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Impact A Pilot Program Creating An Integrated Mathematics, Physics And Communication Track In The Engineering Curriculum

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.242.1 - 1.242.9

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Paper Authors

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Samuel S. Lee

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R. Narasimhan

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M. Lewis Temares

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

Session 1275

IMPaCT - A Pilot Program Creating an Integrated Mathematics, Physics and Communication Track in the Engineering Curriculum

M. Lewis Temares, R. Narasimhan and Samuel S. Lee College of Engineering, University of Miami


Like many other engineering institutions in this country, the College of Engineering at the University of Miami has encountered problems with student retention, particularly for the freshmen class. During their transition from high school to college, freshmen students often have difficulty adjusting to the new environment, especially with regard to study habits, prioritization of tasks, and time management. Many students fail their first calculus course and lose interest in engineering. Many students who have successfully completed the mathematics sequence are still unable to apply their math skills in solving physical problems (i.e., word problems). Several initiatives have been taken to help students adjust, such as proactive advising, early intervention, peer counseling, tutoring and the “Freshman Forgiveness Program.” All these efforts have produced some positive results. However, to educate students effectively and provide them with an engineering education for a changing world, the entire curriculum requires careful review and re-design with the development of an innovative delivery system.

In 1993, a faculty committee consisting of representatives from various departments was formed by the dean to develop an “innovative curriculum” for the college. In carrying out the task, the committee considered and used as reference several models from other institutions, including Drexel University’s “E4 Educational Program1” and the “Integrated, First Year Curriculum2” at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The new engineering curriculum developed at the University of Miami had the following objectives:

1. Facilitate the transition of students from high school to college environment, 2. Expose students to engineering in their freshman year, 3. Make the study of mathematics, basic sciences and English more relevant for engineering students, 4. Provide training in management, communications and leadership, 5. Emphasize engineering fundamentals and interdisciplinary study, 6. Adhere to professionalism and ethics, 7. Integrate design into the curriculum, incorporating social, environmental and legal considerations.

This curriculum was approved by the faculty and steps have been taken for its implementation. New courses have been developed and existing courses are being revised in line with the objectives of the curriculum.

The Pilot Program

To test and refine the concept, this new curriculum was started as a pilot program with a sample group of students in the fall semester of 1995. Having a small number of students involved would enable concentrated

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Lee, S. S., & Narasimhan, R., & Temares, M. L. (1996, June), Impact A Pilot Program Creating An Integrated Mathematics, Physics And Communication Track In The Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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