June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.35.1 - 24.35.8
A Comprehensive Approach on Delivering Calculus to Engineering Students Abstract Beginning in the 2010-11 academic year, University XXX successfully competedfor federal grants to fund the development of engineering programs, which the campuspreviously lacked. From the 2011-12 academic year, the university added three newengineering programs in general engineering, computer engineering, and electricalengineering. With the new programs, there is a significant increase in the demand forCalculus classes. Additionally, engineering students have unique demands that differfrom those of a mathematics student. The additional need enabled the MathematicsDepartment to introduce Engineering Calculus courses specifically designed for thecohort of new students. With the help of Department of Education grant YYY, severalexperimental approaches are introduced for these Calculus courses, and a full sequenceimplementation started in 2012-13. A typical mathematics quarter course at the university consists of 4 credit hours oflecture, and a 1 credit hour student activity session per week for 10 week. The completeCalculus course sequence consists of 4 quarter courses. The Engineering Calculus courseis designed such that there is no compromise in the rigorous treatment of Calculus, whileaddressing the specific needs of Engineering majors. The following enhancements weremade to the Engineering Calculus courses: 1. The new course includes 4 credit hours of lecture and a 2.5-hour student activity session per week. The student activity period involves group discussion of calculus problems and applications of mathematics in physics and engineering. 2. An undergraduate student tutor is present in the student activity period to enhance the learning experience. 3. An Engineering faculty is involved as a consultant to course curriculum. 4. Additional upper level Engineering and Mathematics majors are hired as mathematics tutors in the walk-in mathematics tutoring center. The tutoring center is open 6 days a week. 5. Beginning in the academic year 2013-14, lectures in applications of mathematics in physics and engineering will be embedded in the first two calculus courses. A full year of assessment of the calculus sequence was carried out in the academicyear 2012-13. Assessment tools included pre- and post-course student surveys and gradereports. Preliminary results indicate a lower attrition rate in the Engineering Calculuscourses. Surveys also show improved student attitude towards studying mathematics.This project is a work-in-progress.
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