Volunteer Lecturer Program: Exit Survey


Name of Volunteer: David Li-Bland

Email Address: david.libland@gmail.com

Home Institution: U.C. Berkeley

Position in Home Institution: Visiting Assistant Professor

Arrival and Departure Day in Host Country: Oct. 14th, Nov. 5th (2016)


Who was your main contact in the host country (name, affiliation and email address):

Eunice Murethi, Head of Department, Department of Mathematics, University of Dar Es Salaam


Please answer the following questions:

         1)         Location (country, city, institution) of your lecture: Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam, University of Dar Es Salaam

         2)         Dates of Lecture: Oct. 14th - Nov.5th, 2016

         3)         Subject and title of the course: Differential Geometry

         4)         How often did you teach a course?: Approx 3.5 hrs per day, 5 days a week, 3 weeks.

         5)         How many students did participate in the course (s)?: 10 students

         6)         Background of Students: Undergraduate/ Master/ PhD Students?: M.Sc. Students

         7)         Please provide (if possible) any schedule of activities/list of topics covered during your visit: Topics:

a.      Basic point set topology

b.      Definition and examples of differentiable manifolds

c.       Smooth maps and partitions of unity, embedding theorems

d.      Vectors on manifolds

e.       (Advanced lectures, on which students were not evaluated): Degree of a map, Linking number, Gauss Bonnet Theorem.

For a detailed syllabus see: https://math.berkeley.edu/~libland/teaching/mt-630/syllabus.html

         8)         Did you develop or follow a prescribed syllabus or did you write your own? I wrote my own, based on suggestions from the department head. For a detailed syllabus see: https://math.berkeley.edu/~libland/teaching/mt-630/syllabus.htm

Was it available to the students before the course or when the course began?: Yes.

Please also mention the references you used or any text books that were referred to: Lecture notes by Eckhard Meinrenken (freely available on the web); for a more extensive list of references, see: https://math.berkeley.edu/~libland/teaching/mt-630/useful-resources/

         9)         Did you use any books, classroom material, AV, or other technology-based materials?  Yes, we used lecture notes by Eckhard Meinrenken (Differentiable Geometry) and Alan Hatcher (Point Set Topology); we also plotted manifolds and level sets using Sage Math. All of these resources are posted at:


       10)       What type of assessment tools did you use?:

a.      2 midterm tests,

b.      2 sets of homework,

c.       2 group presentations (each group presented twice), and

d.      1 final exam.

All these assessments are posted at: https://math.berkeley.edu/~libland/teaching/mt-630/homework/

       11)       In which language was the course given: English

       12)       Was the course language, the native language of the students?: No, but the students were conversational in English; many of their courses had been taught in English.

       13)       Did you give any public lecture, discussed with local staff issues regarding curriculum? No public lectures, but curriculum was discussed with local staff.

       14)       Where did you live? (e.g. hotel, hostel, on campus, in city e.g.) Wanyama Hotel

       15)       Do you have any recommendations/suggestions to the professor who will visit the university in the future (also regarding accommodation, health and visa issues)?

Wanyama Hotel was very comfortable and convenient. Make sure you get all your vaccinations and bring Malaria prophyaxis. You can get a visa upon arrival, but I applied for one in advance.

       16)       Would you like to share anything else like any particular experience, testimonial etc.? I highly recommend teaching a course at the University of Dar Es Salaam; the department is terrific, and they could really use the help. Also, make sure you also arrange to visit the nearby African Institute for Mathematical Sciences; it is worthwhile to network with them.

       17)       Do you have any pictures which you would allow us to put on the IMU- CDC website? Yes.

       18)       Are we allowed to publish your answers above? Yes.