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Math Help Center helps students practice skills

April 25, 2014

The frequently overlooked campus Math Help Center is a resource worth looking into for students with a desire to get a better grade and much more in mathematics courses.

The smiling tutors welcome and greet each student, asking if they can help when they first walk into the Math Help Center. Walk-ins are welcome when a tutor is available but appointments guarantee someone will be there to assist you.

A non-traditional student with severe math anxiety, Angie Devine, said she survived her math courses because of the patience and kindness of the tutors who assisted her.

“They never lost patience or judged me. I appreciate this service provided by UWRF,” Devine said.

In an informal random survey of 27 students, six had used the Math Help Center. Of the 27 students polled, only 12 had heard of the Math Help Center. Dylan Young, 19, said the easiest part of his experience with the Math Help Center was finding someone to help and the hardest was having the motivation to go.

“The easiest part was the times they were open,” said Bailey Post, 20.

Post found it easy to fit tutoring sessions into her study schedule. Kristina O’Brian, 19, did not use the Math Help Center until she became a tutor and feels it benefits her as a tutor and a student.

“It is helpful to me because it is a chance to talk through problems with my peers to develop a better understanding of concepts,” O’Brian said.

One of the other tutors, Martin Williamson, 21, reflected back on the first time he used the Math Help Center. “The hardest part was accepting that I needed help,” Williamson said.

Laura Williamson, age 22 and a client, said she would recommend the Math Help Center to other students.

More than tutoring, there is plenty of smiling and joking going on in the Math Center. Coni Gehler, director of remedial math, is passionate about her area of expertise. Gehler said she finds order, logic and rationality in math.

“Math makes beautiful sense in the huge, beautiful, complicated universe, every part of it is consistent,” Gehler said.

Gehler said she wanted to be sure students understand.

“You can solve things through reasoning, and it’s not memorization,” Gehler said.

Gehler’s enthusiasm seems to be contagious. There is fun to be had with math and the Math Help Center is there to help students discover this and improve their understanding of math concepts.

“The hours are much more open than the office hours of many professors,” O’Brian said.

In the Math Help Center there are solution manuals for different classes in case there is no tutor available so students do not have to wait for someone to get freed up. The Math Help Center is not open during finals week. The hours until finals week are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

This is a resource which can save a student’s GPA. The staff of the Math Help Center is eager to assist students in order for them to have a better, successful semester. They invite students to stop by room 145 in North Hall.