Anonymous comments from students (written in the UW Course Evaluation System)

MATH 324 (Spring 2017)
- Mariana's enthusiasm and care for whether or not we learned was by far the most important factor for my learning in this class. I have never had a professor show much care for their students and it can be extremely discouraging when they are apathetic and cause myself to be apathetic and less caring as well. Seeing her put so much effort into the class and students made me want to put in just as much too.
- Mariana is the only teacher I've had that gives personal feedback after each test. That is dedication to the students, and I will be forever impressed by how she went above and beyond for each student to improve. I felt discouraged after doing not so well on the first midterm, but after heeding her advice I did much better on the second one. Here's hoping I can do the same on the final.
- Mariana's constant willingness to assist in learning: be it through emails, office hours, or questions in class, she always wants us to learn and is incredibly patient.
- She was always there to help and really pushed students to ask questions and come to office hours or write emails. She made sure that we left each class knowing the material inside out.
- Mariana's teaching style is fantastic. Everything is very easy to follow. And at the end of every class Mariana would give us some practice problems for us to work on ourselves which I think it's not common in the university but very very helpful. Mariana is the best instructor I've had at UW.
- Mariana presented this material in a way that explained it's relevance, which allowed me to have appreciation of what I am learning. I will truly miss this class as I found it a very informative, interesting and fun usage of my time!
- The teacher was always engaged with the students and providing help whenever she could. walking around during class to help and sending individual feedback after quizzes helped
- Teacher's passion for the course enticed students to work hard.
- Mariana is one of the best teachers I have had here at UW! She is so inspiring and has made me love math again!
- Mariana contributed most to my learning. I had the good fortune of taking her class last quarter, and upon hearing that she was teaching Math 324 this quarter, I immediately registered. When I need help, she is always incredibly receptive to emails and will make time in her busy schedule to meet me in person, outside of office hours. On top of this, Mariana will grade exams within a day and writes each of us a personalized email with feedback. She is incredibly dedicated and willing to go above and beyond. I could not have asked for a better professor.
- Always openly encouraged everyone to come to office hours and ask questions, even if we had to ask through email because we were uncomfortable; example/practice problems that were given at the end of a lecture were incredibly helpful; explanations were always clear and consistent (e.g. repeating every time we did polar "Do not forget the extra r!" really helped me remember to multiply by the extra r); including some extra credit here and there to help boost grades of those willing to do the work was also very nice.
- The examples and the teacher's willingness and caring answers contributed. She didn't lecture for the whole time and let us do practice problems for the last twenty minutes and personally walked around and helped out.
- (On what aspects of this class contributed most to the student's learning) Mariana's level of effort in reaching out to students. Best math class I've taken at UW, because of the availability of help and her ability to explain concepts in a manner that makes sense.
- The professor is amazing and super enthusiastic and great at explaining things. It was also really nice that she gave us practice problems at the end of class and walked around and helped people. The fact that she wrote individual emails to people explaining what we did well or got wrong on exams and quizzes also made it feel much more worthwhile to put extra effort into the class.

MATH 307 (Winter 2017)
- Mariana is hands down the best math teacher I have ever had. She explains things so well and clearly and always gives excellent answers to questions. She is always encouraging and willing to help, she'll respond to emails at any time! Mariana is simply the best.
- My professor! She was the most kind and helpful professor I have had at UW so far. I could tell she cared deeply about whether students actually understood what she was teaching. She was kind and caring and wanted all her students to learn and do well, as opposed to some professors who hope most of their class fails. Professor Garcia was clear in her explanations and was constantly "reading" the faces of her students to see if they were understanding her clearly. She encouraged us to send her emails when we were confused, which I did several times, and she was always quick to give a helpful response. She never shamed students for not knowing something and she fostered an good learning environemtn.
- It was the first class in a while where I actually enjoyed going to lecture and learned a lot from lecture, I was excited to go to class and Mariana's examples were really helpful on the exams.
- Mariana was super enthusiastic about helping us not just do well in the class but also to really understand the concepts behind the numbers and letters we were writing. She was always reminding us of how she was always willing to answer questions over email or after class which I know many people, including me, appreciated.
- I think this class is perfect. Professor teaches clearly with enthusiasm and willing to help students.
- Mariana was incredibly helpful! She was always available to help me whenever I needed it. It was very clear she has great understanding of her subject and was also able to explain the information to me very well. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work made it exciting to go to class each day!
- I personally believe that finding solutions to differential equations can be pretty dry at times, so having an instructor so devoted and enthusiastic as Mariana made the course much more fun.
- Instructor was *very* available and enthusiastic about helping her students learn the material
- Mariana did examples during class and walked around to help which was extremely helpful. She's probably the best math professor I've had at UW so far so lecture helped a lot. The notes were very clear and the problems were also clearly explained
- Yes, Mariana did a great job in making sure that the class was stimulating and making sure we learned the material.
- Mariana's lecture is really good with excellent explaining and providing useful materials!!
- Give Mariana tenure, all the research funding you have, and let her teach whatever she wants. That woman is a catch, do not let her go!

