Media Library

The images and videos in the Art of Mathematics media library showcase the active student involvement in our classrooms and the decentralized role of the instructor. You can browse the most recent images and videos shown below or search for specific examples of student activities, e.g. search for "Pick's Theorem" in videos to watch a small group of students investigating the areas of polygons on a geoboard.

Perhaps the best way to understand the depth and powerful impact of our project is to read what the students have to say about their experiences. The following student quotes, collected during the project, are typical responses received as part of student journals, essays and reflections.

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Showing 101 - 150 of 190

I was getting stressed, like everyone else, but I was also getting fed up with working in groups. It just didn't seem to be as great as I thought it would be. I am an independent worker. I need to be alone, sitting, where it's quiet and calm.

—DAoM Student

Do I remember the first day of this class? A sunny, warm, bright September afternoon, hanging out in a smoky room. High above in my 4th floor suite in beautiful Courtney Hall, I glance over at my clock.
2:00 PM: Time for my first Math class. I have never in my 19 years of existence, ever took any sort of interest in any Math class I participated in. Needles s to say I was not looking forward to my 'Mathematical Explorations' class at all.
3:25 PM: Same afternoon, my first ever interest in a Math class is felt. For various reasons described by my new professor I seem to believe that I have a chance to learn mathematics in a non stressful way. A way where there will be no big numbers on long Math quizzes. A way so that I wouldn't be looking at somebody's ass and a large green board with equation I just didn't understand written all over it. This way to learn Mathematics sounded fun and interesting.
One week later, I was learning new things in Math class. Learning is a word I personally never associated closely with Math. But... Damn I was learning something!
Two months later, I am working on my final paper, still convinced I was learning new concepts and ideas all semester long. Thinking how much I enjoyed this non-traditional math class and how I wish others could have shared the 180 degree spin on Mathematics which I have felt over the last few months. Maybe it was working in the groups that made the class so great?... Maybe I'm smart and just never knew it?... Was it that I found the subject matter interesting? Maybe, who knows...

—DAoM Student

When I entered the classroom for the first time I expected the math class to be the typical math class. By typical I mean a teacher speaking in a monotonous voice facing the board writing numbers and letters and looking to the class for a specific answer once in a while... Boring!

—DAoM Student

Everyone is jealous of my math class. They can't get over what we do. You'll have so many kids trying to get into that class next year.

—DAoM Student

The emphasis is on bringing out clear ideas. I have never had to write complete sentences for math class, or type out the homework. Typing out and writing out sentences takes just as long as studying for a test or quiz. I learn more, to get my ideas across and they are more clear.

—DAoM Student

Maybe I'll learn more instead of trying to cram information into my head and not remembering the next day.

—DAoM Student

I can tell right now that this mathematics class will be very different from any math class I've ever had.

—DAoM Student

My teacher seems pretty cool too. He actually talks to us as people and not just 'some students'.

—DAoM Student

As I wrote out the final math problems I was surprised how much work I put into the assignments throughout those few weeks. I believe tests wouldn't reveal that much.

—DAoM Student

Today we discussed the DNA possibilities in the O.J. trial. It is kind of funny how we really didn't understand how large 250 million is.

—DAoM Student

The math we're doing is like tricky math. It's no algebra or geometry, it's more complicated, more fun.

—DAoM Student

I'm really impressed with how we are graded in this class. That says that with hard work and class participation everyone will be able to get a good grade.

—DAoM Student

It's alot more work than I thought it would be. It's better than having a test though.

—DAoM Student

Maybe for the first time in my life I'll get better than a 'C' in math.

—DAoM Student

I must say that this is quite a strange math class, but I like it.

—DAoM Student

Well, it seems strange to write a journal for a math class, but this doesn't seem like an average math class.

—DAoM Student

It seems like it's going to be a lot of fun, and it seems like it might be easier than an actual class, but I'll probably learn more.

—DAoM Student

I still feel very confident and having a good attitude about the class I am willing to put alot of time and effort to get a good grade knowing that you set up the class in a way in which we as students can succeed makes me feel at ease and a willingness to work hard.

—DAoM Student

I wish I could write you that I wanted to become a math major now, but that isn't the truth. This class was definitely better than trigonometry or calculus that I took in high school. Meaning more fun. I learned things that I might actually use in life sometime. But I don't think it was easier... You know what I mean? Math has always been hard for me, I've had to put in more effort than anyone just to get by.

—DAoM Student

By making the course available to students, we are given a chance to broaden our mathematical horizons. Much of the material involves creative thinking and common sense, so the average non-mathematician is given a shot at math success, thus building confidence for future mathematical endeavors. My past mathematical experience, I'm sorry to say, is nothing short of horrid.

—DAoM Student

...it will help me make math fun for my children. I can also see how a person can love math and I respect that.

—DAoM Student

This course showed me a different view of math. It worked with objects and figures rather than numbers. I thought in logic rather than in numbers.

—DAoM Student

I used to consider math was just a number course and nothing else. Now I see it as an art and a class to be creative in.

—DAoM Student

I was happy to come to class every day and that says something about the course.

—DAoM Student

For once in my life I think that mathematics doesn't have to be awful.

