Academic Support Services

Division of Student Services

Academic Support Workshops - Fall 2016

Each semester, Academic Support staff host a series of workshops for students, covering both general study skills, and quantitative topics. A current list of workshops is shown below, but more may be added throughout the semester, so sign up for workshop alerts here!

All Academic Support Workshops are held in the conference room of the Dorothy Johansen House, unless otherwise noted. Topics for workshops are student-driven. If you have a suggestion for a new workshop, or if you missed one of last year's events and would like to see it repeated, please let us know!

Study Skills Workshops

To ensure that there is space, students are encouraged to RSVP to David Gruber, phone: 503/517-7722.

Academic Success Skills for New Reedies: Even if you had it all figured out in high school, Reed often requires a more comprehensive set of study skills. Find out how to prepare for the academic challenges that lie ahead. Returning Reedies will share tips and advice about studying, note taking, stress management, and how to take advantage of academic resources at Reed.

  • Tuesday, September 6 from 4-5pm
  • Thursday, September 8 from 11-noon
  • Monday, September 12 from 4:30-5:30pm

Reading Effectively: Develop strategies getting more out of what you read, even when you’re pressed for time. We will discuss annotation strategies as a means to enhance understanding.

  • Wednesday, September 21 from 4:30-5:30pm

Time Management: Time management is more than calendars and daily schedules. Learn how knowing your style and playing to your strengths can lead to a better personal form of time management.

  • Tuesday, September 27 from 4:30-5:30pm

Getting Involved in Class Discussion: Participating in conference is an essential part of the Reed educational experience. Review the hows and whys of asking questions, responding to others, and contributing your own point of view.

  • Monday, October 3 from 4:30-5:30pm

Preventing Procrastination: Explore the pros (yes, pros!) and cons of procrastinating, consider why so many students do it, and develop strategies to help you deal with procrastination.

  • Wednesday, October 12 from 4:30-5:30pm

Success Skills for Finals: Learn how to study effectively while staying balanced and focused. It can be done!

  • Monday, December 5 from 4:30-5:30pm

Quantitative Skills Workshops

To ensure that there is space, students are encouraged to RSVP to Emily Suvada: phone: 503/517-7690. Students who RSVP will also get a reminder email.

“Quant Bites” Open-Door Lunchtime Series

This open-door series, held over the first two weeks of classes in Gray Conference Room D (next to commons), is a casual way to self-assess your quantitative skills early in the semester, and identify areas to improve. Bring your lunch and work through a problem set, ask questions, and learn about quantitative support at Reed. There will be stickers!

“Appetizing Algebra” - Wednesday, August 31 from noon-1pm, GCC-D: Fractions, percentages - they’re not just for tipping. Exponents and radicals are not political groups. Solve some (mathematical) inequalities, factor some formulas… And what are those logarithm things, again?

“Gourmet Graphs” - Thursday, September 1 from noon-1pm, GCC-D: Ah, linear equations. X-s and Y-s, dependent and independent variables. This session enters the territory of “terms people use in movies to sound smart”. Transform some axes to logarithmic scales, and check the slope of that line. You can sound smart in movies, too!

“Lunchtime Lab Skills” - Tuesday, September 6 from noon-1pm, GCC-D: Scientific notation. How, when, and above all - why?? Refresh yourself on the metric system to figure out how far those 5km Pokemon Eggs need to be carried. Dip into some dimensional analysis that’ll help in your science courses. Lab coat not required, but feel free to wear one anyway.

“Scrumptious Statistics” - Thursday, September 8 from noon-1pm, GCC-D: Means, modes, medians. Standard deviation, z-scores. These are all real terms, I swear. Statistics aren’t just used in science - they’re part of every news article and political conversation these days - and 74.6% of all quoted statistics are incorrect*. Get ahead of the commentators and refresh this vital skill. (*just like this one. Wait, is this a paradox?)

DoJo Quantitative Skills Workshops

Success in Quantitative Subjects: Plan to build a strategy early in semester to succeed in your quantitative subjects. Learn about tutoring, office hours, and academic support on campus, as well as online resources. Add some new study skills to your toolbox, and talk to other students about revision and exam preparation.

  • Friday, September 2 from 4-5 PM
  • Monday, September 19 from 4-5 PM
  • Thursday, October 27 from 11 AM - noon

Quantitative Lab Skills: In this session, we’ll cover topics like Scientific Notation, Error Analysis, Dimensional Analysis, and the Metric System. Work through examples, ask questions, and identify focus areas to improve on in order to succeed in your science subjects.

  • Wednesday, September 14 from 10am-11am
  • Wednesday, September 14 from 11am-noon (Immediately after previous session)
  • Thursday, September 22 from 11am-noon

Logarithms Refresher: An in-depth workshop covering what logarithms are, why they’re used, and what their properties are. Learn about different log bases, log plots and log identities, and run through problem sets. Bring your laptop if you’d like to try log problems in Excel.

  • Monday, September 12 from 2:30-3:30 PM

Introductory Excel: Spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel provide powerful tools for performing calculations and displaying data. In this workshop, we will cover the basics of entering data, sorting and filtering, formulas and functions, and graphing. No prior experience with Excel is required.

  • Tuesday, August 30 from 4-5 PM
  • Tuesday, September 13 from 11-noon

Algebra Refresher: These workshops are a chance to refresh many of the key algebra topics you’ll use in a range of subjects. Topics include: order of operations, fractions and percentages, binomials, factoring, solving equations, exponents and logarithms. Since this is a lot of ground to cover, we’ll start each session with a discussion of what you’d like to focus on, and work through examples and problem sets. Feel free to attend multiple sessions. The workshop is scheduled before lunch so that you can stick around and keep working with Emily’s help for a little longer, if you’d like.

  • Friday, September 16 from 11am-noon
  • Tuesday, September 20 from 11am-noon
  • Wednesday, September 28 from 11am-noon

Additional Quantitative Skills Workshops

These additional workshops, as well as any previously listed workshops, are available on request. Groups of two or more students can book a custom workshop, and faculty can request any of the Quant Skills workshops to be tailored for their class. If you’d like a workshop which would fit under the scope of Quantitative Skills but don’t see it here, please contact Emily at

Linear Equations and Graphing: Refresh the definitions of independent vs dependent variables, slopes and intercepts, and logarithmic scales. Discuss the most common types of graphs and charts. Work with sample problems/data and, if requested in advance, work through the graphing functionality of a program of your choice (Excel, Google Sheets, R, MATLAB, etc).

Statistics Refresher: Refresh the basics - populations vs samples. Means, modes, medians, standard deviation, Z-scores. Work with sample data and, if requested in advance, work through these statistical quantities in a program, or language of your choice (Excel, Google Sheets, R, python, MATLAB, SQL, etc).

MATLAB Help Session: Using MATLAB for your thesis or class? I’ve written several million lines of MATLAB code, shrinking processes from minutes to microseconds, and would love to help with any topics from MATLAB basics, graphing, building GUIs, vectorizing and optimizing code, linking to Excel or databases, using convex optimizers, etc. Advance notice required.

Weapons-Grade Excel: Learn how to use VBA, form controls and read/write functionality to build a fancy front-end for analysing or viewing data. Learn skills to help you turn repetitive tasks into algorithms, automatically generate reports, and even send emails with with one click. Learn about hiding, protecting, and formatting sheets to create a smooth, easy-to-use and protected user interface.


The Academic Resource Center and academic support services staff are located in the Dorothy Johansen (DoJo) House.

David Gruber
Assistant Dean of Students for Academic Support

Emily Suvada
Quantitative Skills & Academic Support Coordinator