Some of Luca Aceto's Recent Courses

In passing, I firmly believe that research should be offset by a certain amount of teaching, if only as a change from the agony of research. The trouble, however, I freely admit, is that in practice you get either no teaching, or else far too much.
Quoted in Bela Bollobás, Littlewood's Miscellany, (Cambridge 1986).

We are kidding ourselves if we believe that the purpose of undergraduate teaching is the transmission of information. Information is an accidental feature of an elementary course in differential equations; such information can nowadays be gotten in much better ways than sitting in a classroom. A teacher of undergraduate courses belongs in a class with P.R. men, with entertainers, with propagandists, with preachers, with magicians, with gurus. Such a teacher will be successful if at the end of the course every one of his or her students feels they have taken "a good course", even though they may not quite be able to pin down anything specific they have learned in the course.
From Ten lessons I wish I had learned before I started teaching differential equations by Gian-Carlo Rota.

...the best way to prepare students for careers in science and technology in a world that is changing rapidly is not to train them in the narrow skills that happen to be in hottest demand at the current moment, since those are likely to be obsolete in a few years. It is better to train them in more general skills, and in particular to concentrate on fundamental phenomena. That is also the way to attract the ablest students to science and technology, since they usually want to feel they are doing something basic that advances human knowledge, and not just tweak some process to increase profits.
From The decline of unfettered research by Andrew Odlyzko.

Advice to Students

If you are taking any of my courses, and you are wondering how best to learn the material covered in them, I strongly recommend that you read, and follow the advice in, the following texts:

This ability, initially to communicate to others in various ways, is in the end the way to clarify things for oneself. For when one successfully communicates something, in reality one must make it clear for oneself; every person who has the experience of teaching knows that after teaching a subject one understands it more deeply than before. Through communication with others and by means of that communication and listening to the reactions of others, we deepen our own thoughts.
From Interview with Ennio De Giorgi by Michele Emmer.

Only wimps do the general case. Real teachers tackle examples.
Quoted in Steven G. Krantz, How to Teach Mathematics (a personal pespective) (AMS, 1993).

Luca Aceto, School of Computer Science, Reykjavik University.
Last modified: Fri Nov 21 15:50:53 GMT 2008