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Enhance Engineering College Math Teaching with Gaming and Virtual Reality Learning Modules

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Computers and Software in Teaching Mathmatics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.612.1 - 22.612.9



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Paper Authors


Lin Li Prairie View A&M University

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Dr. Lin Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Prairie View A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2004. Before that, he received his B.S. and M.E. from Beijing Institute of Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 1996 and 1999, respectively. His research interests include
Computer Networks, Educational Technology, and Web Applications and Information Management. His research has been supported by NSF, DOE, etc.

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Yonggao Yang Prairie View A&M University

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Dr. Yonggao Yang is an associate professor and the Interim Department Head in the Department of Computer Science at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in Texas. He has a Ph.D. degree in Information Technology & Computer Science from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). Dr. Yang's research interests include Computer Graphics, Scientific Visualization, Distributed Virtual Reality Learning/Training Environment, and Smart Devices. He can be reached through email at

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Enhance Engineering College Math Teaching with Gaming and Virtual Reality Learning ModulesTraditional mathematics teaching in America faces a serious challenge. It is insufficient ingrasping students’ attention, and as a result, students are losing interest in learning mathematicsand their performance is below that of students in other industrialized nations. Surveysdemonstrate that many engineering students feel math is boring and they don’t see theconnection between mathematics and real life engineering problems. To address these issues,revamping college math teaching and incorporating modern technology into the classroombecome important.Students living in the digital age are visual and active learners. This paper presents a project thatis currently conducted at the university, which, through pilot math class teaching, proved to beefficient in increasing student engagement and supporting teachers’ instructional needs. The keystrategy of the project is to use virtual reality and gaming tools to develop new math learningmodules and use them to enhance students’ performance. By applying cutting-edge computergraphics and animation technology, these modules can (1) make mathematics learning interestingwhile still retaining the underlying contents; (2) make abstract and non-intuitive mathematicsconcepts “visible” and “touchable”, and thereby, easy to understand; and (3) bridge mathematicsand engineering and motivate students to pursue engineering careers.The goal of the project is to ensure that students, especially freshmen and sophomores, willbenefit from the innovative instructional strategies and develop a solid math foundation for theirscience and engineering career. In the paper, a summary of courses impacted, samples of themath learning modules, and student feedback are discussed. Further, a phased projectimplementation plan is depicted.

Li, L., & Yang, Y. (2011, June), Enhance Engineering College Math Teaching with Gaming and Virtual Reality Learning Modules Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17893

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