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dsatkas

- 14

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Let me add more details. I’m working as a TA for the course ‘’Maths and Physics’’ at a university college. The students have chosen the direction of environmental sciences. They basically have only two courses of maths in the entire bachelor program and no physics. They come from different backgrounds, but the majority of them has done some high school mathematics (not deeply) and a very elementary course in statistics. During the one semester course we will cover stuff from precalculus (functions, trigonometry, logarithms, etc.), stuff from introductory calculus (limits, derivatives, integrals), and then vectors and finally physics. Also the lecturer has been introducing them to number theory ideas (pigeonhole principle, golden ratio, induction).

My job is primarily to solve the exercises the lecturer gives them once a week and answer as many of their questions as time permits. I’m not satisfied with only that so I want to make them more interested in maths and eventually physics. Most of them won’t use maths again in another course in their program. So, now you have the whole picture, how can I peak their interest?

For example, one of my students is interested in the philosophy of maths. I have already given him an introductory article about the incompleteness theorem and another one about the ‘’Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’’ by Wigner. Do you have any further suggestions?

Concerning all the students it doesn’t have to be only books, any resource in general would be fine. But, maybe they can appreciate books more easily? I was thinking about a book introducing them to the why’s of mathematics or maybe some higher ideas (in an introductory level), or why not maths literature, perhaps a maths novel, a comic about mathematics? What are your ideas?