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

MATH 226 - Limits and Infinite Series (Spring 2023)
- Mariana is one of the best educators in this entire department - I will always choose to take classes with her if they are offered. She is passionate about what she does and genuinely cares about the success and well-being of her students. More professors should strive to teach with her compassion and eloquence.
- Mariana is an excellent prof. Inspiring, engaging, well spoken, understanding, the list goes on. I wish I could take more courses with Mariana, and I think other math professors could learn a lot from her style of teaching/grading/course set up.
- Mariana is a delight and always strives for the participation and understanding of each student. The course material is challenging and interesting, and quizzes and exams are well-written. Lectures are given in a format that is easy to follow with ample time for asking questions.
- The professor was extremely knowledgeable about the material and wanted everyone to succeed. The practice quizzes were so helpful.
- Mariana was an amazing teacher and always makes sure everyone is understanding the material. She gives a lot of outside material to help with studying and learning.
- Mariana did a fantastic job making an already difficult course less stressful. She is an absolute gem!

MATH 312 - Proofs in Elementary Analysis (Spring 2023)
- Mariana is easily the best professor here at Western and this class would not have been so impactful without her.
- This has truly been one of my favorite classes at WWU, both in the content, manner of instruction and course organization.
- Mariana herself is the strength of this course. The subject is very tough but Mariana did a great job helping get the understanding of it.
- Mariana was fantastic. Love the mix of lecture and group work time.
- One of the best Math Professors I've had in a while. Thank you for being so considerate throughout the course.
- I really liked this class! I've taken classes with Mariana before & I really like her teaching style.

MATH 422/522 - Methods of Mathematical Analysis II (Winter 2023)
- The course was phenomenal in every aspect, from teaching to grading of assignments to notes/resources.
- Mariana's presentation of material during lectures is excellent. She moves at a lively pace without rushing, and frequently checks with the class to ensure their understanding. Additionally, her presence during office hours is invaluable; she is extremely sharp, insightful, and kind. Her warm attitude invites all students to participate.
- Thank you for another awesome quarter of analysis!
- The instructor is an incredibly skilled teacher who always does her best to bring her A game.

MATH 331 - Ordinary Differential Equations (Winter 2023)
- Greatest teacher at Western, exemplary work, more profs should strive to match her!
-The lecture and actual teaching was superb.
- Amazing instructor, great at checking in with students and encouraging us to ask questions, good at explaining things and why they are useful in real life, always super happy to help with anything, makes class fun, super energetic which makes everyone enjoy class more, genuinely cares about every single student, feels like someone I can trust and count on, almost like a friend. Asking about our weekend makes the student-instructor relationship feel more comfortable and fun.
- I absolutely loved being your student and I wish I could take all my classes from you.
- Professor Smit Vega Garcia seems as excited to teach as a student should be to learn, which helps motivate to want to suceed. She is always asking if we have questions and never rushes progress. She goes the extra mile to ensure we have all the materials needed to keep up.
- Mariana is an excellent teacher. She makes sure everyone understand, and she clearly has a passion for this work.
- Best Math teacher I've had yet!
- I had a great time in this class! I intend to take further Math classes with Mariana if I have the chance.
- Mariana did an excellent job, and was my favorite Math teacher on campus by far. Thank you!

MATH 438/538 - Limits and Infinite Series (Fall 2022)
- Best math professor at WWU bar none. Give her a raise.
- This course was a highlight of my quarter.
- I don't have any (suggestions for improvement). You are so dialed as a teacher. It was really amazing to watch and think about pedagogy.
- Every aspect of the course was exceptional!
- Mariana is an excellent lecturer and is very generous with her time in office hours. She asks great questions and when students are uncertain, she seems to instantly know why. So, she is greatest strength of the course, and her way of teaching.
- Honestly, this was a great class and I can't think of anything to improve.

MATH 331 - Ordinary Differential Equations (Fall 2022)
- Professor Mariana Smit Vega Garcia is one of, if not the best professors I have ever had. She has a passion for teaching and the course material and Western is very lucky to have her!
- Mariana is an excellent teacher with a very good understanding of the subject, and ability to communicate that understanding.
- Professor's lectures were most definitely the biggest strength of the course.
- Your classroom structure and presence were great! High enthusiasm and I felt engaged learning the material.
- Mariana is an extremely engaging and passionate instructor! Her love for math made learning a subject as difficult as diff. eqs. fun and easy. Lectures were helpful and she always encouraged questions. Exams were consistent with lecture content and homework, so they were very fair.
- The teaching method was definitely a highligh of the course.
- This has been my favorite math course during my entire time at western, and I would take another class with Mariana in a heartbeat!

