Just a chance for me to give some feedback on some of your most common… feedback. Of course your opinions are correct – they are your opinions. Here are my opinions on some of your opinions. The worst thing (and the failure of teaching evaluation), is that ye will never see the fruits of your criticisms ūüė¶ ¬†– i.e. when I have made changes and improvements ye will no longer be my students.

“You’re on the Money There”

  1. Not enough examples I will include more examples in future. Some examples (e.g. an example of a nowhere continuous function) are quite difficult and may confuse us further however.
  2. Rushed I will spread out the coverage to allow a more equal emphasis on each topic.
  3. Writing whilst talking Big problem (as it was for me when I was an undergraduate). One option is to produce a set of notes with gaps for, e.g. examples and proofs, that we fill in during class – everything else is pre-presented.
  4. Webpage Layout Improved already somewhat with subcategories and archives
  5. Ensuring students understood Here the blame is split 50-50. I will ask the question “does everyone understand this?” more often; however students need to ask questions if they do not understand (leave it up to the lecturer to worry about slowing the class down, etc).
  6. \varepsilon\delta is hard Yes it is! To present a rigorous development of differential calculus it is, however, unavoidable. I need you to see that the definition of a limit is used to prove the limit laws which is used to prove which functions are continuous and which functions are differentiable.
  7. Explanations not good, incomplete or superfluous I need to constantly improve any explanations if possible (as every lecturer should).
  8. Too much material There is not much scope for trimming the course.
  9. Too lax I was aware that there was often disruptive chat and whenever I felt it crossed the threshold I asked for silence.
  10. \log_e x Will be properly introduced in MS 2002.
  11. Notation, \forall, \exists Notation is meant to simplify things – but of course only if you know what it means. Will take more care in future.
  12. Notes not clear on board An area in which I aim to improve.
  13. Difficult Certainly! “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” [JFK]
  14. Didn’t explain what we would do …at the start of ¬†class. I realise now that saying “following on from what we did last Monday” is probably insufficient.


  1. CA harder than exercises given Q. 1s taken directly from exercise sheets and Q. 2 taken directly from exam papers (both given as exercises). Q. 3 is meant to be harder (Q.1 and Q.2 correct gives a bare 70% – need to be even better than that to get a first)
  2. More MCQ This is a maths studies module – we need to know the theory rather than just getting answers.
  3. Didn’t revise differentiation rules Quite apart from the fact we derived them from first principles (the ultimate revision I would have thought?), the differentiation rules are assumed pre-requisites for MS 2001:¬†http://www.ucc.ie/modules/descriptions/MS.html#MS2001
  4. Attempt Marks You don’t get attempt marks for incorrect attempts!
  5. Made too many assumptions Again MS 1001 is a pre-requisite: http://www.ucc.ie/modules/descriptions/MS.html#MS1001
  6. Needed more tutorials Ye didn’t ask questions in tutorials so weren’t utilising the one ye had fully.
  7. Tutorials weren’t structured – should have told us what to do; or maybe go through questions The weekly summaries put on the webpage every week stated which problems you should do. I had explained numerous times that the way you have to learn maths is by doing exercises. Me going through exercises on the board, when you haven’t seen them before, thought about them or tried them, is sub-optimal.
  8. Runs late I am under the impression that class runs from five-past until five-to.
  9. Can’t comment on webpage Yes you can – press the “leave a comment” button under the post headings.
  10. Timetable I organised an extra tutorial for those who couldn’t attend the Tuesday tutorial.
  11. What to study for test/ what would be tested I told ye what sections would be examinable and gave a sample test. The next stage is giving you the test and then by definition it isn’t a test anymore.
  12. Lack of explanation on webpage Then make a comment.
  13. Too much detail in definitions and theorems Theorems and definitions have to be detailed for a rigorous theory.
  14. Give solutions to Sample Test Solutions given in tutorials to those who wanted them.
  15. Give solutions to Exercises Yes & no. Yes, look here: http://euclid.ucc.ie/pages/staff/wills/teaching/ms2001/MS2001.html As ¬†has solutions. No: As it stands you have worked examples presented in lectures and, when questions are asked, at tutorials. Also Wills’ notes have many worked examples. Finally at present there are no solutions to past papers online and I am loathe to put some up because students will then learn off how to do the few questions that do regularly occur. I would much rather ye sit down with a pen, and paper (and indeed your notes), and figure out for yourself these solutions – it would be far, far more beneficial. I understand that ye are in the business of passing exams, but I am in the business of of sending on students with a solid grounding in MS 2001 for MS 2002 and MS 3003. Learning off examples is not the way to go – if you do the work and figure out the solutions (even find similar examples in your notes, or Wills’ notes), then ‘learning off’ the examples wouldn’t be too bad because you’ve at least gone through the logic in your head. Also I am very open to answering questions put in comments on the webpage.
  16. Core notes? If you listened you would know I’m roughly following¬†http://euclid.ucc.ie/pages/staff/wills/teaching/ms2001/MS2001_notes.pdf. A number of things we did are not in here – see the MS 2001: Course Announcements
  17. Practicality? This is a rigorous development of differential calculus and more concerned with the theory rather than practicality. Applied mathematics, physics and engineering are areas where the applications are important.
  18. Didn’t prepare us for the test Do the sample test and other exercises.
  19. Nobody looked at the webpage Hardly my fault?!
  20. Review period? We will have two tutorials in review week.

Thank you all very much for your feedback.