and take so much notes!
    Definitions are important.

    The only prior knowledge you may need is basically what you learn in algebra (the basic algebra), and probability & statistic (like permutation and combination).

    Remember to just enjoy the class, ask for help, practice and participate, and also do the extra credit.

  5. Josvenia

    I wish I had been told to take the homework seriously and extra credit even more serious. By seriously, I mean putting 100 percent of myself into doing the homework and not 50 percent.

    For me, I think proofs in general are difficult. Not because they are hard to understand because once you get the hang of it, it’s easy the hardest thing is knowing when to use what kind of proof for solving, especially for examples. One topic in proofs that was difficult was strong induction. I suggest that you practice and just keep practicing because it’s the only way you will get it. My best advice is to take advantage of the great professor you have because prof. Reitz is really good and will always be willing to help you.

    Basic algebra is what you need for this class. Maybe some calc. But if you got your algebra done you will be able to do it.

  6. Miralia

    Before answering the first question, I have to say that professor Reitz is an exceptional teacher with a great personality and he also reveals that he loves what he is doing. So back to my response to the first question, I wish that someone was telling me to try all my best to come to class every day. Moreover, I wish someone had told me to keep practicing in class and also outside of the classroom in order to always keep on track to help me to be successful. However, Professor Reitz is always available for not only me but all his students to help them engage in their learning at any time there is a confusion.
    The most challenging topic I face in class was the induction proof which is a topic that seems to be easy but actually not. However, I will advise students to always ask questions when they get confused in something, although it is not really easy for a student to get lost in professor Reitz class by the way he explains everything. However, in case if that happens I will advise students to ask questions before it is too late to catch up because this class is not easy. I will advise them at each topic they will cover first it will be better for them to review them before coming in class and also any topics that they cover in class make sure to go over them whether on the day before the next class or on the weekend. I know this advice will help them to succeed in college. Overall in this class, I have learned so many things that will help me to succeed., and also prepared me for my other advanced classes.

  7. Miralia

    Dear Stephanie,
    I absolutely agree with your ideas of giving students advice to do not miss any day of class I also mention that too as an advice. I also like the idea that students should ask questions and do their homework which would help them to see where they need improvement.

  8. Sonam

    What is the most important prior knowledge (not taught in the class) that you need in order to succeed?  Why is it important?

    One important prior knowledge that I believe you need to understand it very well in order to succeed in this class is “List of types of numbers” specially if you took middle and high school in another country. Because when you doing proofs, You need us the definitions of different types of numbers, in order to clear what specific types of numbers you are talking about. Even in the class Prof.Reitz will provide you the definition of Types of number. But it will be just a reminder you need understand then concept of them before you take the class. Following are the types of numbers will be most important for this class: Odd/Even numbers, Prime numbers, Real numbers, Natural numbers, Integers, Rational numbers, and irrational numbers.

    • Nk

      That is very true Sonam. Plus to add to what you’ve said. The definitions of certain terms may vary. Such as the Set of Natural numbers some definitions may Include 0 in the set while others don’t. Your past usage of these terms may lead to confusion.

  9. Nk

    This particular class places emphasis on logic and reasoning more than rote memory techniques and there fore it requires active learning. You must be consistently translating problems into a format that allows you to understand it during the lecture and ask questions if you don’t quite get it. Then you must come up with multiple techniques to solve it. A large portion of this class is proofs and there isn’t 1 systematic approach to come up with a solution. You may fail on several attempts before you get the solution.. with practice will come experience and you will learn which techniques are better for solving which types of problems.

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