MATH 204 - Elementary Linear Algebra (Spring 2022)
- By far the best class I've taken at Western. The energy given off during lecture is infectious and makes me want to come to class. I really appreciated the dedicated review and example times for tests/quiz items and for concepts needed to build upon. Thank you!
- I thought the teaching of this course was superb. This is a difficult subject and the professor did a great job guiding students and helping them as much as she could.
- I struggle a lot with pure math like this, so even though it's still very hard, you have amazing explanations that help so much.
- The professor was super enthusiastic about class which made it much easier to learn. The expectations were clearly defined without much hassle and the quizzes and tests were super well written.

MATH 331 - Ordinary Differential Equations (Spring 2022)
- Best professor at Western, hands down.
- Best math class/professor I have had at Western.
- One of the best/most productive/most engaging classroom experiences I've had if not the best.
- This class was taught incredibly well. Mariana speaks and explains very clearly and concisely, and really cares about students doing well. She always takes time to answer questions and is so welcoming. Her grading is the fastest I've ever seen, and quizzes/exams are a fair difficulty despite complexity of course material. Honestly this course is one of the best I've ever taken at Western. Mariana is the best!
- Outstanding lectures, clear line of reasoning, lots of opportunity for questions.

MATH 226 - Limits and Infinite Series (Winter 2022)
- Lecture is a great pace. Questions are REGULARLY encouraged, which I love. This class startedout very challenging for me, but Mariana is very good at working through problems/misunderstandings. I wouldn't change anything.
- Mrs. Garcia's attention to her lectures makes learning proofs much more maneable than any other professor I have had. Overall the class is beautifully organized.
- Best/favorite Math Prof.
- It was really well done and I love having Mariana as a professor. I don't think I could change anything.
- Your teaching was especially good and made the class interesting and not a pain to work on. Good job!

MATH 312 - Proofs in Elementary Analysis (Winter 2022)
- I think Mariana's taught this class perfectly. We were given everything we needed and she made sure we were able to succeed. I was worried about MATH 312 because I hear it's one of the hardest undergrad class you can take. She made this class very enjoyable and I am glad I had her as a professor.
- I really liked the in class group work. It helped me understand topics and problems I had been confused on. One of my favorite classes I've taken in my college experience. Tough but interesting and engaging.
- I learned something every time I showed up to class. Mariana's teaching style for 312 felt like the epitome of a quality math class. Although elementary analysis felt like an abstract and difficult subject,she tried very hard to make it approachable and understandable (I believe she succeeded).
- Really enjoyed your class :)
- In class is perfect.
- For the difficulty in concept, I felt like Professor Garcia did an amazing job with answering/giving time to ask questions. She was also excellent at guiding my understanding.
- The teacher was always ready to help and was very caring.

MATH 331 - Ordinary Differential Equations (Winter 2021)
- Thank you!!!!! 3 years of horror stories about diffy-q..... I loved the course and will let everyone know it is not that bad if you pay attention in your previous math classes!! you will also be highly recommended by me!!!
- I think this has been one of the best classes that I have taken at western.
- I thought the lectures went well, clear explanations with helpful examples. I thought the flow of concepts tied together well, I was able to see why we were moving from concept to concept well, so I didn't really feel like I was in the dark about anything during the course. Overall great course, absolute top notch stuff, teaching and concepts that make me feel like college is worth it.
- Thank you so much for another great quarter Mariana, hopefully I can say hello in person sometime this fall! One of the kindest people I have ever met.
- I'm really glad I took this class with you and I hope you get to take a little bit of a break during this spring break because you deserve it.
- No changes! Really!! Especially during covid, the format has been perfect for these hard times.
- You have an amazing structure to your class I just have to say. For an online course you hit every check in my box, The canvas page was organized and I never felt lost looking for something, Every lecture was clean, concise, and well said. You clearly have a very good knowledge on the topics you are teaching and whenever I had a question you were there to help me. I love how you gave of us few days to do exams, it made it really nice for finding time around my work schedule. And all in all it was just an amazing course. I have ran across a few good math professors but you are probably on the top of my list if I was gonna recommend one.
- Mariana is a fantastic professor, one of the best I've had for mathematics. I see how passionate she is about what she teaches and how much she cares about her students and their learning. I would take other classes by her over anyone else, she's really awesome. Thank you so much for giving me an awesome learning experience and bringing more joy to what I study, I appreciate you and everything you do.
- You were a great instructor. I really wish I would have had you for linear algebra. In fact you were my first pick for linear algebra last quarter but I changed classes last second ( stupid ). I decided I am going to minor in mathematics and I hope that you might be teaching 224,225 or 226 in the future. Thank you again for being so thorough, and keep up the good work.
- I really liked the pace Mariana took her lectures at. They weren't too fast, and they weren't too slow either. I also liked the amount of practice problems that she gave us to work on, and how she didn't make them required. It allowed for flexibility with my schedule. She also did a really good job of answering student's questions well, and providing thoughtful explanations of certain topics. I also appreciated how she gave us multiple days to work on and turn in exams. Overall, I really liked this course.

