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Math in Engineering: Beyond the Equations

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Blair J. McDonald P.E. Western Illinois University

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Dr. Blair J. McDonald, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois; PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah; Professional Engineer and Licensed Land Surveyor in Utah.

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Susan C. Brooks Western Illinois University - Quad Cities

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Philosophy at Western Illinois University - Quad Cities since 2013; Ph.D. earned in pure mathematics from the University of Iowa specializing in Topology; teaches statistics, applied calculus, calculus and analytical geometry, and ordinary differential equations; current research interest is in knot theory.

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In this paper, perceived student shortcomings that inhibit a student’s acceptance, development, and lifelong recognition of mathematics usage are discussed. Observations made in calculus and engineering statics regarding student attitudes towards mathematics, the use of mathematics, modern computing, and learning in general, are presented and discussed. Interventions are proposed to help students develop a lifelong appreciation for and awareness of the mathematics they will encounter and use, even if subconsciously, every day in professional practice. The paper concludes with a summary of student recognition of the impact of the interventions in their lives.

McDonald, B. J., & Brooks, S. C. (2021, July), Math in Engineering: Beyond the Equations Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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