Studying Mathematics at Reading - the essential A-Z guide
Disclaimer This is an informal guide for the convenience of students. Formal Ordinances and Regulations are given in the University Calendar and in the Programme Specification; should there be, or appear to be, any conflict between statements in this guide and the full Ordinances, Regulations and Programme Specifications, the latter shall prevail. Although the information in this guide is accurate at the time of publication, aspects of the programme and of School practice may be subject to modification and revision. Information provided by the School in the course of the year should be regarded, where appropriate, as superseding the information in this guide.
A is for MA11A Introduction to Analysis For the Autumn Term only : 4 Mondays at 2 pm, Chemistry Lecture 2 and Theatre D and Fridays at 2 pm, FURS Small Lecture Theatre 4 Dr T W Hilberdink
B is for MA11B Calculus and Applications For the Autumn Term only : 4 Mondays at 3 pm, Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2 and Wednesdays at 11 am in Physics Ditchburn Theatre (except week 1 when this lecture is in Meteorology GU01) 4 Dr B Pelloni
C is for MA11C Matrices, Vectors and Applications For the Autumn Term only : 4 Wednesdays at 9am in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 1 and Fridays at 12 noon in Physics Ditchburn Theatre 4 Dr P Glaister and Ms J V Morgan
D is for MA11D Introduction to Algebra For the Autumn Term only : 4 Mondays at 5 pm, Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2 and Thursdays at 4 pm, Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2 4 Dr G D Williams
E is for E-mail (Communication) The main ways that staff will contact you are e-mail – check this every 24 hours 4 the pigeon holes in the Common Room, Room 112 in the Mathematics Department 4 the notice board in the Common Room 4 lectures and tutorials 4 the internal mail system
F is for Facts (books) You are advised to purchase the following recommended texts 4 MA11B,C : Mathematical Techniques (publ:OUP) by D W Jordan and P Smith 4 MA11A : Mathematical Analysis and Proof (publ:Albion) by D S G Stirling
G is for Getting through You will be assessed on each of your modules MA11A,MA11B,MA11C and MA11D as follows 4 3 hour examination in May/June contributing 80% 4 module tests and/or assignments contributing 20% You will proceed to Part 2 if you 4 pass Part 1 by obtaining at least 30% in each module and achieving an average over all Part 1 modules of at least 40% and 4 fulfil the requirements of your choice of programme, e.g. for Mathematics (BSc or MMath) an average over modules MA11A,MA11B,MA11C and MA11D of at least 40%
H is for Help (Drop-in surgery) This facility is available for A level support 4 who ? - anyone taking MA11A,B,C or D 4 when ? -Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 am this term 4 where ? - Palmer Building: Room 101 (until 11), Room G03 (after 11) 4 what ? - help is available from a member of staff on specific problems of an A level nature 4 why ? - variation in background of students
I is for Information Technology 4 IT Services provide general access to facilities, e.g. WWW, e-mail 4 If you are not already familiar with a word processing language we strongly advise you to learn Microsoft WORD (preferably with the equation editor). Details of courses are available from IT Services 4 Above all, dont be frightened to use the computing facilities
J is for Juggling your commitments You will need to strike a balance between your various activities, but academic work must come first
K is for Key publications You will find the following sources valuable during your time at Reading 4 Departmental Handbook 4 Programme Handbook for Part 1 4 Guide for Undergraduate Students 4 Guide to Examinations (sent to you in March) 4 Timetable - available from Room 204, Mathematics, with updates posted on the Notice Board in the Common Room
L is for Learning (part 1) 4 the content and way mathematics is taught at university can be very different from school and college, so it is particularly important for you to plan carefully how you will study 4 there is a greater responsibility on you to monitor your own learning than perhaps you have been used to 4 most teaching is in lectures: guided by the lecturer it is your responsibility to read your notes, determine to understand them and verify your understanding by practising the techniques on examples
L is for Learning (part 2) 4 examples may form the basis for discussion at tutorials, and you will be required to hand in a number of your solutions each week for marking 4 the responsibility to ensure that you have studied your notes enough and practised enough examples to understand everything will be yours
M is for MMath 4 MMath is a four year programme 4 MMath and BSc are identical for Parts 1 and 2, i.e. until October of year 3 4 permission for transfer to MMath from BSc is granted by the Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr P Glaister, for those students whom, in his opinion, would benefit from a four year programme 4 if you are interested in the MMath then have a chat with your tutor in the first instance - a good time to request a transfer is after your Part 1 results in the Summer Term
N is for Not always plain sailing Most students progress through their programme with few problems If you are experiencing academic, personal or financial difficulties then it is important to seek help early on by talking to your tutor
O is for Out in the big wide world You should make good use of the Careers Advisory Service which offers 4 consultations with staff without appointment 10.30-16.30 (term times) and 11.00-16.00 (outside term times) 4 programme of events each term, e.g. interview technique, completing application forms 4 vacancy lists, including vacation work 4 employer presentations 4 Job Shop
P is for Personal Tutor Each student at Reading has a tutor whose main responsibilities are: 4 Initially to help you in the transition as you settle in to university, and to help you make the most of your time at Reading; 4 To advise and support you in your studies, and help you with any academic or personal difficulties that may affect your progress; 4 To support you in developing your Personal and Academic Record (PAR); 4 To provide reports and references for future academic or career choices.