MATH 524 - Topics in Analysis (Winter 2021)
- Lectures were excellent, I think they were fast paced and I liked it! Even counting courses outside covid times, this class has been one of my favorites.
- While any online course is obviously going to be less than ideal, this is by far my favorite online class I've taken. The content was interesting and the class atmosphere was inviting. It is clear how much work you've put in to make this feel as much like an in- person class as possible. Thanks for the great quarter!
- The pauses to check student understanding were very consistent and appreciated; it made the pace of the class very manageable. Lots of background was given which made the ideas feel very motivated and natural to explore. Your enthusiasm for the content made everything exciting as well! Also, I really appreciated coming into class and seeing brief summaries of ideas from a previous class that would be relevant for the content we would be covering in the current class. This was really helpful.
- I thought the lectures and summary of content was very clear. I appreciated the color coded summaries put on Canvas. Your responses to student questions were always thoughtful. But the thing I enjoyed most was the atmosphere of shared inquire and the way you created a safe learning space. I haven't been in a math class at Western in which the instructor genuinely encouraged questions. I have had instructors say we should ask questions, but leave no wait time or respond in ways that suggest the question is silly. You never responded to a question in a way which made the question seem stupid. You often checked in individually with us to make sure we were actually following. And frequently, you paused for real wait time after asking if there are any questions. I really appreciated all of that. I also appreciated how you introduced yourself and shared pieces of your own life as well as had us introduce ourselves at the start of the quarter. It helped changed the sterile environment of academia into something that felt genuine and personable. I hope you have an effect over time on your colleagues.
- An amazing course overall. Content was adapted to student interests. It was clear that Mariana really cared about the material, and that also added a ton of energy to the class. I also enjoyed that lectures weren't overbearingly slow. There was space for the students to ask questions when they needed to, or when background material was missing, but it never felt as if she assumed we didn't understand previous course work. My favorite part of the course was either the Sezaro and Abel summations or the proof and applications for the Inversion formula.