—DAoM Student

When I first came to this class I anticipated the worst. I was sure this class was going to be like every other class: I would probably just pass with the help of a patient tutor. However, this class wasn't like that at all, in fact it made me realize that I am not as bad in Math as I thought I was. I was allowed to ask as many questions as I needed to understand the ideas involved. I actually began to enjoy the subject that I had for so long despised. I began to see and understand why math was so important.

—DAoM Student

The topics we covered were cool, for once I enjoyed doing the work because it was interesting. I have trouble doing things I'm not interested in.

—DAoM Student

Your unique way method of teaching and class formation made it an interesting class to attend. The time went by fast and the work was interesting.

—DAoM Student

I realized that math is much more than what we have been exposed to in elementary school, junior high, and high school. I've realized that there is a lot of intellectual thinking involved, it is not just right and wrong numerical answers. I never really could understand how people believed that mathematics was an art but now I see how reaching an unsolved conclusion could give such a great feeling of accomplishment.

—DAoM Student

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the class, and I dislike math a little less because now I see it can be interesting.

—DAoM Student

I guess I have an appreciation towards mathematics. I understand people devote their lives to finding the contrasting rule to a law or formula and I think that's cool.

—DAoM Student

My attitude toward math hasn't changed that much except for the fact that know I can appreciate how some people, like yourself can have such a passion for mathematics.

—DAoM Student

Hopefully I'll be able to tell my children how fun and interesting this class was and more importantly how much I learned about what mathematics really is.

—DAoM Students

When I first heard you say that math "was beautiful" I thought you were a little strange. However, now after experiencing what math can really do mentally and physically, I can say that math is beautiful when you are taught right.

—DAoM Student

These ideas of math are part of everyday life, but society doesn't take in the true meaning and significance of math.

—DAoM Student

Math can be fun and exciting if you teach students to "understand" something rather than just memorizing it.

—DAoM Student

Thank you for this wonderful class and experience.

—DAoM Student

The first thing I noticed as I walked into room were the benches. Already I was put at ease because the traditional '5th grade' desks were not there. Then when we were handed the survey and I was some of the questions regarding our feelings about math, I was excited because I knew we were having a teacher who cared as much about our feelings as he cared about numbers and equations.

—DAoM Student

But like I have told you I would have rather taken tests. Nothing against you or the class that is just my preference.

—DAoM Student

I really like the way this class is set up this semester. I like working things out with people at my table. We work well together which helps. I do wish that the Professor would teach a little bit more, but then again, I don't know what he could because it's all in the book. I do like it when he'd read things as passages from books, articles, etc.

—DAoM Student

This class reminds me somewhat of my high school math classes. In high school I never understood what the teacher was talking about. So during class I would look at the lesson in the book and teach myself. I didn't mind doing this. That's when I liked math. In college I've taken to classes and had trouble with them. All they did was lecture. This class brings me back to the ways when I liked math.

—DAoM Student

The Math in this class is something I've never experienced in any other Math class. Most of my Math classes were always problems with numbers that a calculator could figure out. There were never problems that involved much thinking.

—DAoM Student

This math class, much to my surprise is very different. My views and hopes are slowly changing about math. I now feel a little more confident in my abilities.

—DAoM Student

For a guy who is reluctant to give math a chance I must admit that classes like Mathematical Explorations help broaden the minds of students like myself.

—DAoM Student

The lack of tests and homework in this class is a refreshing change. I am used to studying page after page of formulas and tables in math class. But this class is different and I like it. When math is shoved down my throat I cannot learn. The "pressure thing" again. I learn better when I can see the process step by step.

—DAoM Student

It was a nice break from the do-it-know-it-or-fail type math course in high school or any other arithmetic course. Granted, I have to know these skills and be able to do them without much difficulty. But it was good to be able to take a course that really just shows math as a form of art and (dare I say it?) philosophy.

—DAoM Student

You've shown how someone can see beauty and passion in mathematics. Your passion for mathematics really is inspiring considering the fact that most of my past math teachers didn't really care. They didn't have that fire in their eyes that you have. You want to share what you know and expand on it.

—DAoM Student

I now appreciate my father's intellect for being an engineer. I used to think he was boring for knowing all this math, but I now see that his thought process goes well beyond just numbers.

—DAoM Student

When I first came to class in the beginning of the year you were always talking about how math was so beautiful. When I heard you say this I was like, what is this guy talking about? But as the year went on I started to think about the beauty of math more and more. Math is pretty beautiful! Math is everywhere, it is in all art work and designs. I love art and I love to draw and paint, so I guess math is beautiful to me also.

—DAoM Student

When our class began doing work in Chapter 11 [Discovering the Art of Mathematics - The Infinite], I thought I was in hell. Your handout was much more difficult than the book [Mathematics: A Human Endeavor by Harold Jacobs]. At that point, although it was a good thing, I thought it was going to be too hard and wanted to go back to the book. However, after spending time on Chapter 11, that challenge is exactly what I needed. It was in Chapter 11 that I gained my appreciation for the differing levels of infinity and some of Zeno's paradoxes. It was not until we went back to the book at the end of class that I realized that the book was no challenge at all. It was the challenge that I received in Chapter 11 that helped me to appreciate mathematics.

—DAoM Student

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