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The Life of a New Student Department of Mathematics, Entered 2009 Saori Kaida

What do you think you will have to study in the Department of Mathematics? Perhaps you imagine a life filled with the study of mathematics and nothing else. But the fact is, you will be studying a wide variety of subjects that span foreign languages, mechanics, health and sport sciences, humanities, and the sciences. You will take such courses with people from other departments providing you with ample opportunity to make good friends.

I myself have four math courses a week: differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, fundamental mathematics seminar, and math basics (core seminar). One day a week is devoted to specialized education, and on that day, we separate into smaller classes after that day’s lecture and hold seminars. At this time, each student makes a presentation on a problem that he or she has solved.

The study of mathematics at a university level is quite different than high school mathematics. Instead of problems dominated by calculations, you will be working on problems concerning logic. As a result, you will sometimes be confronted by difficult problems that are confusing or incomprehensible. At this time, however, you can deepen your understanding by talking about the problem with your fellow students or receiving advice from senior students or instructors. In this way, you will also be making connections with senior students and instructors.

Starting this year, classes are being held on the Ito campus. This is a very beautiful campus with lots of room and ample facilities. It is a quiet environment where you can concentrate on your studies.

I don’t just study—I am also active in club activities. As a member of the lacrosse club, I practice three times a week, and I must admit that combining these activities with study can be difficult at times. In addition, as lacrosse is an outdoor sport, there are also the heat and ultraviolet rays to put up with. However, if there’s any place where both study and sports can be enjoyed at the same time, it’s a university, and I lead a very fulfilling live because of that.

What I have learned here in university is that it is important to think and even worry about something that you don’t understand and to persevere until you do understand it. I have also found out that mathematics can be very interesting compared to the math that I studied in elementary school, middle school, and high school. The Department of Mathematics at Kyushu University has an environment well suited to people that wish to study mathematics in depth. Why don’t we study together?