MATH 226 - Limits and infinite series (Fall 2020)
- This course has been a bit of a light in the dim gloom of this quarter and these months of quarantine. Mariana is so much fun to have in lecture and to talk to, and she'll always be my favorite math professor and one of my favorite professors ever!
- Mariana is one of my top 3 favorite teachers. She's always organized, composed, patient, and easy to relate to.>br> - Being able to prove limits and understand the patterns of limits, series, and sequences feels really beneficial for teaching mathematics. I enjoyed her system of showing us a new image each week and having a question of the week to answer so we could get to know our classmates. I just wished more people participated. She was always patient with the questions I came to her with. Very understanding and always responded well with the topics I discussed with her. The quizzes tested average knowledge of the material and that seemed sensible. The midterms tested on the easier side of the knowledge on content and that also made sense. Her reviews were spot on with the tests and the most helpful reviews that I've ever had a teacher give me. Reminded us of key components and concepts/rules that are useful and gave us a little insight on what might be on the test - without giving too much away. Loved the timing of test/quiz grade returns! Loved the creativity that was encouraged every now and then and using theorem names that we could make up to make the content feel more friendly and personal to us!
- I loved taking your course. It was challenging, but you made it enjoyable. Thank you for being an amazing professor
- I think the lecture material was structured very well. When I looked back at my notes to study it was easy to find theorems and examples following them, which made them very useful. You were also very fast at posting the lectures, so if I missed lectures it could always found on them being uploaded in a timely manner. I also loved your method of uploading lectures and I wish more professors used it. It is super easy to go to the home page and go to the learning materials and find your notes and the videos there. The zoom tab on canvas was also awesome because other professors have links on their syllabus and it makes getting to lecture a little more tedious. Your use of the homepage was also great. You also offered a lot of office hours for extra help and it was always welcoming and easy to get to! Thank you for writing such great homework solutions also. I feel like you do the most to see your students be successful and understand the material and I loved it.
- Honestly, I think you are doing everything right.
- The effort to create class collaboration and community was definitely felt, but I have not found a better way to create the "classroom feel" virtually. Office hours were wonderful! The professor does a wonderful job explaining materials or answering any questions or confusion, even when I didn't know what question to ask. During class, the professor did a great job making everyone feel included. With such a hard class, it was very easy to feel lost and left behind (almost on a daily basis). However, the professor was phenomenal at encouraging and supporting everyone when there was confusion. Take-home tests that allowed for several days to be taken was the best set-up of any of my classes. I had time to ask questions about the exam and still finish it in the allowed time period. All fo the online resources were very helpful, including posted lecture notes, lecture videos, and homework problems.
- The effort to create class collaboration and community was definitely felt, but I have not found a better way to create the "classroom feel" virtually. Office hours were wonderful! The professor does a wonderful job explaining materials or answering any questions or confusion, even when I didn't know what question to ask. During class, the professor did a great job making everyone feel included. With such a hard class, it was very easy to feel lost and left behind (almost on a daily basis). However, the professor was phenomenal at encouraging and supporting everyone when there was confusion. Take-home tests that allowed for several days to be taken was the best set-up of any of my classes. I had time to ask questions about the exam and still finish it in the allowed time period. All fo the online resources were very helpful, including posted lecture notes, lecture videos, and homework problems.
- Mariana is an absolute joy to have in lecture. The weekly discussions have been really great, as well. The overall untimed structure of the quizzes and exams have been pretty low pressure which is very valuable for online learning.
- Being an inherently difficult class, I’m glad professor Mariana’s lectures were of the most straightforward and streamlined I’ve ever attended. Although she may go quickly at times, she never hesitates to slow down or rewind if asked to do so. Additionally, her understanding of mathematics is made evident by her intuitive explanations to questions asked by myself and my peers.
- I really appreciated how organized the home page was in terms of nicely sorting the weeks and their content. Having the zoom recordings and corresponding white boards so readily available for review was also a great benefit to me. The professor was amazing about pausing and asking for any questions, and their answers were always well thought out and successful.

MATH 204 - Elementary Linear Algebra (Fall 2020)
- I really enjoyed your class and feel very lucky that I had you as a professor especially now. The class did not feel stressful at all and I thank you for that. My roommate dropped out of his linear algebra class with another prof. because it wasn't working for him.
- Your attitude during class was such a joy! I look forward to watching your lectures and occasionally participating. I also really appreciated the amount of homework. The quizzes and HW problems made me make sure that I understood the material but didn't burden me with work although you did provide it in case people wanted the practice. The problems in class also help me fully understand the concepts. I learned a lot of things from those problems that I might have just overlooked otherwise.
- I think the course was really good, there is nothing I can think of that it needs improving on.
- I felt that the Teacher really enjoyed teaching her students as well as teaching the material. The lectures were always upbeat and did not drag on and bore you. I really enjoyed when a lot of different examples were given.
- Everything was perfect. Honestly.
- It was such a pleasure to take your course. I hope that I am able to take another class with you because you really do a great job at teaching and making students feel empowered about their math abilities. Thank you for all your work, I hope that you have a wonderful winter break and the rest of the school year!
- I was really nervous about taking this course but Mariana made it enjoyable and far less intimidating than I had expected. Extensive time on quizzes and exams allowed me to feel confident in demonstrating my understanding of the material rather than pressed for time and rushing to just get as many points as possible. The recorded lectures were very helpful for returning to when a concept was unclear or when you couldn't make a class. Having access to LOTS of practice materials was also extremely helpful. I felt like Mariana cared deeply about our learning and understanding and did everything possible to assist us rather than make us worry about our grades. The focus of the course was on understanding, not on a grade. One of the most well organized and well executed online courses I have taken and definitely the best math professor I have had at WWU! Thank you
- I am not a huge fan of math anymore. I really enjoyed it when I was young and good at it, but after a few teachers that were not super great and when I did not work as hard at it I found myself hating it more and more. This class was very difficult and was still math so it was not always great, but I felt with Mariana I could enjoy doing math more than some previous classes.

