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How to make use of Proffs.

  1. Feb 12, 2005 #1
    Well i am a student of first year but i never make judicious use of Proffs around and i am also not pretty sure how the Proffs. which do research and teach can be useful and how we can go to them and make them help us...How to reduce this gap //Pls help me....Thx in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2005 #2

    matt grime

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    Everyone likes to explain maths they understand to someone who doesn't get it, so don't be afraid to talk to them. But it will maximize your benefit and minimize their annoyance if you actually go with specific issues in mind and demonstrate that you've actually tried to think about the question. Let's take a common calc query:

    No one likes a student who turns up and simply says "I don't understand what a limit is", and who, upon being asked what it means to say x_n tends to x receives the answer of "I don't know". Know the definition (we can't help your memory) and also have an example in mind where you can't show x_n tends to x.

    So, go with a well-thought-out query, and try and avoid questions which essentially paint you as not having tried hard enough to understand, which sadly happens far too often.

    Good example of a question I had yesterday: I'm not sure I get row reduction. I know what I want to end up with, but when I try it I just go round in circles.
    Why is this good? It is explicit, shows they know where they're going wrong, and I was able to show them an algorithm to do it (the lecturer had paid more time to theoretical meaning of row reduction).

    Bad Example I got recently: I can't show this is a surjection. My query: so what's the definition of surjection (ie what must we show is satisfied)? Answer: I don't know.
    Why's it bad? Because the questioner hadn't taken the time to learn the meaning of the words. I get these a lot: make sure you know the meaning of the terms.
  4. Feb 12, 2005 #3
    even if i don't have nothing much to ask relating to the subject which i study and may be the topics on which they have expertised...
  5. Feb 12, 2005 #4

    matt grime

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    I think I translate that as: can I just walk up to a professor and ask them to talk maths at me? Yes, you can. Don't expect to understand what they're talking about though.

    You should be able to ask for them to go into more details on anything relevant to a course, and most of them will happily oblige. I'd be delighted of my students asked me to explain some more about how Groups are used.

    If you were to ask where the material lead onto, or for advice on what else to study, then they probably will be happy to discuss it.

    I wouldn't expect them to talk to you about their research since you will almost certainly not understand it, if that's what you're getting at (area of expertise?).
  6. Feb 12, 2005 #5
    actually i wanted to know that if a prof.. has expertised on certain topic and that topic fascinates me very much...and that is not in my course program...so what to do abt. it ,,,,how to get a feel of research...thx very much for urs above points
  7. Feb 12, 2005 #6
    Just Enjoy Urs Life Man...why To Make Use Of Proffs...they Are Boring Old Ppls...
  8. Feb 12, 2005 #7
    except they have experience and knowledge that might be useful to students...
  9. Feb 12, 2005 #8
    very right
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