The Undergraduate Workroom; or In Which a Maths Student Goes Somewhere Other Than the Library
You’ve probably guessed that it’s exam season at Warwick. I’ve got eight exams this term – I had Linear Algebra and Differential Equations last week, and the other six are yet to come. So, I’ve been revising a lot lately, and I don’t think I’ve ever written about my favourite place to work on campus, so here goes nothing.
When I say that I’ve never really been to the library, I’m usually met with mild confusion, especially from non-maths students. I then explain the undergraduate workroom.
The workroom is in the Zeeman Building, which houses the Maths and Stats departments. It’s a fairly big room, with lots of big desks, comfy chairs, and a few blackboards for students to use. On a typical term 3 day, I guess it’s about half full – it seemed busier in the earlier terms, when people went there between lectures, and it’s noticeably emptier on weekends and later on in the evening.
The layout of the workroom is really good for collaborative work – it’s where my group for Experimental Maths has been meeting up to complete the booklets together. The desks are big enough that you can have quite a few people sitting around one table, without getting in each other’s way.
It’s also pretty good for working individually. Working in a silent room all day drives me up the wall, so the undergraduate workroom, with all of the maths-y chatter, has the perfect atmosphere for me. Hearing other people working makes me feel more productive, and I tend to work a lot better than locked up in silence in my room (or worse, locked up in my room, hearing other people’s conversations about things completely unrelated to revision, and getting distracted).
The location is pretty ideal, too. If you’ve got an hour of downtime between contact hours, it’s an ideal place to go – after all, by the time you’ve walked to most of the accommodation and back, that’s maybe a third of the hour gone. It’s also pretty conveniently near Tesco, so grabbing lunch between stints in the workroom can be significantly cheaper than various eateries on campus. The Maths society even run a Maths Café, where there’s food and maths help in the workroom itself.
I’ve even got a favourite desk to work at. It’s the one by the door other than the main door, which is put up against the divider thing. I often take my laptop with me, and that one has enough space that I can spread my laptop and paper around without worrying that I’m getting in the way of someone on the opposite side of the table.
Now, I should probably get back to the workroom…