Program Guide: Talking with First Year Students
One big change when you come to uni is the move from classroom teaching to learning via lectures and tutorials. What other differences have you found between learning maths at school and at uni?
Viknesh: At school you learnt a little bit from a lot of topics whereas at uni you go into far greater depth. You begin to understand how different areas of maths relate to each other.
Nick: Lecturers and tutors are very knowledgeable about their respective areas.
Anastasia: The transition between high school and uni is made easier by the revision incorporated into the uni syllabus.
Nick: The correlation between maths and Computer Science is amazing! I did some of my maths assignments on the computer.
Anastasia: It also helps in Physics. Linear regression comes up a lot. Statistics also helps in Psychology, calculating Z-values and so on.
Campbell: The Fundamental courses are not all just abstract numbers. After learning the theory we also learn how to apply it to business and economic problems.
What else do you like about maths courses at Sydney University?
Anastasia: The course notes are available beforehand which lets me prepare better and eliminates mindless frantic notetaking in lectures. Resources are generally cheap and easy to get hold of.Campbell: The Mathematics Learning Centre which is extremely helpful because it allows you to quickly catch up on work you're not sure of. Even if you didn't do particularly well at maths at school you can still do maths at uni.
Nick: Help is always readily available. All the lecturers and tutors have consultation hours for one-on-one help with questions and problems.
Campbell: People often think that maths is a bit pointless but in Fundamental Maths we learn how to take shortcuts on the computer and are always given practical examples of what we learn. I'm only doing maths because I have to. I never enjoyed it before but I'm actually quite surprised because I'm actually enjoying the Fundamental Maths course.