Mathematics at University

High school mathematics classes are very different than those at university. Yes, mathematics classes at university are more difficult, but it is more than just that. When you learn mathematics at high school, all of the classes are about solving problems. The students are presented with the theory, the teacher demonstrates how to solve the problem using the theory and then the students try it for themselves.

What happens at university? Firstly, the classes are now lectures and so mathematics is now presented to the student rather than co-created with the student. Some problems are demonstrated, but often the lecture is mostly theory. The drawback is that the student must choose to put in the time in doing the problems outside of the class.

Some universities provide one hour of tutorial time per week or per two weeks. In these tutorials, often a postgraduate at the university will help the students in solving problems from a problem set. While this is welcomed, often the postgraduate is not as approachable as a high school teacher. The same can be said about the lecturer. Yes, you will find some lecturers who are only too happy to offer one-to-one time helping the students but this is not the norm. Most lecturers have their time taken up by research and they view classes as a secondary role of their job. This, of course, is not true for all third level institutes.

In addition to this, the mathematics courses themselves vary. For example, a student taking a course in statistics would be solving many more problems than a student taking pure algebra. Most questions in pure algebra are not “problem based” but rather “proof based”. That is, in statistical classes the student will need to solve a problem and in pure mathematical classes students would mostly be proving a result. The former is more reminiscent of high school mathematics classes.

My advice for students entering a mathematics course at a university would be to stay on top of the questions or problems the lecturer assigns. You will not have the same time in class you would have had at high school for solving problems. Mathematics is not a spectator sport; you must work at it. Mathematics is presented to students as something to “watch” but it is something to work at. And of course, if you find yourself having trouble in your course, then seek help straight away!


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Introduction to Online Advertising

Our next lesson covers the main items for online advertising. Advertising is probably the most important promotion tool for big brick-and-mortar companies. However, with a SEM businesses, advertising is only a supporting factor. The problem is that the majority of SEM businesses lack the scale to be able to effectively contact large numbers of prospects and clients. Furthermore, there aren’t many places on the Web where prospective clients come in flocks. Therefore, advertising is largely PPC-oriented.Actually, online advertising is advertising on the Internet. This particular form of advertising is a source of revenue for an increasing number of websites and companies.A significant number of firms, from small businesses to multinational corporations, incorporate online advertising into their marketing strategy. Online advertisements typically involve at least two separate firms: the advertiser or agency which purchases or sponsors the advertisement and the publisher or network which distributes the ad for display. Because of the close relationship between technical innovation and online advertising, many firms specialize in both. For example, most search engines couple their search service with an advertising program, exploiting the benefits of keyword-based search technology by including ads in search results.Let’s look closer on the most popular online advertising form as traditional banner. PPC advertising form will be explained in details in 8 lessons of our next Step.Traditional Banner
A Web banner or banner ad is a widely used form of advertising on the Internet. This kind of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a Web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking them to the advertiser’s website.Generally the advertisement is constructed from an image (GIF, JPEG, PNG), JavaScript program or multimedia object employing technologies such as Java, Shockwave or Flash, and often employing animation or sound to maximize presence. Images are usually in a high-aspect ratio shape. Banners are usually placed on Web pages that have interesting content, such as a newspaper article or an opinion piece.The Web banner is displayed when a Web page that references the banner is loaded into a Web browser. This event is known as an “impression”. When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a “click-through”. Many banner ads work on a click-through payback system.At the base of a click-through system are mathematical calculations of the number of users (users clicking on an ad) divided by impression number. We remember that the term impression means the number of times the ad was delivered. For example, if your banner ad was delivered 100 times (impressions delivered) and 1 person clicked on it (clicks recorded), then the resulting CTR would be 1%.It should be noted that banner ad click-through rates have fallen over time, often measuring significantly less than 1% and choice of an appropriate advertising site with high affinity is very important crucial factor in this situation. Personalized ads, unusual formats, and more obtrusive ads typically have higher click-through rates than standard banner ads.When the advertiser scans their log files and detects that a Web user has visited the advertiser’s site from the content site by clicking on the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider a small amount of money (usually around five to ten US cents). This payback system is often how the content provider is able to pay for the Internet access to supply the content in the first place.Nine Common Banner Ad Mistakes to Avoid
Banner advertising expert Rob Frankel advises e-marketers to avoid the following mistakes when creating their banner ads:
Overloaded. Too many colors. Too slow to load. Too hard to read. Nobody wants to grow old waiting for your banner ad to load. Frankel advises designing banner ads that will load and view easily with last year’s technology. “Personally, I design pages for people running no more than Netscape 2.0 on the equivalent of a 486 running at 66 MHz and 256 colors,” says Frankel. “That means your art should still be no deeper than eight bits, unless you’re a true minimalist and can bring it in at no more than four.”
Unattractive. People like good-looking stuff. What works for Cindy Crawford can work for you, too. So if you’re not a digital Da Vinci, find someone who is and pay him or her a few bucks to make your banner look great.
Too many bells and whistles. Just because technology offers you bells and whistles doesn’t mean you have to use every one of them. Chances are that the average Web surfer has been through several sites before he or she gets to your banner. Give the reader a break. Don’t overdo motion, movement, or message changes. And allow some time to digest what you’re displaying.
Illiteracy and illegibility. These are the ads that make you scrunch up your face and twist your head trying to make some sense out of the illegible scrawls that some knucklehead thinks are cool. But prospects don’t care how cool you think it looks. If they can’t read it, you’ve lost any chance of their clicking on it.
Missing link. Your banner looks great but isn’t linked to anything. That’s a mistake that anyone should be able to detect and prevent with a simple check.
Link errors. Your banner looks great. The link works… directly to a 404 message (meaning the requested Web page was not found). Maybe this one isn’t your fault. Maybe your webmaster inadvertently forgot to tell you he or she switched servers. But even if it was the webmaster’s fault, who do you think will catch the blame? Keep checking those banner links every few days.
Weak message. The same things that make good ads make good banners. Unfortunately, the same things that make bad ads make horrible banners. If you don’t know how to write and design a clever, compelling message, hire someone who does. Nothing turns off poten­tial prospects more than a really stupid attempt at being clever, an offense usually committed with the aid of a bad pun. Remember that your ad is a representative of you, containing a smattering of your personality and ability. If it looks dopey to a viewer, guess what they’re going to think about you? It’s better to be clear than clever.
Confusing message. Your banner looks pretty, but nobody understands what the heck you’re talking about. This is the number-one mistake made by do-it-yourselfers.
Boring banners. One common mistake is that your banner doesn’t compel your recipients to respond within a certain time frame. Without a deadline, there is no immediacy to act, which means they scroll away until they forget it.
Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, although Web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer’s interests.The evidence shows that Web banner ads are restricted by high cost and limited physical banner area. Let’s look at the Marketplace section of SearchEngineWatch.com:Out of 10 advertisers only 3 are in the SEM services business. These companies – BruceClay, KeywordRanking and MoreVisibility – are the largest players in the industry; they have enough wherewithal to run these ads and enough resources to satisfy a large flow of traffic.Pay per click advertising
Pay per click or PPC advertising is an arrangement in which webmasters (operators of websites), acting as publishers, display clickable links from advertisers, in exchange for a charge per click. As this industry evolved, a number of advertising networks developed which acted as middlemen between these two groups (publishers and advertisers). Each time a (believed to be) valid Web user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays the advertising network, who in turn pays the publisher a share of this money. This revenue sharing system is seen as an incentive for click fraud.Though many companies offer pay per click system as one of their services. Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly Overture) and MSN AdCenter are top players in this field.As far as PPC advertising is the first advertising option for any new on-line businesses it became one of the dominant and widely used marketing tools.What you should remember:
A Web banner is displayed when a Web page that references the banner is loaded into a Web browser. This event is known as an “impression”. When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a “click-through”.
Banners should be placed on Web pages that have interesting content, such as a newspaper article or an opinion piece.