Q is for Quality One of the ways that we monitor our modules and programmes is by having elected student representatives from each year who are members of 4 Staff-Student Committee 4 Module Evaluation Committee Each of these meets once per term, the former to discuss current issues, and the latter to discuss feedback at the end of modules
R is for Registration 4 You should see your tutor at least once a term (as a bare minimum), and also in the middle of the term for your PAR interview 4 From now on you should sign the attendance list at the beginning of each term in the Common Room, Room 112 in the Mathematics Department 4 At the end of the Summer Terms (or the beginning of the Autumn Terms) in each year you need to see your programme adviser to select your modules
S is for Sport For those so inclined, there are many opportunities to take part in the sporting activities on offer at Reading
T is for Tutorial support The weekly tutorial arrangements for your modules are as follows 4 MA11A,D - one hour practical class for each subject 4 MA11B,C - one hour tutorial with an instructor + one office hour when the instructor is available plus 4 Drop-in surgery for A level support, Tuesdays 9:30- 11:30 am, Palmer Building: Rooms 101 (until 11) and G03 (after 11) Tutorial arrangements will be made in week 2 - keep a look out on the Notice Board in the Common Room. Note that each week you only attend one hour for MA11A and one hour for MA11D - you will be told which ones to attend
U is for Using your time wisely (part 1) 4 Organise your time - decide where and when you work best and then stick to that pattern 4 Lectures - always read through your notes after each lecture and make sure you can understand them. If there are any problems ask your lecturer or instructor. You should also try to read through the notes of the previous lecture immediately before the next one as this will help you refresh your memory of the material 4 Tutorials and practical classes - these are to aid your understanding, so it is important that you have read your lecture notes, attempted the relevant work, and that you come prepared with questions
U is for Using your time wisely (part 2) 4 Exercises - to understand mathematical ideas it is essential to do exercises and practise techniques 4 Library - the library is a valuable resource with many undergraduate text books. Lecturers may suggest suitable books - you should find the one whose explanations and style are most helpful to you 4 Working together - when you are working through the lecture notes it is often helpful to talk over the material with other members of the class. By talking together about the material you will help each other to understand the module better and you will often be able to resolve misconceptions. Of course, any work that you hand in should be your own
V is for Valuable resources You should make full use of the valuable resources on offer, including 4 the IT facilities 4 the library 4 your tutor 4 the staff 4 the parkland
W is for the World Wide Web The URL for some useful Reading pages : http://www.rdg.ac.uk/ http://www.rdg.ac.uk/Maths/ http://www.rdg.ac.uk/Library/ http://www.rdg.ac.uk/ITS/ http://www.rdg.ac.uk/Careers/ http://www.rdg.ac.uk/InfOff/studlife.html http://www.rdg.ac.uk/UnivRead/vr/FacSci/
X is for Xtra curricula activities There are many clubs and societies at the University. We encourage you to continue with interests that you already have, and maybe to get involved with some new ones
Y is for Your weekly work Most module lecturers will set work on a weekly basis, usually in the form of a problem sheet. You should deliver your solutions to your Instructors office (for MA11B,C), or to the appropriate basket outside Room 212, Mathematics (for MA11A,D) Completion of the work set is not only important for your learning, but also in borderline pass/fail cases where the frequency and quality of your work is taken into account
Do you need help with a topic from A level Maths ? Are you taking modules MA11A,B,C or D ? If you answer YES to both of these questions then read on. Throughout this term a drop-in surgery will be taking place on Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 am in the Palmer Building: Room 101 (until 11) and G03 (after 11). So, if you find differentiation difficult, trigonometry tricky, integration impossible, or just have a quick query, please drop-in.
D is for Development Developing skills that can be used in other contexts - such as the ability to solve problems, communicate well, learn quickly, organise your time - are called transferable skills and these will be of particular interest to potential employers who will be concerned with the overall contribution you can make to their organisation. If you can convince an employer that you can work well within a team, solve problems, organise, innovate, adapt, and so forth, you will outshine your competitors in the job market. Skills which you should pay particular attention to are : 4 Communication (written and oral) 4 Problem-solving and Team Working 4 Use of Information Technology 4 Business awareness and Information Handling 4 Numeracy !!