MATH 432 - Systems of differential equations (Spring 2020)
- You had the best online course out of all the courses I registered this quarter. You were more prepared and I felt less loss in this course. I do miss the interaction of in person classes. I am glad that I got to take a class with you before I graduate in the fall. You are the best!
- This was the class I felt best transitioned online this quarter. I feel like I still learned exactly what I would have in a normal classroom, and the professor did an incredible job of trying to ensure students were actually understanding the material. She also gave timely and valuable responses to homework and exams.
- Overall by far the best course I had this quarter. Her course should serve as an example for other professors to model their courses after.
- Great Professor, she put in her best effort in teaching us during this tough times. Really enjoy her class and feel like I’ve learn a lot!
- Mariana Smit Vega Garcia did a very good job adapting rapidly to an online teaching environment. In other classes, we lost a lot of time while instructors figured out how to teach online, but she was adaptable and quickly figured out how to integrate her tablet with zoom to provide better instruction than any other teacher I encountered this quarter. Her flexibility on due dates and sympathy for difficulties adapting to technology this quarter were extremely useful, and took a lot of needless pressure off a very stressful time. In fact, this flexibility, for me at least, made sure that I was able to spend more time on the quality of my assignments and work, rather than just rushing through something in order to hope for some partial credit and moving along to the next due date. Lastly, Mariana Smit Vega Garcia, spent a great deal of time helping and answering specific questions over email. This is especially important since office hours conflicted with other classes, so having email as an option was very valuable.

MATH 226 - Limits and infinite series (Spring 2020)
- You really seem to care a lot about your students and I think that that is something that makes you an amazing professor. A lot of teachers don't seem to care all that much, so when I would come to class and you genuinely asked how we were, I really appreciated it. Escpecially with everything that is happening, you made things just a bit easier and better, so thank you so much for that. I am glad I was able to take another class with you, and would recommend anyone to take your classes. You are a fantastic professor!
- Overall I was super impressed by Mariana's dedication and grateful for her attention to detail. She really cared about her students and succeeded in making her classroom a comfortable place for students to ask questions. She was also understanding of students' circumstances throughout the quarter and gave us as much flexibility as she could to minimize stress for us. Thank you Mariana!
- Mariana did a really great job adjusting to online courses. She was enthusiastic, encouraged participation, and made it very easy to ask questions. Her lectures and explanations were thorough but she did a great job of anticipating points of confusion and addressing them before they caused issues. Her lectures were always well thought out and structured, and her homework materials and assessments were never too hard or too easy.
- The vibe of the classroom was, communication was really (...really...) great like communicating before the class, the review before class, the review sheets for the midterms are a huge help and make the class a lot more memorable as they help a lot, very easy to ask questions.
- I felt that her comprehension of students understanding was excellent. She always stopped for questions and never moved on before people understood.

MATH 331 - Ordinary differential equations (Winter 2020)
- Professor Garcia's teaching style is fantastic. The amount of effort she puts into student learning exceeds any math teacher I ever had. She always has our exams graded quickly and she is very encouraging. One outstanding aspect was that Professor Garcia found what we did wrong on the exams and emailed us solutions on what we could have done better. I am very happy to have had you as a professor and I hope you are recognized for all the hard work you put into teaching and mathematics.
- Amazing class! Amazing professor! Best Math class I have taken yet. She cares more about our understanding than the grades we receive. Her ability to work with us and be flexible is great!
- I wish all of my teachers were as passionate and caring as Mariana. I will miss having her a teacher.
- Your lectures were amazing. Usually in math classes I have to read the textbook to understand the lecture but I never once used the textbook. I loved how much you encouraged students to ask questions. You also gave really thorough explanations to questions, which was really helpful. Your enthusiasm for the subject made the lectures really engaging as well. You are one of the best, if not the best Math professor I've ever had. You made the information really easy to understand! I hope I get to have you for another math class in the future.
- Mariana is the best professor I've ever had. She does an excellent job explaining difficult subject matter and makes a point of giving personalized feedback after each exam. If I don't pass and need to take this again, it would be an honor to once again be in her class.
- Amazing professor! Wish I could take more classes with her.

