mathspecial.com, in its current state, is not (and will probably never be) a production website but is
instead an experiment maintained in a strictly personal capacity with no connection to my institution.
I, Cédric MAZET, PhD, must, however, mention that I am proud to serve
as a post-doctoral temporary teaching and research fellow.
Credit is due to
Professor Emil ERNST
creator of the base teaching materials used during the mathematics SPO1U12 flipped classroom course.
Credit is also due to my colleagues,
Professor Amélie LITMAN
Léo VIVION, PhD
for their invaluable advice that enabled me to approach this teaching experience confidently.
As one of the most prominent French academic institutions, Aix-Marseille University is at the cutting edge of an ongoing effort to build tomorrow’s public and inclusive solutions for higher education.
I now enter this battle on my own modest scale.
Based on a development version of an online educational platform in mathematics, mathspecial.com was initially intended to offer graduate-level content generally not covered in detail by the leaders in the sector. Imagery and atmosphere were initially intended to be quite extreme, breaking all the usual market codes.
Domain names were indeed registered months ago.
For instance, the main .com domain was registered in March 2022. A tiny chunk of the online content of my PhD thesis was obviously used as test content.
Technically, MathSpecial is pretty straightforward. This website is based on the WordPress CMS (content management system), using a paid Eduma / LearnPress license.
As I keep telling students, anyone should be able to deploy such solutions in two minutes by the end of their academic instruction.
Students must learn how to use the tools of their time.
It’s simply a matter of survival.
Otherwise, they might as well remain on the side of the road in the world of Industry 4.0.
For instance, using MathPix eliminates the need to type LaTeX code for mathematical formatting.
Taking a picture of the notebook where I wrote a solution for such or such exercise, and using the MathPix API now makes for very fast online posting! There is nothing complicated about all this stuff. These are ready-to-use tools. Take advantage of these solutions and
make an impact.
All of this is consistent with my track record during my PhD thesis. Under the direction of my advisor, Professor Xavier Roulleau, from Angers University, I had the great honor of producing the world’s first PhD thesis in mathematics whose final result is fully materialized into an online support.
K3surfaces.com has indeed been recognized in the referees’ reports as an integral part of my PhD thesis, with the same status as the traditional manuscript accompanying it. Here is an extract from the report written by Doctor Davide Cesare Veniani regarding my PhD thesis :
“The structure of the thesis is somewhat unusual. Indeed, it not only consists
of a standard thesis, delivered in the form of a pdf file, but also of a website,
and of a zip file containing all the programs.”
The cloud is the new frontline
It is true that the scientific value of the online content in my PhD thesis has been certified by experts from prestigious academic institutions such as
Stuttgart University, Università Statale di Milano,
…The reader may however wonder
What was the point of using an online support? Where is the extra value?
Accessibility is key
Anyone can download my programs, look at examples, understand the concepts, mechanics, and understand the algorithms, no matter whether there are students, pro researchers, gals, or guys in their basements…
At least, all this material might be useful to someone one day…
And I know it already is!
Always inspired by this spirit of innovation, inclusion, equality, knowledge sharing, and transmission,
I took the initiative to make publicly available all the work I produced during my time as a temporary teaching and research fellow at Aix-Marseille University.
Today’s higher education is a battle waged online.
Our mission, as experts, as instructors, always on the brink of innovation, is to mobilize all our skills and tools at our disposal so that we can provide the best possible content for our students, delivered on support relevant to their era.
It is important to note that most of the content of MathSpecial
takes its roots in pedagogical material produced by my current institution’s math department.