Learning Math in POSTECH and Eindhoven
Learning Math in POSTECH and Eindhoven
  • Prof. Jacobus H. Koolen
  • 승인 2009.12.09 15:54
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▲ Prof. Jacobus H. Koolen 
Department of Math
For me it is a great pleasure to teach at POSTECH. The students are very good. Although I sometimes wonder whether they can understand English as well as I hope they can. I think the campus is very nice. When I have a visitor, they wonder where the students are, as they think it seems to be too empty even during semester time.  I really enjoy discussing mathematics with my graduate students.  At this moment I have one master student and three Ph.D. students.

Since the spring semester in 2006, I have run the math club program in the Mathematics Department. The idea here is that we meet about ten times in a semester and around five times we have a speaker. We try to cover all areas in mathematics and I think it works well. The other five times I make problems and then the students solve them during the math club session. Anybody who is interested please join the math club next semester. It seems that the students enjoy this very much.

So, it is a great pleasure for me to teach at POSTECH.
As I am originally from the Netherlands, I think it would be good to compare the system in the Netherlands when I was a student, and the system in POSTECH. When I was a student in Eindhoven we had three terms per year each about nine weeks long. (This has changed as all universities in Europe run a two-semester system these days to allow students to go for one semester to another university in Europe) In Eindhoven usually one had only one exam per course that counted, namely the final exam. Although we had home work, it usually did not count for the grade. This is quite different in POSTECH, where you usually have at least two exams per course and in most math courses even the homework counts toward your grade.  Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.
Another difference is that a significant part of the courses, maybe about 20%, was finished by a project. This is little done in POSTECH for the mathematics courses.

The number of graduate students is much higher here then it was in Eindhoven. In the group ‘Discrete Mathematics’ in Eindhoven, in which I earned my Ph.D. degree, there were about 6 or 7 more graduate students during my Ph.D. studies, but the number of professors in this group was about ten.  In the Department of Mathematics we have about 70 graduate students, and about 21 professors, so there are about three times as many students in POSTECH per professor than in Eindhoven.

Prof. Jacobus H. Koolen
Department of Math