MATH 204 (Winter 2020)
- Awesome feedback on student work. Best job from any instructor I have had with timely communication, and she is available by email for questions. Also, she grades work right away and sends detailed feedback to each student - this really helps with continued study, to be able to continue progress right away. Also, she has an excellent relationship with students - approachable, professional, and a really great person to work with!
- You were by far the best professor I have had yet. Your lectures were excllent and very clear, and you made a lof of effort to ensure that everyone understood what you were talking about. It is obvious that you care very much about the subject and because of this you were very effective at teaching it.
- Amazing ability to give an abundance of practice work with guided solutions to help us learn out of class. Very aware where student comprehension stood and did evetything in her power to help (which was great). Generally extremely attentive to student learning. I really enjoyed this class! You are a great Prof.
- I will really miss how clear your explanations of complex topics in Math are. Good luck on future endeavors.
- I have never had a professor give individualized feedback on exams. This was a delightful surprise and made it very easy to address issues had on the test in a quick and effective manner. Super refreshing professor, one of if not the best Math profs I have had in 4 years at Western.
- I loved this class and will be lookin for your name when I register in the future!

MATH 430/530 (Fall 2019)
- One of my favorite classes I've ever taken.
- Mariana is one of the best profs I've ever had at WWU. I've been here since Fall 2013 and working on two bachelors' and I wish I could have taken other courses with Mariana! She is the most dedicated Prof. I've never had a prof be so quick with grading. She is awesome! Very enthusiastic about the subject and makes lectures really enjoyable. I really appreciate everything she does for her students. She really cares!!!
- The structure of the class was absolutely amazing! Expectations were clear, lectures were organized and easy to follow, homework was a perfect difficulty, and the exams were fair. I really enjoyed this class, even though the material wasn't especially interesting to me, because of how interested the professor was in the subject and how much she cared about students' understanding. Overall Mariana is one of my favorite math professors at Western! I wouldn't change anything about this course! Always suggest other math students to take it because how great my experience has been in this class.
- Mariana's lecture style is excellent, she explains each new topic clearly, and thoroughly and is very in touch with the class understanding, making time for questions at each step. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking this course with Mariana and hope to take classes with her in the future.
- Absolutely loved taking this course with her.
- The lectures are very engaging and I can tell you really care about making sure everyone suceeds!
- Mariana is one of the best professors I have ever had and goes above and beyond for each student. The course content was very difficult (especially for me), but she motivated me to keep trying. Her enthusiasm is helpful as with her explanations for describing the material different in every way possible.
- Awesome job at making a comfortable classrom environment to ask questions! Always very approachable.
- You're one of the best lecturers/instructots in the department. The class was run at an excellent pace and I especially loved the opportunities you would give us to work on a problem on our own while you walked around the room. That really helped my confidence in the material grow. Homework and exams have thus far been challenging yet fair, and your avalability for help during office hours and through email is incredible. You've done an incredible job and I hope you can stay at Western, you'd be a huge loss for the department and its students.

MATH 527 (Spring 2019)
- Awesome. Really engaged the class. Really appreciate the feedback. Thank you for everything.
- This course was my favorite Math class in large thanks to the teaching style. I am glad that I took it!
- Thank you for making the class environment so friendly and comfortable. This was the best Analysis class I've had. Thanks for all your hard work.
- Fantastic lectures, great pace, interesting questions!
- Mariana gives the best feedback any Math Math professor I have had. The amount of care in helping students learn, while respecting mistakes and encouraging improvement is refreshing. The content was clearly very well known by Mariana and it felt very good to be in this class.
- I really liked this class. Mariana is an excellent lecturer. The homework was very fair, it was difficult but didn't make me want to die (I mean this figuratively, to be clear). The problems did a good job of being thought provoking and engaging. This class made me like Analysis a lot more.
- Mariana's clarity and precision are remarkable. Lectures are detailed and never leave ambiguity, yet she takes the time to give overviews/outlines of material which greatly help continuity and understanding. Mariana's prompt grading of homework and exams is impressive and conducive of learning material. Her facility with Analysis is exceedingly evident. Mariana also has great enthusiasm and energy which makes class enjoyable.

