# Feedback from the first week — Math, Art, and Design

In my classes this semester, I’m going to be asking students to give me a little feedback each week, and my goal is to make this feedback into a dialogue of sorts between me and the students. So I had students in my two Math, Art, and Design classes tell me something good or interesting from the first week, a question or concern, and anything they wanted to change. Now I’m looking through those responses.

From both sections, I have collected a pretty comprehensive sampling to give you a good feel of the feedback. Not everything is in here, but most everything is represented. I was impressed by how much the students put into what they wrote and how open they all were to mathematics as a subject.

The Good/Interesting/Exciting:

• I was terrified coming into this class. I feel excited now
• Enjoyed questions of how infinity works or if it does
• Making math fun, can’t wait.
• I am excited for it.
• Math is hard for me to follow and I liked when we broke into groups.
• Groups/videos are good ways to break up the class (a couple of people said this)
• Never thought about an infinite amount of something so deeply before
• Videos were awesome (several said this)
• Idea of exploring philosophical connotations of infinity was fun
• Class more energetic than I expect and I appreciated it
• Idea that numbers can go infinitely backwards was interesting
• Vi Hart video was cool and made me want to do math doodles
• Infinity blows my mind
• Learned what infinity is and how to define it, that is quite epic if you ask me
• This is by far already the most interesting math class I have ever taken.
• Like the format [I project notes from a tabled PC using Windows Journal and then turn those notes into a PDF after class]
• Theores we discussed were really eye-opening and I really enjoyed the personal, mental freedom to explore these concepts. Adding examples that we could imagine physically (eg hotel) helped
• Liked amount and variety of different visuals, it made everything easy to understand
• History of Galileo & Cantor going insane were interesting
• Love the way this class is challenging my concrete mathematical brain with the “impossible”
• I liked how people in the class created a discussion instead of just listening to the teacher talking
• Concept of one-to-one correspondence became clear
• My mind hurts. Just kidding…kind of.

Concerns/Questions/Changes Needed

• Same as in every math class I will end up getting lost
• I am worried that I won’t retain all of the info or not understand a concept (Note: we don’t have a text in the class, which I know can raise anxiety levels so I want to be careful about supporting students)
• Would like a longer break
• Still not sure how there can be different sized infinities
• Is there really an accurate definition for the word “infinity”?
• Would like to see more working on our own in future classes
• Curious what our 40 point project will consist of
• I’m afraid of math
• Curious to know more about how mathematicians think
• Like you said, I’ll believe whatever the math professor tells me — I’m not confident enough to expand that into skeptical math questions
• How did the idea that things are infinity even become an idea? If everything we know is finite, why would we we think there would be more?
• If we have established that the infinite hotel is impossible why did this guy’s theory stick so well with the other mathematicians?
• What is bigger than infinity?
• Might it have been easier for some to grasp if we had approached topic from something infinity small (since infinitely large things are so hard to grasp)?
• How can you play musical chairs backwards to represent infinity+1
• Topic of infinity piqued my curiosity but was also frustrating because there are no defined answers concerning it.
• I don’t want to change the class, only my knowledge of math.
• I need some processing time before I’m even ready to ask questions.
• Can we do more with drawing/visual arts and math [likely in response in part to Vi Hart video]
• I am a bit nervous because I haven’t taken math since high school [the majority of the class are juniors or seniors]
• Dont’ quite understand infinity hotel, why did they all have to move one door down? Why couldn’t they just send guests to the end?
• Confused as to how the “number” infinity works. Know it goes on forever, just don’t understand how to add “actual” numbers onto it.
• Still unsure of why it takes a set and a proper subset to equal infinity.
• I would like to change my lack of willingness to try to enjoy learning about math
• Less math and more philosophical quandries

I won’t be doing this with the feedback each week (although I will do it sometime around the middle of the semester with a midterm evaluation). I see in this feedback some subject matter I need to address and that I need to give more time for group work. I plan to address some of the questions students raised in our next class together.