FAQs


What is the Math Workshop?

The MSW is an academic resource center at Bates offering instructional and learning opportunities for students requiring assistance in courses that presume a level of mathematical, statistical, or quantitative literacy.


Who can use the Math Workshop?

The Workshop is available to all Bates students. Since its inception in 2000, over 2000 students have used the services of the Workshop. In particular, the MSW provides assistance to students in courses that have a mathematical component.

For example, some of the courses for which students have received assistance are among the following:
Calculus I and II, Working with Data, Great Ideas in Mathematics, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Mathematical Models in Biology, Environmental Studies, Abstract Algebra, Astronomy, Impacts and Mass Extinctions, Statistics for Economics, Biology, and Psychology, and Senior Thesis.


What kind of help can I expect?

Students are welcome to drop by at any time when the MSW is open or to make an appointment. Students who choose to make an appointment will meet with the director who will explain the services provided by the MSW and assess the individual needs of the student. Students may choose to take advantage of various drop-in hours to get help without an appointment or to schedule regular meetings with the director or a private tutor .


What do students say about the Math Workshop?

“I got individual attention from my tutor that I couldn’t get from the class. Throughout the semester, my tutor recognized my abilities. He helped me to focus on my strengths and to improve my weaknesses. He was patient enough to listen to what I was trying to say.”

“While I did have the necessary background to complete Math 155 [Math Models in Biology], the last time I had taken math was in high school. The Math Workshop helped to refresh my memory and to apply techniques I learned in high school when solving new problems.”

“The Math Workshop was open most days of the week so I could seek help whenever necessary.”

“My tutor’s greatest strength was to demonstrate what is actually happening in a problem. Not only could he teach me how to solve a problem, but he could also explain the underlying mathematics.”

“I returned for more help after my initial visit because of the excellent help, skilled workers, and the friendly, receptive environment.”

“My tutor often went beyond what was expected. He was extremely knowledgeable in Linear Algebra. He even made us study guides and everything.”

“The tutor was really helpful about re-explaining confusing concepts to me. She frequently used and referred to my class notes and homework. This was helpful and allowed me to clarify confusion from class. Thank you for such a great service with such accommodating hours!”

“I was able to understand and complete the math problems in my Environmental Studies class. My tutor asked questions to guide me through each problem step by step, while still making me solve it on my own.”

“I like being able to ask questions and get help when I can’t see a professor during office hours.”


What should I bring to the Math Workshop?

Be sure to bring your textbook, calculator, and a list of questions for which you need help.


What services does the Math Workshop provide?

Individual Tutorials  the MSW provides a one-on-one peer tutoring program in quantitative skills and understanding. Instructors may refer students, or students may seek assistance on their own.

Calculus Help Sessions  Throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, the MSW administers a program of nightly help sessions for Calculus courses. The sessions are staffed by peer tutors and meet Sunday through Thursday from 7 – 9 p.m. in Canham House.

Support with Technology  The Workshop provides tutorial sessions in the use of graphing calculators; software programs such as MATLAB, Minitab, Maple, SPSS, and Excel; and in typesetting mathematical documents using LaΤeχ.

Drop-In  Students are welcome to drop in to review math topics as needed or to use the computer resources.


Where is the Math Workshop and when is it open?

The Math Workshop is located on the Ground Floor of Ladd Library.

Drop-in hours (no appointment necessary):
Sunday 7 – 9 p.m
Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. – Noon, 1 – 4 p.m., and 7 – 9 p.m
Friday 10:30 a.m. – Noon and 1 – 2:30 p.m.
The director is available for private appointments in the mornings and on Fridays

Short Term – by appointment only

For more information or to make an appointment please contact :

Grace Coulombe, Director
Phone: (207) 786-8374
Office: Ladd Library G02
email: gcoulomb@bates.edu


Where can I find useful handouts?

You can pick up handouts at the MSW or you may go to the MSW student resources page to download pdf versions of most handouts.