The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

The student news site of Peddie School

The Peddie News

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Program Spotlight: Math Fellows

Math Fellow Sofia Cervantes ʼ26 (Left) at Monday Night Math Center
Chloé Cheng ʼ27
Math Fellow Sofia Cervantes ʼ26 (Left) at Monday Night Math Center

Students in all math classes — from Algebra I to Multivariable Calculus — eagerly await the day they can go to the Math Center and sort out all their mathematical woes. Mr. Buchner, Mrs. Montgomery and Mr. Gartner patiently answer questions and guide students through problem sets, challenging topics and math-related material in general. In addition, if students have questions for their individual course teacher, they can be sure to find them during office hours on Monday and Friday after Chapel or during the second half of long lunch on Tuesday and Thursday. So, how do the Math department teachers keep these help hours running so smoothly? Even with all of their arithmetic expertise and algebraic prowess, some days yield one too many question-askers for a single person, and it can be tough to get to everyone. 

In come: Math Fellows! Dedicated to helping their peers master math concepts and enhance their analytical abilities, Math Fellows is a program consisting of avid math students who assist teachers during help hours and Math Center, making it possible to reach more students. The program was founded in late 2022 by Karen Yao ʼ24 and made its official debut in the spring of 2023. Yao, who is also co-captain of the Varsity Girls Tennis team, says the idea came to her after she had been helping some of her teammates and friends with math. This casual advice-giving slowly morphed into an idea for an actual organization, so she decided to make it happen. 

Yao recalled the experience, “I wrote a proposal to the math department in the winter, and Dr. Caglieris, Mr. Buchner and Mrs. Montgomery helped me kickstart the program.” 

After its launch, the program accepted its first group of math fellows, comprising 14 members. Earlier this fall, another application was sent out, and the program has now grown to 21 math fellows, all ready and eager to help their classmates to the best of their abilities. Each week, they sign up for a certain teacher’s office hours and attend as such. These “shift” requirements can also be fulfilled by participating in the Math Center on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Throughout the year, the math fellows help numerous students with their homework and studies. Participants have reported that the program does a phenomenal job at cultivating a productive community where asking for help isn’t viewed as a weakness but a way to collaborate and grow as a scholar. 

Yao really embodies that sentiment; in addition to being invested in mathematics (she’s also one of the Math Club leaders!), Yao said she genuinely values and enjoys the connections she’s made with people through being a math fellow. She prioritizes comprehension and implementation of knowledge rather than simply completing class assignments. When asked what her favorite part of being a math fellow is, she answered: “My favorite part of being a math fellow is seeing my classmates understand the material — and not just understanding it, but feeling more confident in their problem-solving skills.”

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