Automathography by email

It's always useful for a professor to have some idea of students' backgrounds and interests. The main point of this assignment is to give me some of this information. In the past, I have done this through a questionnaire that students filled out in class; this time around, however, I decided to use email instead. This serves three purposes: it gets me the information quickly, it makes you familiar with email, and it gives me some idea of your writing skills.

You are to send me an email message to introduce your mathematical self to me. Tell me about the courses you have taken, what your favorites were, what you find hardest. Explain what your mathematical interests (if any!) are, and what you (at present) envision yourself as doing after graduation. Reveal why you signed up for this course and what you expect to get out of it. If you have any anxieties about this course, or any special problems or needs, let me know.

As our course progresses, I will be using email for a number of purposes: to comment on assigments, to offer encouragement and help, to challenge you. I will also try to provide a way for you to communicate among yourselves via email. I hope you'll make the most of this opportunity: interaction with others is an important component of learning mathematics.

You are encouraged to be creative in your response; don't be pedantic and just answer the questions asked above; include whatever you wish. Send me your automathography as soon as possible, but in any case no later than September 19.

Fernando Q. Gouvêa ----
Last modified: Tue Sep 16 09:20:46 1997