TEACHING 👩‍🏫

Courses 2013 ~ 2019

  • Spring 2019 MTH 133: Calculus II section: 004, 011, 020, 034

  • Fall 2018 MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I section: 065, 066

  • Spring 2018 MTH 234: Calculus III | Multivariable Calculus section: 005, 011, 017, 060

  • Fall 2017 MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I section: 008, 059

  • Spring 2017 MTH 234: Calculus III | Multivariable Calculus section: 005, 009, 061

  • Fall 2016 MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I section: 002, 009

  • Spring 2016 MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I section: 017

  • Fall 2015 MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I section: 015

  • Spring 2015 MTH 234: Calculus III | Multivariable Calculus

  • Fall 2014 MTH 234: Calculus III | Multivariable Calculus

  • Spring 2014 Graduate Math Tutor @ MSU Math Learning Center

  • Fall 2013 MTH 103: College Algebra

  • Spring 2013 MTH 116: College Algebra & Trigonometry

Selected Lecture Slides:

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Latest Student Evaluations from Different Courses(MTH133/MTH124/MTH234):

I am still working on the summaries blow. If you are interested in more details or what to discuss anything, you are welcome to contact me through my email: liujun0428@gmail.com or add my weichat: ff_millink

What is my teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is: 10 + 6 < 6 and 8 + 8 > 10 + 6

I always ask myself three questions at the beginning of every semester

  1. Do you know how much your students want to learn?

  2. Do your students know how much they should learn?

  3. Do your students know how much they should learn after your guidance?

Without answering these three questions, if the amount a teacher taught is 10, the amount a student is welling to learn is 6, then the actual amount a student learned is usually less than 6.

Simply increasing the supply (the amount a teacher taught) without increase the demand (the amount students want to learn) will have no effect or even negative effect. To optimize a class, we are not only maximizing the quality of teaching, but also trying to maximize the amount of active learning. That is why 8 + 8 > 10 + 6.

How to increase the demand? Feel free to find some ways in my notes below.😉

Three innovative ideas I tried on teaching math class that worked better than the traditional ways

  1. "Try it yourself." ---> "Can you point out the mistakes in my answer."

This change solves the problem that while doing in class exercise problems some students tends to wait for the correct answer and copy it without thinking or trying it theirselves first.

  1. Group work ---> Class work

This change solves the problem that small study groups (usually about 4-5 students) have uneven strength. Some students are discouraged working in a relatively weak group and receiving average grades. Some students do not have much chance to engage since their group has someone too strong.

  1. Learn from one's own mistake ---> Learn from common mistakes

This change solves the problem that some mistakes are everlasting in the quiz. Ex. In week 10, student C made a mistake that student B and student A made it in week 1.

(more details and examples to be added later...)

Why my students love coming to class?

I never take attendance in lecture (not recitation here since students will always come for the quiz), but I have a 100% retention rate of my students. Sometimes even 110%, haha, but why is that?

I also wonder the answer to this question. I put many effort on making my class interesting and effective, but what is the thing that contributes the most to the attendance rate? Is it the lecture slides I designed? Is it the novel examples I prepared? My answer is: the first class.

What do teachers usually do in their first class? Self introduction, going over syllabus, ... after which they start teaching right away.

I never waste my first class on teaching chapter 1. First class is so so so important. It is your only chance to have the the best class attendance and the best attention effortlessly. There are two things that are more important than the beginning of chapter 1, and they are not on the text book.

First, chat with each of your student 1-1. Not just ask them to introduce themselves, but a short and relaxed conversation.

Second, during your conversation, ask each students if they like this subject or not, and why.

Third, go over some historical story related to this course.

(more details and examples to be added later...)

Three fun facts about me in teaching😜

Why do I love teaching so much?

When I was a little kid, both of my parents are lecturers in a local business college. Therefore, I grow up in the last row of lecture rooms and spent most of my time dreaming about standing at the front and teach. 🤣

How do I improve my teaching?

I improve my teaching skills by watching videos of others teaching the same material. For each course, I watch at least three teacher's presentations. One from an American university, one from a Chinese university, and one from a French university. It is extremely interesting to learn how people with different cultural backgrounds will teach the same material in a slightly different way!

What is my most unforgettable moment in teaching?

There are too many memorable moments. If I have to choose one, that must be the first time I have a student who always left the class abruptly right before the quiz starts. (For recitations, we normally teach ~20 minutes and use the rest time to take the quiz) First I do not understand why she left and feels a little embarrassed in front of other students. After about three times, I went looking for that student after passing out the quiz and wish to know why. What I saw is, she is taking a quiz in another classroom in the same building. Sorry for that TA..., but this is such a big recognition for my teaching. 😁

How to teach students from different backgrounds?

Which one do you think is easier? Teaching complex analysis 999 or teaching calculus 101? Assume you know the material well for both, then it is usually the first one is easier, because your students are 99% likely to be math majored. The second one is harder because you will not only have students from different backgrounds but also have them mixed and sit in one class. Using the way of teaching complex analysis 999 on teaching calculus 101 may cause you to lose your students' attention in the first week and lose your class attendance after the first midterm exam. In this post, I want to share my way of teaching students from different backgrounds. I summarized them into three knows and three talks.

Why is teaching students from different backgrounds difficult? In my opinion, there are three major reasons

  1. Students are not interested in learning everything or they did not planned to learning every detail since they plan to focus on other subjects more.

  2. Students do not know clearly about how much they should learn to reach their goal. The worst case is some know it after a semester so they decided to retake the course.

  3. Students are not familiar with the terminologies and consequently lack the confidence of studying it or using it.

In contract, students who is majored in the same subject or related subjects are usually interested in learning everything because they know what they need for the next advanced course. They are also familiar with most of the terms and feel comfortable accepting new ones.

Here are the solutions:

Three things to know:

  1. Know their background

  2. Know their goal and feelings

  3. Know their dictionary

Three things to talk about:

  1. Talk about the history

  2. Teach the right thing in the right amount

  3. Cite famous quotes

(more details and examples to be added later...)

How do I help students to improve their math and math grades? 3 examples

  1. Ask follow up questions

  2. Apply the commitment and consistency rule

  3. Email after each quiz/exam for sharing common mistakes

(more details and examples to be added later...)

MSU SCHEDULE of COURSES: https://schedule.msu.edu/