Before the first day of class

Hello and welcome to Math 232. My name is Laura Taalman and I am excited to meet you on the first day of class.  Here are some things that you might want to consider before that first day.

// What to expect from Taalman’s MATH 232 class

All sections of MATH 232 use the same textbook, but each MATH 232 instructor implements their own style and philosophy of teaching. Here’s what it will be like in my sections of MATH 232 this semester:

  • Class will meet in Roop 213, which has tables for working in groups, and blackboards all around the room.
  • Class meetings will consist primarily of active group work and presentations, rather than a lecture format.
  • You will be expected to read each section and begin attempting examples and homework exercises before each class day.
  • I will not be collecting or grading homework, but all tests and quizzes will be based on the homework. If you do lots of homework then you will succeed, and if you don’t do enough homework then you will fail, but I won’t be checking your work every day to make sure that you are still on track. You will have to be very responsible and manage your time and homework schedule yourself.

If the type of class described above does not appeal to you, then you might prefer another section. On the other hand, if it just sounds a little unfamiliar and scary, then you’ll be fine. It will be a welcoming and friendly class atmosphere in which exploration, mistakes, and even failures are embraced on a daily basis as you all learn the material.

// Slack group for this class

Office hours for this semester will be digital, over Slack, at You should have received an email invitation to join this Slack group. If you have problems accessing this group, or if you have recently joined the class and need a Slack invitation email, then please let me know by email.

// Website for this class

This website,, will be the website for this class. There will be no information on Canvas for this class; everything will be here on this site. The website will act as a sort of blog, with update posts for each class day. Syllabus, links, and other information can be found in the right column menu. I recommend using the tool at the top of the right column menu to sign up for email notifications when this site is updated.

// If you’re on the Wait List for MATH 232-01 or MATH 232-02

If you are on the Wait List to get into Section 01 or 02 of MATH 232 and are still hoping to get into the class, then I encourage you to attend class each day, if posssible. That way you won’t start at a disadvantage if you do get into the section.

// If you got below a C- in MATH 231

A grade of C- or higher in MATH 231 is required for MATH 232. If your grade in MATH 231 was lower than C- then please see me immediately so that we can talk about what you can do to succeed in MATH 232. Historically, students who earned D’s and F’s in MATH 231 have an extremely high probability of failing MATH 232. The suggested course of action is to retake MATH 231 instead of going on to MATH 232 before you are ready.

// If you were in my MATH 231 class last semester

Things will be much the same this semester as it was in the fall, with the following exceptions:

  • We are meeting in Roop instead of SSC. It’s still a group learning classroom, but smaller and with blackboards instead of whiteboards.
  • There will be five homework quizzes throughout the semester worth 10 points each, rather than weekly Friday quizzes worth 20 points each. This should give us more time for questions/problems days.
  • Although you’ll still have to choose your own homework problems according to the amount of practice that you need, I’ll will give you some more direction and help with how to choose those problems.
  • I will hold “continuous office hours” digitally with Slack instead of in person at limited times.