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.  The MSW also supports students enrolled in classes in the Digital and Computational Studies Department.

Who can use the Math Workshop?

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

A small sampling of the courses for which students have received assistance are are listed below:
Calculus I and II, Working with Data, Great Ideas in Mathematics, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Mathematical Models in Biology, Probability, Mathematical Statistics, Environmental Studies 203, Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Differential Equations, INDS 250, Econometrics, and Statistics for Economics, Biology, Political Analysis, Psychology, and Neuroscience, Calling Bull: Data Literacy and Information Science, Intro to Computing/Programming, Programming for the Humanities, Programming for Data Analysis and Visualization, Digital History Methods, Computing for Insight, and Data Structures and Algorithms.

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 either the Director or Assistant 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 an attached tutor, the Director, the Assistant 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.”

“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, notebook, calculator, and a list of questions for which you need help.

What services does the Math Workshop provide?

Drop-in Hours — Students are welcome to drop in, without an appointment, to review mathematics topics as needed or to use the computer resources.

Attached tutors for select classes — In addition to the availability of drop-in hours, an attached tutor is assigned to each section of those courses which usually have a high demand for tutoring, such as: Calculus I, Calculus II, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Great Ideas in Math, Working with Data, Econometrics, Probability, Mathematical Statistics, Psych Stats, Econ Stats, Neuro Stats, Biostatistics, and many introductory DCS courses. In addition to working in the drop-in center, attached tutors (usually) attend class once per week, alongside enrolled students. Students may schedule appointments, individually or with a group of friends, to meet with the attached tutor outside of class. Details on how to make an appointment are provided in class. Students in courses with an attached tutor are welcome to utilize all services of the MSW and are not limited to meeting with their attached tutor.

Support with Technology  The Workshop provides tutorial sessions in the use of graphing calculators; software programs such as MATLAB, Mathematica, Stata, SPSS, and Excel; in typesetting mathematical documents using LaΤeχ; and Python and R programming in introductory DCS courses.

Individual Tutorials  The MSW provides a one-on-one tutoring for students in mathematics, statistics, and QF-courses. Instructors may refer students or students may seek assistance on their own. 

Please note that all services are provided free of charge to Bates students.

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):
Sundays:  7:00 pm  – 9:00 pm
Mondays through Thursdays:  11:00 am – 4 :00 pm, and 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fridays: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Director and Assistant Director are 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

Andee Alford, Assistant Director
Phone: (207) 786-6275
Office: Ladd Library G01
email: aalford@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.