MATH 204 (Winter 2019)
- I used to hate linear algebra and not love math but because of this class, I found a new appreciation to linear algebra and I'm now minoring in Math!
- Mariana is an absolute treasure. She clearly cares about her students, and she is a very intelligent person. If more of my tuition went towards paying professors like her more, I wouldn't feel so bad about the absurd amount of debt.
- This is the second course I've had with Dr. Garcia, and once again, it was fantastic.
- I absolutely loved having you as a professor, your teaching style is so easy to follow and I found you to be extremelly approachable outside of class. Thank you for all your dedication, it truly shows and is ia huge change from many other math courses. Thank you again! I wish I could take all of my math classes with you!
- Excellent course taught by excellent professor. I wish I had Mariana for all my Math classes.
- Thank you for an amazing quarter, you are an awesome lecturer.
- Immediate quiz feedback was excellent and she really felt invested in her students' learning. Excellent work. Even though the subject was not one I was excited about, class with you was a pleasure. Thank you.
- This is how all courses should be taught.
- You are an amazing professor and I'm glad I took your class!

MATH 331 (Winter 2019)
- Definitely my favorite Math teacher of all time! Thank you so much for the work you put in this quarter.
- I thoroughly enjoyed my class. Everything felt very comprehensible and the availability of the instructor and material for practice was very open and flexible. I look forward to taking more classes with Dr. Vega.
- I've never had a professor invest so much of their time into each individual student. I honestly don't know how you do it! I wish I had some constructive criticism, but the only thing to say is WOW! One of the best professors I will ever have.
- Mariana was amazing and I hope to have her as an intructor again for another class. Mariana was always very eager to answer questions and always encouraged students to ask them, which I think was very helpful and by doing that Mariana created a great learning environment in her classroom.
- Professor Garcia is the best Math professor I've had at Western so far. She is great at explaining concepts and giving exams. This is the first Math class I had where I didn't have to teach myself everything. She made upper level math class easy but also challenging. I learned a lot this quarter and feel confident solving differential equations.
- Best Math professor I've ever been taught by at WWU. The pace of the class was perfect and I thought she did a great job explaining the material and ensuring every student understood what was going on. Thanks for another great quarter!
- Mariana, I think you are a great professor and it really shows how much you care about your students and your teaching. Thank you!
- Dr. Garcia is one of my all time favorite professors. She goes out of her way to ensure her students understand the material. It is apparent that she is here to educate, not just teach and research. Incredible professor all around.
- Would take this class again :) loved it.
- I loved this class and looked forward to it every day. Lecture pace was perfect.
- The passion for the topic demonstrated by the teacher was fantastic. Always clear and easy to learn. Mariana made a challenging topic very manageable. I had a great time in our class. Thank you!
- Mariana is the hardest working teacher I've ever had.
- I loved this class and could really tell that Mariana really just wanted the best possible outcome for everyone.

MATH 224 (Fall 2018)
- This class was excellent. Dr. Garcia's enthusiasm for the subject and for teaching are obvious and she really wants her students to succeeed and provides every resource they might need.
- Wonderfully taught class. Your energy and enthusiam in lecture made for a very engaging course, and it's clear that you've put a lot of effort into creating digestible and effective explanations of the topics. I appreciated your spatial and visual ways of presenting course ideas, which for me made it much easier to understand the material. I loved the opportunities for questions and help, and in-class exercises.
- I found every aspect of the presentation of the content to the exceptional.
- I liked how she used in class time for us to work on examples individually or in groups - it helped us understand what was happening.
- The availability for help outside of class was great, I felt like I was encouraged to ask questions about anything at anytime. The classroom environment was also a place where I felt I could ask questions or ask to go over something again without feeling like I was interrupting.
- Dr. Garcia is a fantastic professor here at Western. - In class explanations of topics were extraordinary. - Mariana is extremely passionate about Math.

MATH 331 (Fall 2018)
- Professor Vega Garcia was an excellent teacher. She put an exceptional amount of effort into feedback with individual responses to our exams.
- Mariana is the nicest and most enthusiastic professor that I've had at Western! I love how open she is to questions, mistakes, and students seeking help. You can tell she really wants us to suceed, while still holding us accountable and challenging us.
- This class was wonderful. The professor knew where students were struggling and had fun and creative ways for us to remember information.
- You did a very good job of teaching this class and made me interested in showing up every day. Glad I got to have you as a professor.
- I hope to have the chance to take future courses with her as a professor.
- I think your organization of course content was superb, for example the notes you made on the board every day.

