This year I landed a permanent academic appointment as a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Liverpool. With this new role comes increased teaching responsibilities and, this semester, I will be running an undergraduate group project on the theory of ordinary differential equations.
As a permanent member of staff, I am also required to run two weekly office hours where I should be in my office and available to talk with students about any academic issues that they might me having. Office hours are important as they give students they opportunity to ask questions that they may not be able to ask in larger group tutorials; they also offer the chance for a more in-depth discussion of difficult topics than would otherwise be possible.
As these office hours are simply drop-in sessions they may or may not be utilised frequently but, nevertheless, they must be scheduled in. Not knowing whether students will drop-in to a particular office hour makes it difficult to plan any meaningful work for that particular hour. This gives me a good opportunity to make a concerted effort to blog a little more. The idea is to use the time during office hours when no students drop-in to write short posts on something relevant to mathematics or academia in general.
I’m interested to see how this works out, but I’m not sure how successful I want it to be: if I end up writing lots of posts, it means that my office hours aren’t well attended and I’d much rather be helping students than blogging! Hopefully I won’t end up writing too many blog posts, which may be a blessing in disguise for those poor souls reading them!