Pedagogy and Presentation Lessons
By Gian-Carlo Rota
The advice we give others is always the advice we need to follow most.
- Every lecture should make only one point. And repeat that point over and over.
- Never run over time. Show some respect for their time.
- Relate to your audience. A tiny mention can keep someone from quitting.
- Give people something to take home. Even if they miss your point, they should remember you for something.
- Make sure the blackboard is spotless. If you take your work seriously, so will they.
- Make it easy for people to take notes. What they write is what they remember.
- Share the same work multiple times. Iteration makes things better.
- You are more likely to be remembered for your expository work. Genius is finite; make genius accessible.
- Every mathematician has only a few tricks. Be a specialised generalist.
- Don’t worry about small mistakes. Don’t chase perfection.
- Use Feynman’s method for solving problems. Slow and steady against hard problems.
- Write informative introductions. Time is scarce, first impression is crucial.
From: 12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota - fs blog