Emily Colby: College Hero

Today we’re celebrating a college hero who found success by changing her attitude toward math. Here’s how she describes her journey:

Growing up, my stomach used to churn anytime I was asked to solve a math equation in school. I spent years at battle with the anxiety I associated with math. It got to a hopeless point where I felt there was something inherent in me that kept me from keeping up in math class. It was not until I began taking college math that something changed.

In collaboration with my math professor, Richard Hough, I started using Khan Academy. I decided to go into math with a new attitude, one that was kind and eager to learn. I found that when I put aside my disparaging thoughts and just got down to business, my ability to understand what was going on increased immensely!

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The way KA uses methods of positive reinforcement to teach concepts was a huge factor in my change of attitude toward math. Small things like getting a smiley face for getting a problem right help me to keep going. Prof. Hough recommends exercises based on what we are learning in class at the moment. I like to use them to get a leg up on what’s going on in class before we’ve formally gone over a new topic. I also find KA to be a helpful study tool for brushing up before an exam. Now I am proud to say I am enjoying math!

Congratulations, Emily, and keep up the good work!