Since his sophomore year, Ashton Hansen has been a tutor and member with Loyola’s Math & Stats Club. This year, as a junior, he operates as the club’s Secretary and Campus Activities Network (CAN) Representative.
Originally from Johnsburg, Ill., Ashton is majoring in statistics and holds a minor in finance. When he’s not busy with classes or tutoring for the club, he also works as a volunteer tutor for those who might need help with both math or non-math-related courses.
And when it comes to the Math & Stats Club, he wants you to know that they’re so much more than numbers and tutoring.
How did you get involved with the Math & Stats Club? What’s your favorite part about being involved?
I first heard of the Math & Stats Club from a friend. It was near the end of freshman year and we were both taking Calc II at that time. I was looking for a way that I could apply what I was learning in my math and statistics courses to help those around me while also meeting new people in the math & stats majors. When he told me that the Math & Stats Club tutored, it seemed that the club was exactly what I was looking for. I started attending tutoring sessions to see what the club was like and I decided to stick with it into sophomore year.
What makes the club so special to me is that it continuously pushes me to learn while letting me meet new people. You can’t really tutor when you don’t know what you’re talking about, so I find myself constantly reviewing what I have previously learned and looking to outside sources to broaden my knowledge of statistics. Funnily enough, most of the stats tutoring I’ve done has actually been from classes outside of the stats major. You get to meet new people all the time and learn from them the nuances of different focuses in statistics; people in PSYC 304 (Statistics [in Psychology]) come in quite frequently and there’s always something they do that’s different from what I did in my other stats classes. It’ll be on the same topic, but there’s just different quirks to the methods used. It’s the same thing for business stats and biostats as well, everyone does the same thing but with a slightly different spin. It’s actually pushing me to write a handbook on those differences just so everyone can be on the same page.
Do you have to love math to be involved? What sort of events do you throw?
It’s a common misconception that you need to love math or be good at tutoring to be involved. While tutoring is a major aspect of the club, it’s only part of what we do. The club is loosely organized due to its small size, so usually members spend time together in casual activities. Sometimes we have a soccer night, sometimes we play cards and other nights we just grab some dinner together after classes. This semester we had a lecture that included donuts and everyone being able to make their own Möbius band, and every spring semester we celebrate Pi Day with pies. Historically, we’ve made tutoring our primary objective, but this year we’ve been looking to expand social opportunities while maintaining our legacy as a tutoring organization. For example, we are working to make next semester’s Pi Day a joint event with another club. We are also looking to have a basketball game against the Physics Club, as well as a visit to the Adler Planetarium.
Given Loyola University Chicago’s background as a university heavily invested in sustainability and diversity, we are planning on incorporating these aspects of Loyola into future events. Some in the Math & Stats Club feel that students at Loyola would be interested in events related to these areas, and that will likely be one of our new objectives going into the spring semester: to build students’ interest in mathematics by showing them how it can relate to their own pursuits. Of course, these are just some possibilities of what may come. We are always open to ideas that come from within the club as well as those that are external.
If you want to get involved with Loyola’s Math & Stats Club, feel free to reach out to email@example.com for more information.