Teaching for 2021–22

The following apply to remote supervisions in 2021–22.

Set work

I set one example sheet per supervision, almost always the same as distributed by the lecturer. Occasionally I set extra questions that I think are of interest, but these may be considered of lower priority.

Starred questions vary by course: generally applied courses indicate questions that are slightly more difficult, but optional (on Methods, they are a lot longer and messier than other questions!). For some pure courses, particularly Numbers and Sets, starred questions are often extremely difficult. I will tell you well in advance whether or not I expect you to do them.

Submission of work

Work should be submitted via Moodle. As an undergraduate, you should be able to access this page to submit work. I aim to mark work within 24 hours of the deadline, and email you when it is finished. You are welcome to submit earlier, but I probably will not mark it before the deadline has passed.

Please separate your answers clearly (if in doubt, use a new sheet of paper), put them in the order of the questions, and draw nice large diagrams (a third of a page is entirely reasonable!).

LaTeX

I do not expect IA students to know LaTeX, although I encourage you to learn as quickly as possible. Ideally I would like IB students to learn LaTeX (it is essentially required for CATAM now anyway), and I will provide a template you can use to submit work (either as a TeX document, or a compiled PDF). I am aware that pictures are difficult to draw with LaTeX, so feel free to submit scanned pages containing any hand-drawn diagrams you want me to see.

Deadlines

Deadlines are noon GMT two days before the supervision (i.e. Sunday for Tuesday and Tuesday for Thursday). If you need to submit your work later, please let me know in advance.

N.B., especially for IAs

You are at university now, and at this level of Mathematics, it is as important to explain how you got to your answer as it is to give the right answer. Indeed, I would much rather see comprehensive working leading to a slightly wrong answer than a correct answer seemingly produced from nowhere. I am not marking your work just to say “well done, you understand everything”: chances are you don’t, and it is my job to find out what you don’t know or don’t understand. I can be much more helpful if it is easy to work out how to help you!

(Of course, if you do know everything, we can talk about something else interesting, but the primary purpose of supervisions is to make sure that you understand the course material properly and know how to explain what you are doing.)

So, please write plenty of detail in your answers. If in doubt, write a bit more, and don’t do too much arithmetic between lines: both you and I will find it harder to spot errors that way.

Supervisions

Supervisions will take place on Zoom. I will email the meeting information either the day before or in the morning.

I expect you to be in a position to talk about every question, even if you have not been able to finish it. I also expect you to be familiar with the contents of your lecture notes, where the lecturer has got to, etc. (You should be making lecture notes! Scrubbing through a video trying to find what the lecturer said about something is not an efficient search method!)

Structure

I usually structure my supervisions as follows:

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Establish what you particularly want to talk about from the sheet, and go over it (and what I want to go over in the example sheet and course material). This is usually most of the supervision.
  3. Anything else you want to ask about that you thought of during the supervision, or other questions less related to the course material.
  4. Any other business (extra work, questions about the next sheet, etc.)

Some of these sections may be empty. I am aware that I tend to spend too long in the second section. Tell me if what I am saying is obvious, obscure or I’m going too slowly or too fast.