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Report Christopher Thron Cameroon and Nigeria 2016

Volunteer Lecturer Program: Exit Survey

Name of Volunteer: Christopher Thron      

Email Address:   

Home Institution: Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Position in Home Institution: Associate professor

Arrival and Departure Day in Host Country: March 4, 2016 / April 25, 2016

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

(U. Ngaoundere ENSAI) Jean-Claude Kamgang,

(U. Ilorin) Olabode Bamigbola,

Please answer the following questions:

1) Location (country, city, institution) of your lecture:
(a) Cameroon, Ngaoundere, University of Ngaoundere
(b) Nigeria, Ilorin, University of Ilorin

2) Dates of Lecture:
(a) March 14-April 1
(b) April 11-23

3) Subject and title of the course:
(a.1) Analyse Numerique
(a.2) Statistique
(b) Mathematical software (Octave/Matlab)

4) How often did you teach a course?
Up to 4 hours a day

5) How many students did participate in the course (s)?
(a.1) 22
(a.2) 36
(b) 170

6) Background of Students: Undergraduate/ Master/ PhD Students?
(a.1) professional students
(a.2) masters
(b) 2nd year Undergraduate

7) Please provide (if possible) any schedule of activities/list of topics covered during your visit.
The numerical analysis course focused on computer implementation using spreadsheets. Topics included numerical solution of linear systems, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, least  squares fit, numerical solution of differential equations. The statistics course was a standard basic statistics class, including descriptive statistics, random variables and distributions, normal distribution, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals. Emphasis was placed on performing calculations in spreadsheet software.. The mathematical software course was an introduction to Matlab/Octave, up through basic programming (loops, conditional statements), graphing, and functions.

8) Did you develop or follow a prescribed syllabus or did you write your own?
Developed my own syllabi, which I have used before.
Was it available to the students before the course or when the course began?
Not available before.
Please also mention the references you used or any text books that were referred to:
(a.1) own notes
(a.2) Christian Leonard, “Notes de cours de statistique mathematique elementaire”
(b) Matlab course developed by University of Edinburgh (used with permission)

9) Did you use any books, classroom material, AV, or other technology-based materials?
Extensively. All materials were electronic.

10) What type of assessment tools did you use? Attach if available, any notes or exams/quizzes that were distributed to students.
Quizzes. Several quizzes were given. This did not work very well in Nigeria, because the classroom was so crowded that cheating was too easy.

11) In which language was the course given:
(a) French
(b) English

12) Was the course language, the native language of the students?

13) Did you give any public lecture, discussed with local staff issues regarding curriculum?
No. I did hold research discussions with several graduate students at both institutions.

14) Where did you live? (e.g. hotel, hostel, on campus, in city e.g.)
(a) instructor’s home (rented)
(b) university hostel

15) Do you have any recommendations/suggestions to the professor who will visit the university in the future (also regarding accoymmodation, health and visa issues)?
Be prepared for power outages. A small projector with battery can be invaluable. Power strips, extension cords, adapters all may come in handy.

16) Would you like to share anything else like any particular experience, testimonial etc.?
I have previously shared a testimonial with IMU.

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

18) Are we allowed to publish your answers above?
by all means

Thank you very much!