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Beyond Team Teaching: Coordinating Mathematics And Electrical Engineering Curricula

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Mathematics Curriculum in Transition

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.257.1 - 10.257.3



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Paper Authors

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Om Agrawal

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Fred Fontaine

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Beyond Team Teaching: Coordinating Mathematics and Electrical Engineering Curricula

Dr. Om Agrawal and Dr. Fred L. Fontaine

The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art


We present the close coordination between the mathematics and electrical engineering curricula, between mathematics and engineering curricula in general. Team teaching with mathematics and electrical engineering faculty has been used for over ten years here at The Cooper Union. The faculties of both departments meet regularly and discuss broad curricular issues as well as particular topics covered in specific courses. Mathematics and electrical engineering courses are coordinated very closely, while ensuring that mathematics courses accommodate the needs of other engineering majors simultaneously.

With the technological explosion characteristic of the Information Age, electrical engineering is becoming increasingly dependent on advanced mathematical concepts. Mathematics faculties play a vital role in the education of undergraduate electrical engineering students. The role can extend beyond course work by exploiting opportunities to collaborate with electrical engineering faculty on practical projects and applied research.

This coordination impacts the sequencing of undergraduate mathematics courses taken by electrical engineering students, the selection of examples and applications in these courses, the coverage of particular topics, and the offering of elective courses. The net result is that the team teaching concept is applied even when the faculties are not in the same classroom.

Such a close coordination benefits advanced students, who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in engineering or even applied mathematics, as well as students with weaker analytical abilities. Moreover, the faculties of both the departments benefit as well, as they broaden their areas of expertise. As a consequence, this relationship facilitates collaborative efforts on research and design projects. The result is that engineering students benefit not only from technical expertise of mathematics in such projects, but also from witnessing the multidisciplinary collaborative process.

Mathematics courses for electrical engineers.

All engineering students at The Cooper Union take a common set of core courses in mathematics, which are the bedrock of science and engineering. These courses include introductory linear algebra, probability, and calculus through differential equations (including vector calculus and an introduction to partial differential equations). The electrical engineering curriculum requires a math elective relevant to the field beyond these core courses. A large

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education.

Agrawal, O., & Fontaine, F. (2005, June), Beyond Team Teaching: Coordinating Mathematics And Electrical Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14477

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