MATH 324 (Fall 2016)
- Mariana was a huge help. Her lectures were amazing and she teaches everything clearly. She is a phenomenal teacher and person, and wanted to get everybody to understand the course material.
- Examples in class were relevant and useful since they let us apply new (and somewhat abstract) theorems to specific problems. Prof. Garcia was really approachable and honestly made me want to work harder in this class because I felt that she cared about students' success. She definitely is one of the best professors I've had at UW (and I'm a senior so that's saying something).
- You are one of the best professors that taught me in UW. I really appreciate your effort in this course. I can see that you want to make sure that we learn from this class. A person like you will be a well-known person in this university because of your effort and kindness.
- Very engaging instructor. Asked questions of the students, gave problems in class, could tell when the room did not have her full attention and could reengage with humor and restating confusing ideas.
- The professor. Mariana is hands down one of the best professors I've had at UW. Her lectures are clear and concise, have a lot of examples, and correlate directly to the homework and tests. She gives so many practice problems and extra credits for us outside the normally assigned work. Her office hours are incredibly helpful as she is willing to answer any question and always has a great explanation. She is also extremely supportive and will answer emails and send us extra problems tailored to the individual student. She cares so much and is so good at her job. Mariana is honestly an inspiration and I feel very lucky to have had her. She goes above and beyond for her students.
- It was well taught and organized and she was enthusiastic about us actually learning the materials and was willing to meet with us outside of office hours to help out. Best math teacher I've had at UW.
- There are no aspects of this course that detracted from learning. The instructor is very capable of communicating concepts to students and showed a genuine desire to make sure the content was being learned. That is a valuable trait as a teacher because of its ability to create a welcoming learning environment and it helps to stave off unhealthy stress.
- Hire Mariana full time! Give her tenure! And all the funding she needs! Don't let Mariana go!
- Mariana's explanations are easy to understand and she ensures our questions are heard and answered
Anonymous comments from students (written in the Purdue Course Evaluation System)

- Mariana is adamant about making sure that students understand the material. She always expects questions to be asked and is open to questions and when asked, she conjures up a great and informative response. Overall, she is very involved with her students as she expects in-class participation through the forms of student response and in-class problems. Her prowess in Calculus has greatly facilitated my learning and allowed me to gain an overall better than average understanding of the subject.
- Mariana was extremely helpful and knowledgable in the subject area. She knows how students learn and what to do to help them understand. Her explanations are thorough and she answers questions so that they make sense.
- She's great. Always prepared and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that we understand what is being taught. Although I've never needed extra help, I'm sure that she would bet the kind of teacher that would do anything to help me understand the material.
- I thought this course was taught very well. I liked that you make us do problems then come around and check them. It helped me learn the material a lot better.
- Overall, great job! It is very easy to learn in your class. Keep it up :)
- Ms. Garcia is a great teacher. She gives wonderful examples and is always asking if we understand. If someone does not understand she goes back and explains it till the student is better understanding. She also stresses that we can always email her or come to her for help.
- I liked that you go around and make sure that we know what we are doing and take the time to explain it to us individually if we need help.
- Overall a great math instructor. She keeps students interested and outlines every concept that could be present on an exam. Also, she is open to all questions and explains difficult concepts clearly. - Amazing Teacher
- I liked it when you allowed us an opportunity to work problems in class and then get immediate assistance from you. Keep doing that.
- I just loved everything!!
- She makes sure the students know the material and gives quizzes that I think are fair and make sure that students know the material without making them to difficult.
- the instructor, Mariana is a fantastic teacher. I would not recommend any changes to her teaching style!
- Best T.A. I have ever had. Did an awesome job of teaching the class. Great Job.
- The instructor can be clearly understood and tries to make jokes in class to make math more enjoyable (or as enjoyable as it can be). Also like how the homework is due after the next class so you have time question during that class and apply that the the homework.
- One of the better math teachers ive had.
-I really appreciated how well and how patiently you explained things.
- Ms. Garcia was an excellent teacher!!

