Adding and subtracting may have made math seem like a simple subject back in first grade, but the algorithms taught in college courses make math a more confounding subject than those initially learned in elementary school. Based on this fact, becoming savvy in math seems impossible.
Fortunately, the BYU math lab offers tutoring to students in order to improve their math skills and to overcome challenges they face in math homework. Eventually, they can gain skills in math and improve their grades.
Taylor Kroff, a music major who works as a lab assistant, understands that people struggle with math, which is the purpose of the lab– to help students understand math.
“Math is something that a great number of people struggle with,” said Kroff. “Tutors help students with their math homework and help them learn and understand basic math concepts.”
Professor Jackie Robertson, Lab Manager, feels that math improves a pers0n’s ability to solve problems.
“[Math] helps students think critically,” Robertson said. “Math teaches you how to problem solve because it makes you think about what you are doing. There are not disciplines that don’t use math in some kind of way.”
The math lab also is very careful when choosing its lab assistants. Lab assistants need to be good at the basic concepts so that they are able to explain how to do the problems.
“Lab assistants have to take a qualifying exam,” Robertson said. “We have three exams that they have to take. Two for lower divisions and one for upper division. Lower division is algebra and calculus. Upper division gets to 300 classes.”
Robertson feels that the math lab serves not only students, but also math professors, who would be overwhelmed by continuous visits from students regarding questions, missing deadlines and more.
“We proctor exams for the faculty. If someone couldn’t take a scheduled exam, or if someone has a learning disability and needs more time to take the test, or they don’t want to take it at the testing center,” said Robertson. “Without the math lab, the faculty would be receiving lots of students during their office hours. So, we do a great service to the faculty as well as the students.”
Brooke Tarbet, a junior studying economics, has been going to the lab everyday during the summer term. She feels that by going to the lab, she solves her doubts and gets a clearer picture of the topics she is learning.
“The tutors give me a different perspective of the topics,” Tarbet said. “They explained a little bit more, and I better understand what I learned in class.”
For math help, visit the math lab in Talmage Building 159.