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September 29, 2023

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New Math Emporium to help BGSU students with challenging math courses

Junior Whitney Hayes said she thinks math classes are more difficult than they need to be, but soon she will have a place to go on campus that will help make them less challenging.

“I like the idea of not having to take an entire course over again if you don’t pass it, said Hayes. “That takes away a lot of stress.”

A new math lab is being created on campus to help students become more successful in math courses.

The Math Emporium is now in temporary proto-type form in room 207 in Olscamp Hall. The room contains 90 seats and multiple computers.

$5.65 million has been approved by trustees for the creation of the lab, which is supposed to help students complete math courses successfully.

“The idea of the Math Emporium came about last year and will have computers to help train students,” said Kit Chan, Chair of the Mathematics and Statistics Department.

Some students thought that a hands—on math lab would be a positive addition to campus.

“I think that having a hands on math lab would be excellent for campus,” said junior Mecca Westbrook-El.

Westbrook-El said she is excited to see if it will help make challenging math courses a little bit easier.

The completed math lab will include computers in a room of 200 seats for group study. It will also include two classrooms and testing rooms.

There will also be a change in how math courses are offered once the lab is completed.

Students will be able to take one-credit modules coinciding to create three credit courses.

This way, if a student does not pass one of the modules, they only have to retake that particular module rather than retaking the entire course, Chan said.

With the creation of the lab, students will also be able to move through each module at their own pace, while being supervised.

“Students will be able to spend more time on each question to help learn at their own pace,” said Chan.

Upper level courses, or 3000/4000 level classes, will be divided into a classroom section and a lab section.

Math Emporiums have been around for more than a decade, Chan said.

“What makes ours different is that our emporium offers more human help than other emporiums,” he said.

Tutors will be available to assist students when needed.

As of now, only a few math courses have access to the lab, Chan said.

“The lab will be around for a few years to allow students to adapt to the environment and see what we need to fix before we decide to increase at full scale,” he said.

The project is supposed to be completed by next fall.

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