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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Students are exercising their brains in the Math Success Lab and the Downtown Cafeteria

Photo by Iryna Levit
Math Instructor Volodymyr Opryshchenko (known by students as Mr. O.) helps Georgia Makal (L) and Maryam Huwail (R) with math assignments at the Math Success Lab in the C Building at MATC’s Downtown Campus.

I think many of us have heard the saying: “Mathematics is the gym for the mind.” We should perceive our brain as a muscle, which needs exercise the same as other muscles in our body. What else could be as good as math for your brain? And, with a little work out, you can improve your math grade too.

The Math Success Lab in the C Building at the Downtown Campus reopened during the Winterim after being shut down since the COVID-19 lockdown. The lab is a resource for students from all backgrounds and majors to get general assistance, computer use, self-study, and group-study in the facility. Experienced teachers help students with lessons, assignments, exam reviews, and preparation for Math 107, 115, 123, 134, and 200.

The Math Success Lab is headed by Volodymyr Opryshchenko or Mr. “O” as he is known by students. He recently joined the General Education Pathway team as an Educational Assistant. He has been with MATC for over 10 years in various positions. Mr. O’s passions are math and chess. “In my new role, I have been given the opportunity to lean into those fields. We are excited about reviving the Math Success Lab in the Downtown Campus after it has been left idle during the era of the Coronavirus,” he said.

Math Instructor Julie Gensrick helps AAS Transfer Program student Logan Bejzak during student support hours at the Math Success Lab in C353 at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus. (Photo by Iryna Levit)

The Math Success Lab’s support team consists of Bilingual Retention Coach Samantha Burgos, Retention Coach Shiquise M. Davis, and Mr. O. “Our goal is to establish group and one-on-one academic support sessions with students and collaborate with instructors to offer comprehensive assistance to students,” he said.

Students can stop by the lab (in C353) Monday thru Thursday from 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m. No appointment is necessary. There is also a Virtual Math Success Lab on Saturday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. ¥ou find the link here during those hours if you need help.

You can get lunch and exercise your brain too

You can give your brain another type of workout too by playing chess at the Downtown Cafeteria. Chess is variously described as a science, an art and a sport. It has the virtue of being completely free of the element of luck; the result of each game depends entirely upon the skill of the player.

People who practice chess improve their memory and develop critical thinking, logical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, as well as improve their concentration and visualization skills, by moving the pieces around the board in their minds. Playing the game also enhances your confidence and patience.

As a true mathematician, Mr O. is fond of the art of chess. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1  p.m. he can be found in the Downtown Campus Cafeteria waiting enthusiastically for people to exercise their brain by playing chess. Whether you love this game, don’t  know how to move the pieces on the board or are just curious, you can come to the cafeteria or the Math Success Lab to exercise your brain.

Math Instructor Volodymyr Opryshchenko plays chess with a student and an alumni at MATC’s Downtown Campus Cafeteria. (Photo by Iryna Levit)


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