This is the P2PU Archive. If you want the current site, go to!

DIY Math

This course is complete. Subscribe to the announcement list for updates.
DIY Math course photo

DIY Math

Joe Corneli's picture
Course organiser: Joe Corneli
About the Course Organiser: 

Joe Corneli (Board Member at; Ph. D. student at the Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK;  I have a bachelor's degree in mathematics from New College of Florida (2002), and I did a couple years of math grad school before switching to a more "DIY" approach.  My current Ph. D. project has to do with "Crowdsourcing a Personal Learning Environment for Mathematics", and this course can be considered to be an informal dry run.

No of Seats: 
Course Status: 


Joe Corneli's picture
Joe C
Alan Cooper's picture
Amy Hart's picture
Amy H
Ana Rosa Amorim's picture
Brylie Oxley's picture
Chris Wu's picture
Charles Danoff's picture
David Coulibaly's picture
gobi nath's picture
Ivan Teoh's picture
Jason Barrera's picture
Isaiah Gilliland's picture
Chris Wolfe's picture
karine lagaffe's picture
Tyler Simmers's picture
James Sheldon's picture
Samantha Peller's picture
Shimmer Geek's picture
Sylvie Trudel's picture
James Choi's picture
Wesley Roberts's picture
Marcos Sader's picture
This course is designed to build independent study and peer-support skills for mathematics learners at all levels.


This is a mathematics course open to all topics and levels (unless participants come up with a compelling reason to focus during the course).  The main "pedagogical" reasons for such radical openness are:

(1) To give people one extra reason to take initiative in their own learning.  One might say "I've always wanted to learn about P vs NP", another might say "I've always wanted to learn precalculus" -- both are overcoming a mental and emotional hurdle.  I'm not suggesting that it's the *same* hurdle, but there are probably some similarities.  In the same way that a writer's workshop can serve writers with different interests, this "DIY Math" workshop can serve mathematics learners with different interests by providing a place to talk about their challenges and successes.

(2) To help people develop skills at co- or peer-to-peer teaching.  Ultimately people have to do their own homework exercises and so on, but one can also learn a lot in mathematics by helping others.  My "teaching philosophy" is that there are no stupid questions, even if there are a lot of dumb answers.  Let's see if we can get better at answering questions together.

There is no official text book, but participants may want to take a look at "How to solve it" (or other books) by George Polya.  Participants will get access to a new "beta" grade libre software platform being developed to support mathematical communication; we'll also have a mailing list available as a fall-back mechanism (and if you're interested in the course, please sign up for the list now to talk about your ideas or questions).



I'm willing to learn, and

cheryl ann durrant's picture
cheryl ann durrant
Fri, 2010-09-17 23:08

I'm willing to learn, and also conern over my learning style. I hope, at the end of this course I'll be more confident to assisit my son with his homework.

Hi Cheryl Ann, I am just

Alan Cooper's picture
Alan Cooper
Mon, 2010-09-27 05:31

Hi Cheryl Ann,
I am just curious as to what level your son is studying at now, and which topics you are feeling least confident about among those you expect him to need help with this year.

Hello Joe (Corneli),

karine lagaffe's picture
karine lagaffe
Thu, 2010-09-30 18:25

Hello Joe (Corneli), unfortunately I can't follow your course in this round as I had hoped. It seems as if my other 2 courses (and my work) take more of my time than expected. I'd be happy to attend your math class in the next round (if there will be any, I hope so!). Karine

I apologize for not posting

James Sheldon's picture
James Sheldon
Fri, 2010-10-08 15:50

I apologize for not posting sooner; I was in the hospital for eight days. I'm studying to be a facilitator for mathematics teaching. Specifically, I want to work to teach grade 4-7 teachers on how to teach mathematics to children. I'm also working on teaching my 2 year old nephew mathematics using a developmental Piagetian approach that encourages exploration rather than rigid structure.

I'm looking for a student to tutor in mathematics. Ideally, I'd like them to satisfy as many of these characteristics as possible: being an english language learner (ESL, or ebonics-speaking), being GLBT - Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, having a disability (dyscalculia, dyslexia, processing disorder, ADHD, etc), and/or being part of the leather or BDSM community.

So if anyone has a potential student, of any age, that fits some of those characteristics and could use help... pass them onto me. I do not tutor for pay-- work exchange, pro bono, or ithaca hours are all options ;-)

@Cheryl - I'd like to know

James Sheldon's picture
James Sheldon
Fri, 2010-10-08 15:51

@Cheryl - I'd like to know what topics you feel the most comfortable teaching your son. Also, what are his favorite mathematics topics so you could use those to build what you teach on top of...