-Mariana gives great examples in class that help us later on for the homework. She is very friendly, always available, very approachable and likeable. She strongly encourages us to go to the math help room and is always open to speak with students. She has been a great instructor and I have enjoyed having her.
- She explains things in a slow and simple manner which helps us to understand quicker
- My instructor is always open to students' opinions and is also always willing to help students understand the concepts clearly. She is not only a well-teaching instructor, but also a very friendly and open minded person to students. - Marianna is very organized, I love that about her. She is a WONDERFUL instructor!
- She is very personable with the class and is good at teaching the material.
- She was very helpful and very sweet. I would consider myself a girfted and hardworking student, but math is not my subject. Although I still didn't do nearly as well as I wanted in this course, she made me feel more comfortable about asking questions than any teacher in my past. - The instructor speaks very well and is so far the only instructor that has been able to teach me math.
- She always makes sure that everyone understands a concept before moving on.
- She give great examples and is very helpful in answering questions.
- Very kind, open to suggestions, very considerate of students, made the concepts taught very clear.
- She was a very thorough and helpful teacher. She explained things very well when a question arose, making sure everyone understood the material.
- It was really helpful how available she was outside of the classroom. She quickly responded to emails and I even went to office hours once before an exam. She was very helpful and really helped me to understand the material, and made me feel comfortable to ask questions.
- It was really beneficial to have examples given that followed what the homework was. Without that I would have been completely lost, honestly. I would definitely keep that up because I think it may be the only reason some people are passing the class.
- I appreciate how willing you were to answer any questions, whether that meant in class or through e-mail. It was good to see that you genuinly wanted every single student to fully understand the subject matter.
- She is awesome, one of the best math teachers that I have ever had. Helpful, explains things well, and has a sense of humor which brings life to class. Please keep her around!
-She is a wonderful teacher and in comparison to other teachers, from information by students, I believe that she much more completely covers the material that the homework will be over and reviews properly for the test.
-I think that she does a wonderful job of answering questions. Also, she is always more than happy to help us outside of class and makes the class very easy because she is fast with replying to emails and easy to connect. I do not enjoy math, but she has really made the class less difficult.
-Ms. Smit Vega Garcia does an excellent job of teaching and explaining the material. She is always very organized and relaxed in front of the class.
-I thorougly enjoyed my instructor. She seemed very concerned that the whole class grasped each concept thoroughly, and she encouraged the class to ask many questions. This helped make the course more managable and beneficial. Thanks
-She is one of the best teachers I have here at Purdue! She always makes sure we understand before she moves on to new material.
-Well, it's math so of course it's hard. But I think Mariana does an excellent job of explaining the concepts to us and then further making sure that we fully comprehend them.
- She is dedicated to her job. Seems like she likes her job, and does a good job! Hope I get her for 154
- Ms. Smit Vega Garcia is always well prepared for classes and is always ready to teach and answer students' questions in a correct way. I am always happy to take her class because she is good at not only teaching but also being friendly to all of the students in my class!

- Wonderful instructor. She was very helpful, always willing to answer questions, and knew the material. She was prepared and had extra questions ready if we didn't have any. She kept the class moving, was easy to understand, and explained things clearly.
- When there are no problems that we are having trouble with, she picks others to do to make sure we know what we are doing. She is a great TA.
- Mariana's examples at recitation were a lot of help. She clearly explained all steps and left no one behind.
- I wouldn't change anything about Mariana. She is very intelligent and helpful all of the time.
- Mariana it was great to have you for a TA. You are able to explain the course content in terms that are very understandable. Thank you!
- I'm not sure whether i'm going to pass or not, but you clearly explained the problems. If i do pass it will be due to the topics that were covered in recitation.
- She always said we can come to her office hours and send an email if we don't understand something. We could tell she really wanted us to understand the material. She should replace the 3:30 professor
- Good explanations, step by step, very helpful to students, very aware of what needs to be focused on and what needs explanations. Very good!!
- Mariana helps students very well. She is always available for help. Great teacher.
- You are so helpful! It was great that you understood the material that you had to help us learn and you had more knowledge about the subject than the basics that we were learning in class. So you were able to give us well thought out explanations for why problems' solutions were what they were. You are a very good teacher. :)
- She was vey good at helping us understand the content and trying to help us learn.

- She's very respectful, organized and helpful. She maintains an upbeat environment in the classroom and keeps me engaged.
- She shows genuine concern that the students are really learning the material and that I appreciate. She always is wanting questions to be asked.
- She is open to any questions that we have. Also, her involving the students in class, by asking them to solve questions on the board, is innovative and good for the students.
- She did a very good job of explaining problems to the class and showing examples of what exactly a student wanted to see.
- great explanations
- Best TA I have had here at Purdue.
- She explained things very well
- For the class being at 8:30 in the morning, I was very happy to be in her class.
- My ta was always well prepared for class, and she was always open to questions. If I did not understand something, I could email her and she would always give great help.
- The instructor always explained material very clearly and was able to answer almost every question asked. Since our recitation was early, a lot of the time people didn't ask a lot of questions so she came prepared with example problems.
- Mariana was very helpful in explaining homework problems and answering questions about the class. She always knew how to work out the problem and did so in a clear manner.
- Mariana was very nice and friendly during class. This helped promote an understanding of the material.
- She was very clear in her explanations and was very friendly.
- Mariana was very well organized and prepared for class.
- The instructor is always prepared and ready to help when people ask questions. She always answers emails and takes the time to help me out individually when I seek out her help.
- Always very prepared and so helpful with explaining the math - the quizzes are a little difficult, though.
- She's really smart and good at explaining things. She also shows a lot of respect for the class.
- Mariana Smit Vega Garcia is easily the best teaching assistant I have had then entire time I've been at Purdue. She does a great job preparing us for exams and teaching the material.
- Good job.
- I like that our recitation instructor gives us so much time to ask questions.
- She is always concerned that the students ask the questions and decide what material to cover in class for that day. The quizzes are graded a little tougher than I expected. I would say that she understands the material and knows how to properly help the class and can understand where students are having difficulty.
- She is a great instructor.
- Very polite, organized and helpful.
- The recitation teacher is excellent. I am happy with the way she teaches us.
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