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Math Success at Smith

The Math Success at Smith team is a group of faculty and staff across the college who are interested in retaining students' interest in STEM+ and enhancing their persistence in STEM+ courses by supporting the students and providing resources. All of us are passionate about helping students succeed! Please contact the team through

At Smith, we offer opportunities for math success to every student. Here are a few elements of successfully completing mathematics or statistics courses:

  • Choose the correct course. Conversations with instructors in the Department of Mathematics are often the best way to determine what course you should take. During Orientation, the “Conversations with Faculty [and Instructors]” at the Indoor Track and Tennis facility and the “Information Fair” on Chapin Lawn offer you opportunities to discuss your options. You may also want to read about the calculus sequence and read to the “Courses” subsection “Choosing Your First Mathematics Course” on the Department of Mathematical Sciences webpage.
  • Understand where your skills are now. Some instructors give an assessment at the beginning of their course, and as an entering first year student, you will have access to using an online adaptive learning tool called ALEKS.
  • Review prerequisite material. Your instructor may have links to review material or may direct you to review sessions (such as the Review Workshops offered by the Spinelli Center) or to tutoring sessions to make sure you have the needed foundations for the new material.
  • Seek help early and often.
    • Your instructor wants you to come to office hours. You don’t need to have a “good” question, you can ask half-formed questions or just go to get to know them! Go to your instructor’s office hours early in the semester so it will be easier to go later when you have more, or more difficult, questions.
    • Math TAs hold drop-in hours, as do the Q-Tutors and the Calculus Counselor.
    • Similarly, Stats TAs and the Data Counselor (and some Q-Tutors) have drop-in hours for help with statistics and data science courses.

Current Initiatives

Our team is piloting online experiences to help new students even before they arrive on campus.


The first initiative, launched in Summer 2018, used the ALEKS tool an online adaptive learning tool (the acronym stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Space).


Our current initiative uses a summer bridge program called ONEXSS (Online Experiences for Smith Scholars) by building on a program that has shown success at Yale.

Contact Spinelli Center for Quantitative Learning

Seelye Hall 207
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3091 Email:

Director: Catherine McCune, Ph.D.
Calculus Counselor: Se Ho Kwak
Data Counselor: Gabriel Lewis