Pre: Discussing programming + teaching approach

Corresponding lab sheet:


  • Introduce myself to students;
  • Motivate the content of the course;
  • Explain pedagogic approach;
  • Showcase all learning resources;
  • Schedule office hours and coursework deadline;
  • Explain goal of first lab session.


Introduce myself to class and write the following on the board:

Vince Knight
Office hours: ?

First group exercise: in groups (of approximately 4) take 5 minutes to look at your teaching timetable and identify possible times for office hours.

Have a discussion and set the office hours.

Explain that we will now start talking about the course itself.

Second group exercise: in groups take 5 minutes to try and answer the question: what is programming?.

Discuss answers together.

Third group exercise: in groups take 5 minutes to try and answer the question: why do mathematicians need to learn programming?

Discuss answers together. Include examples like:

  • Proving theorems;
  • Obtaining conjectures;
  • Implementing tools.

Explain that we will now start to look at the course site:

  • Show the lab sheets: mention Jupyter.
  • Show the documentation.
  • Show the teaching philosophy.
  • Mention class recording.

Discuss technology in class.

Please use whatever resources you need to be successful in this class. Let me know if I can help with anything.

In class activities will often involve you writing some code: if you have a laptop you can use it but it is not required.

Discuss class expectations:

  • Every week: 1 class meeting to look ahead and motivate concepts.
  • Every week: 1 lab session to gain feedback on understanding.
  • Every week: 1 class meeting to revisit concepts and clear up misunderstandings.

Show and/or draw something like: schedule

Highlight the importance of personal work which ensures contact time is most useful.

Discuss difficulty and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Show and/or draw something like understanding

Point at

Discuss Assessment: explain that there is time at the end of the class to work on it.

As a group discuss hand in date.

Show some past feedback: past feedback

Finally, discuss the goal of this week which is just to install Jupyter.

  • Demo Jupyter on computer;
  • Show download instructions;
  • Highlight that I recommend students using their own computers (but that this is not necessary).

Any questions?