ICME Refresher Course

Introduction

I was an instructor for the ICME Refresher Course , a four-day course for incoming graduate students that reviews material from undergraduate-level mathematics courses. I taught the Applied Linear Algebra section, which took place before the start of the 2013 fall quarter at Stanford. There were 15-20 students attending the course, with half of the students coming from the Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) program and half from other programs in the School of Engineering. The topics covered in the course included: matrix and vector properties, matrix algebra, linear transformations, solving linear systems, matrix decompositions, orthogonality, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

Importance of Work

The applied track of the ICME Refresher Course is intended to serve multiple purposes for the participating students. The course is intended to help students to review material from their undergraduate linear algebra course to get them up to speed on some of the concepts and terminology that will arise in their coursework in the School of Engineering. It also helps introduce incoming students to Stanford, giving them an opportunity to meet peers who may be in their courses and to meet senior graduate students who can answer their questions about academics and student life. For students, like myself, who are not coming to Stanford straight out of their undergraduate institution, the refresher course is a nice way to ease back into the university setting before the start of the Autumn quarter.

Tasks Completed

  • I set the course syllabus and selected course content based on linear algebra background required for several popular engineering courses.
  • I prepared lecture materials, including practice exercises and lecture notes (in the form of slides, included below for reference), for four three-hour lectures.
  • I created student feedback forms, which I used to adjust the course pace, content and focus.