FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Because Kalamazoo College has moved to distance learning for the entire spring 2020 term, some of the responses shown below may not be applicable. See MPC from Anywhere.

About the Math-Physics Center

During normal non-distance learning, we are open Sunday – Thursday nights from 8 – 11 p.m. and are located in  205 Olds/Upton (the common area of 2nd floor Olds/Upton). Peer consultants are available on a walk-in basis to help you with your math or physics. Our consultants are math or physics majors (or both). You can come in to work on your daily homework or to study for exams. If you have questions or get stuck, someone will be there to help. Consultants can work with you one-on-one or lead group problem-solving sessions.

Do I have to be ‘stuck’ to come to the Math-Physics Center?

No! We welcome you – even if you just want to come hang out and do homework with your friends. Often times, it helps if you work on assignments with others. We have plenty of space for you to get together with your classmates to do just that.

What is the Math-Physics Center and what can it do for you?

A place, both physical and virtual:
All the material you need to succeed in your math or physics course.
A community, both academic and social:
Where you develop strategies for integrating in and interacting with your college environment.
A math and physics resource, both group and individual:
Where you deepen your understanding by working together with Peer Consultants and other students on the  math you want help with.

Philosophy of the Math-Physics Center

At the Math-Physics Center, we believe that anyone can succeed in math and/or physics, and we reject the myth that only certain kinds of people can think mathematically. Therefore, we respect the innate intelligence of individuals and we focus on your development of sound problem-solving strategies rather than on the problems themselves. We seek to help you:

  • recognize the way(s) in which you learn best,
  • recognize there are multiple ways to approach a problem,
  • test your varying approaches to a problem,
  • clarify your thinking,
  • communicate your thinking to others, and
  • work with others; focusing on collaboration and respect

What can I expect from a consultant?

The consultant will guide you to finding the answer for yourself by asking leading questions and comparing the problem to material you’ve already mastered. The goal of a consultation is to show you strategies for figuring out problems on your own.

Can I get help on math mastery exams?

If you’re taking a Calculus course, you will have a Calculus Mastery Exam. And, “Yes!”, consultants can help you reach mastery on these exams. First, you’ll work through the mastery exam yourself. If there are problems that you can’t figure out or if you don’t master the exam, then visit a consultant for help. The consultant will help you with concepts you don’t understand. After you’ve met with a consultant, print out another version of the mastery exam and complete it on your own. You may not turn in a version of the exam on which a consultant has helped you.