Looking back at the TED Talk assignment.



The TED talk presentation is behind me. May my last few months here at UWaterloo go without another group assignment 🙏🏾.

During my four years here at UW, I have done a total of three group projects prior to the TED talk. Looking back at it, none of those groups were dysfunctional. In fact, in all instances, the work was done with more than a satisfactory result. Yet, for some reason when I hear the words “group work”, my knees grow weak and my arms become heavy as I try to bare the stress from assuming the worst possible outcomes. Perhaps it’s my nightmares of high school group projects that fuel my anxiety. Maybe it’s the stigma behind student group work that taint my outlook.


I really think it may be the stigma…

While I look down on his joke towards language barriers in his video, YouTuber “Casually Explain” humorously exaggerates common group project hurdles that students face.

Thankfully, this group assignment went well like the others I’ve done here at UWaterloo. I owe my group, the Super-Mathies, gratitude for coming together to get the project done when it mattered. Everyone willingly committed to their workload. Though, it is very likely we had no choice but to commit because of how the assignment was designed 🤔. I must admit nevertheless, things started off very slow. My group mates may disagree, but we were initially lost at sea. Our first few meetings were not efficient and it took a while for us to settle on an approach to the presentation. In retrospect, I regret not using agendas to coordinate group meetings. The Professor may have been on to something when she preached about their usefulness.


Eventually, opinions were shared, the work was delegated, and we were making progress. Again, I must take a moment to compliment my group. When I initially approached the idea of talking about Math in sports for a TED Talk, I never considered e-Sports. When a group member pitched the idea, and the others immediately agreed as if they had thought of it too, I felt socially left behind because my narrow way of thinking about sports was a few years behind 2017. Thanks guys for letting me catch up!

Then, our individual slides came together, we practiced our oral presentation and finally, we presented to the class. Each of us spoke about something we worked hard to research. My favorite among us to listen to however, was our piece on sabermetrics because the details gave insights to implications we couldn’t even begin to cover in our 20-minute talk. Sorry, I’m a math student and a sports fan. I’m easily fascinated by these things 🤓. Our presentation went along with only minor hiccups, and at the end, beyond the sighs of relief, the class acknowledged our efforts and applaud.


Super-Mathies was only one of five groups that presented. While I do think all the presentations done were executed well, I must admit that the “Money Masters” group had a few standout speakers. Their Presentation demanded my attention and I must commend them for how they paced their presentation so effectively. The last person to speak may have been my favorite presenter in the class. His enthusiasm, passion and the way he articulated himself completely removed me from the classroom and brought me to an official TED auditorium. His speech was about the importance of savings and soon after he was done, I loaded up my TD banking app and moved money from my chequing account to my savings account. To my favorite TED talker of the class:



There was another group, I believe it was the “Algorhythms”, that had a speaker use the fact that we were in a classroom to his advantage. Instead of relying on slides like most, he went up to a white board and drew a diagram that complimented his message. In my eyes, it was a nice use of the setting and the diagram only made his presentation clearer. I really appreciate that kind of effort in being original and so I wanted to acknowledge him.

If I had to be entirely honest, I do wish my group had worked a little harder to strive for the best grade possible (guys, if you are reading this, I intended to make you feel guilty 🙂). That said, my members did their best, we presented well and I trust our grade will reflect that…

May the odds be in our Favor. 😓

2 thoughts on “Looking back at the TED Talk assignment.

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