Math Excellence Workshop gets minority freshmen talking numbers
Fifty-one incoming freshmen get a strong dose of math as part of the Math Excellence Workshop (MEW) now through Aug. 8.
The program is open to all incoming Clemson University minority students majoring in computer science, engineering, the life sciences, the physical sciences or mathematics.
“It is crucial that engineering and science students learn to discuss mathematical concepts,” said Sue Lasser, Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) director. “It’s a first step to working collaboratively, a skill they’ll need as future research professionals.”
Sponsored by the Louis Stokes-South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP), a National Science Foundation-funded group; Duke Energy Foundation; the College of Engineering and Science; and the state of South Carolina, MEW has received national recognition for promoting superior mathematical understanding. Classes include pre-calculus and calculus. In addition, students attend a daily two-hour collaborative learning seminar in mathematical reasoning where they work together to solve problems.
MEW is an intense experience and Lasser says the students who choose to take the challenge average higher grades than other students in their math classes. Even better, they find they're prepared with the knowledge and study skills they need to master the technical classes ahead in their majors. Students who enroll in MEW are consistently in the top 25 percent of the mathematics classes they take concurrently with MEW.
Senior Miranda Montgomery, an industrial engineering major, attended the workshop as an incoming freshman and now tutors MEW students.
“I was definitely better equipped for the classes I’ve taken as a result of MEW. I learned teamwork, who to ask questions to and what my resources were. It made me feel comfortable in my major and on campus,” said Montgomery.
MEW is a part of the award winning PEER Office whose goal is to assist minority College of Engineering and Science students in achieving a career in an engineering or science related field.
Sherry Biggers (standing), a lecturer in mathematical sciences and instructor for the Math Excellence Workshop, is assisted by tutors Carol Lund (left) and Michael Cosby.