The Math Lab helps students cultivate a love for mathematics

Written by: 
Jordan Cortez

The BYUH Math Lab is a helpful and well-organized resource that brings math grades up, according to students.

 

Andrew Zhing, a sophomore from China obtaining his associate’s degree, said he hasn’t always liked math, but the lab has really helped him grow a love for it. “Math is like my woman crush now. I really love it even though sometimes, just like a crush, it makes me suffer.”

 

When midterms and finals come around, Zhing spends about 15 hours a week in the Math Lab because he loves the help and the happy environment.

 

On a normal weekday, Zhing said he will go to the lab for about an hour after his calculus class to finish the homework and solidify what he just learned about.

 

According to the Math Lab’s mission statement, its objective is “to provide top quality support to the students of BYU-Hawaii in all their math needs.”

 

Wilford Mueller, the senior missionary currently serving as the Math Lab coordinator, added, “Our purpose is simply to cultivate a love of math in the students of BYUH and provide them with a meaningful experience.

 

“There is nothing more miserable trying to work the same problem for an hour, just trying to get some kind of clue how to do a problem. The combination of Pearson [learning resources] and a tutor can help students reduce a lot of stress and save a lot of time.”

 

Braylee Gabel, a senior mathematics major from Washington and current Math Lab tutor, said, “I love math because it is a universal language. Plus, it is so satisfying to solve a really complicated math problem.

 

“Seeing students understand a concept related to math is a very rewarding moment. Math is so much fun to teach because it is usually portrayed as a complicated subject, but under all the complexities are just foundational skills that we have to practice manipulating or build on.”

 

Zhing said the tutors are extremely friendly, happy, and willing to help; they are always ready to help students with any questions they have. If the tutor does not know exactly how to solve the problem, they will discuss it with the other tutors until a solution is found. This has impressed Zhing, who said the tutors are always able to find the answer in the end.

 

Mueller, who stated his role is to hire, fire, and train the math tutors, said, “One of the things I have tried to instill in the tutors is that they do not wait until people come to them for help, but rather the tutors are moving around the Math Lab, checking on the progress of the students, and asking if there is anything they can do to help. I want to see them be proactive.”

 

One key factor Mueller looks for when hiring tutors is a willingness to get better and become someone who can help students in every area of math.

 

Zhing said, “I feel like the Math Lab has really helped me to raise my grades to another grade level. I bet it can help other students to raise their math grade a level too. If they have an F, they will probably raise it [higher].”

 

The Math Lab is located in the General Classroom Building and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Date Published: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017