Why The Net Is Your Best Bet for Business News

If you need to stay up to date with all the latest happenings and occurrences in the world of business, there’s no better way that to log onto the internet. The World Wide Web is indeed a goldmine for general company news, stock market trends and even emerging sector overviews. Put simply, to stay ahead of the game, get online.The great thing about the net is that there’s so much choice. Literally millions of different websites exist, and that means you can get the lo-down on pretty much any story, no matter how recent or far-fetched. Whether you want to know about a new CEO, an orange crop report or even the newest location of your favourite burger franchise, 5 minutes in cyberspace is all you need.Obviously the major news networks will have a greater scope to cover stories, but having said that you should never discount smaller or more niche oriented websites as they often have their ears closer to the ground. If someone makes it their business to know about a particular area, there’s a greater chance of finding more detail than at a larger authority site which is more concerned with the general facts. The best option however is to read a mixture, as that way you’ll never be left in the dark.Whatever type of industry you’re in, and whatever your job description might be, there’s no doubt that knowledge is power. From finance to marketing, law to politics, the more you know, the better off you’ll be. You might be the chairman of the board, or simply holding down the fort in an entry level position, but taking the time to read up on a variety of topics, related to your company or otherwise, is the key to success.Technology is definitely a wonderful thing, and these days you can receive all sorts of updates on your computer or smart phone from web based sources. Apps, emails, widgets and even real time tickers mean you’ll never miss a beat, and that’s a far cry from a few years ago when reading newspapers was the norm. Business itself has changed because of the web, and the exact opposite is true as well. It’s a perfect marriage that benefits regular individuals massively.Quite plainly then, the information highway is a real goldmine when it comes to staying up to date with pretty much anything these days. Having all the facts in one easily accessible place means you’ll be incredibly well informed and always able to make the right decisions. Log on and start surfing today- it’ll be the best thing you ever do from a career perspective!