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

MATH 309 (Spring 2018)
- Ms. Garcia did a fantastic job of explaining difficult concepts clearly and concisely. The homework was both manageable and helpful, and the quizzes were very useful for evaluating our understanding of the concepts. I'm still astounded that our professor took the time to email everyone personally about their quizzes and tests. It's rare to find a professor that cares so much about her students, and Ms. Garcia is to be commended for such dedication
- Lecture and lecture notes professor is super effective in responding emails and care so much about whether students can understand what she is teaching. Best math professor i have ever met.
- Mariana really made it obvious that she cares about our learning and would make extra time to help us if we needed. She was very diligent about responding to emails and she sent us personalized feedback about tests and quizzes.
- (On what contributed most to their learning) The use of personal emails to students which was pretty thoughtful as I had never received emails from a professor explaining what you did right or the mistakes that you made on exams or quizzes.
- The lectures were by far the most helpful. They were full of useful information and were never dull. The lecturers were stimulating and presented the information needed in a very clear and concise way. The quizzes were also very very helpful as they showed students the types of problems we should be expected to know. They were meant purely as a learning experience and they were. Another aspect was how easy Professor Garcia made it to get help from her. Though the office hours were not often times before the homework, emailing was always made as a clear option, which was extremely helpful. Often, math classes for me have had a policy where emailing for homework help is either forbidden or frowned upon, however here it was encouraged which was a very nice change of pace.
- I appreciated how the instructor was always willing to help through asking questions in class, after class, in office hours, and through email. The feedback was always very clear and gave plenty of information on how to do better in the future. Also the quizzes where very helpful in covering the material before exams. The instructor also did very well at explaining other material that may have been forgotten. I appreciated how clear everything in each section was explained so even if there was old material it would still be clear on how it is used/done.
- I really appreciated the way Professor Garcia would go through an entire example. It truly helped me with learning the concept and doing the homework because I could follow every step.
- (On what contributed most to their learning) Specific feedback on quizes and exams. Most graders will simply cross something out, where as Mariana sent personal emails detailing what we did well, and what we can improve on to better in future exams.
- I really liked her lectures in general, they were well organized and well thought out before class. Great timing of examples and great timing of asking if anyone had questions, etc.

MATH 300 (Winter 2018)
- Professor Garcia was far and away the best math professor I have ever had, and I would posit that she single-handedly saved my grade in this class from being awfully subpar. The rapid and detailed feedback I got after each quiz and test was absolutely invaluable, particularly in the early weeks of the class where I was really struggling to get my feet under me.
- Mariana was an absolute gem of a teacher. She was easily the best teacher I have had at UW thus far. No other teacher has graded so quickly and comprehensively, all the while giving personalized feedback to each student. Thanks again for a great quarter.
- Mariana cares about every student! She's been so helpful in every aspect. The detailed feedback and lecture note definitely helped a lot. That's a lot of work and I really really appreciate it.
- The professors willingness to help any and every student with whatever problems they have. I was able to get past every hurdle I faced in the class because Professor Smit Vega-Garcia took the time to help me.
- I could tell that Mariana cared both about the class and about the students. She sent us lengthy responses to our answers on tests and quizzes, breaking them down so that we could understand what we did wrong and what we can improve on.

MATH 424 (Fall 2017)
- Mariana is an awesome human being and a profoundly talented math teacher, and it genuinely saddens me that her academic position at UW is only temporary.
- (On what contributed to the students' learning) Professor Mariana's dedication and care for student's success. And of course, the weekly assignments and tests. Professor also writes individual feedback to everyone on the exams which is a motivation for people to do better in subsequent exams. Honestly, there aren't that many good math professors in the math department; none that can explain as well as she does or help students (especially undergraduates like me who might be coming from a different academic background and thus have a different way of thinking about math equations/theorems) understand the materials. Only two including her out of maybe ten upper level classes math prof that I've taken are good. I wish her all the best. and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for this class and her care for students. Thank you.
- Mariana’s enthusiasm was amazing. She’s by far the most charismatic math teacher I’ve ever had (in my life). She was also very empathetic with student concerns and needs and always made sure that everyone understood and that no one was “left behind.”
- Professor Mariana is amazing. She teaches very well, explain staff very clear. I am very appreciate her passion to this class and the amount she care about us.
- Mariana was absolutely one of the greatest professors I have ever had, on par with Reges in CSE and Tolich in Physics.
- Thanks a lot for your feed back and all the efforts in preparing this classes, they brought me a totally excellence and enjoyable Math learning experience!
- (On what contributed to the students' learning) The instructor's aid in helping us navigate through the abstraction - destroying bad intuition with good.
- Mariana’s dedication to her students, the enriching in-class discussions, and the availability of help made it impossible for this class to have any qualities that even remotely detracted from my learning.

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 students' 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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