The Ohio State University at Lima

Coffee and a math problem or two

February 23, 2023

Dr. Ivo Herzog (right) talks to a student during office hours in the Webb

Easy access to faculty is just one of the many advantages available to Ohio State Lima students

Every day after class, Professor Ivo Herzog makes his way to the Perry Webb Student Life Building and finds a comfortable hi-top table to set up his shot of expresso, his tablet and his books. Then he waits for his students to start popping in.

“At first, they would not say hello, but they would work right next to me. They just know I am here and usually I will take some work of my own out that I can take care of,” Herzog says. “They know I’m here and they come to me.”

He answers questions. They work through problems together, sometimes at the hi-top, sometimes in one of the conference rooms that has walls meant to be written on.

Herzog is happy to do whatever it takes to help his students understand his area of study – mathematics. He meets them where they are both in terms of understanding and geographically. In one class, several of his students hung out in the Veterans Lounge in Galvin and would text with questions. Sometimes they would come to him in the Webb during his office hours and sometimes he would walk over to the lounge. He also lets students know that they can always use Zoom when they run into a puzzle.

“I told them you can call me in the evenings. What am I doing, watching the TV? You’re just going to prevent me from bingeing on Netflix,” Herzog says and smiles.

Herzog realizes that how we understand math can be different person to person and even generation to generation. He encourages peer-to-peer collaboration both in the classroom and through the Learning Center. All the tutors are hand-picked by the math faculty and tutoring is free.

“The Learning Center is a place you can just go and work. They won’t bother you if you just want to work there. If you get a group of people from our class struggling together, that’s the best way to learn,” Herzog says. “If you can’t do it, then you can go ahead and consult a tutor.”

The student tutors from the Learning Center don’t limit themselves to the third floor of Galvin. If someone asks for help, the Webb is as good a place as any to give it. Herzog often sees one of the tutors that he recommended from a previous class answering questions from a booth in the Webb.

“One of my students from my class went up to her when she was here and asked her for some help. I think she was very flattered,” Herzog says. “She really liked the idea that they know who she is and that even off the clock that they can ask her.”

Ivo Herzog in the Webb with a cup of expresso

Dr. Ivo Herzog is a professor of mathematics at The Ohio State University at Lima. His area of expertise include model theory of modules, functor categories and homological algebra. Learn more