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Mathematics Requirements On A Computer Technology Unit

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.702.1 - 6.702.11



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Paper Authors

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Geoff Swan

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S P Maj

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D Veal

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

Session 1365

Mathematics Requirements on a Computer Technology Unit

D Veal, S P Maj, G.I. Swan Computing Science / Computing Science /Physics Program Edith Cowan University (ECU). Perth. Western Australia


Computer Installation & Maintenance (CIM) is a ‘hands on’ unit run by the Computing Science department at Edith Cowan University (ECU). CIM was designed and introduced as a direct result of an analysis of job advertisements in newspapers in Western Australia and interviews with potential employers in the field of computer and network installation and maintenance. This first level unit consists of a weekly two-hour lecture with an accompanying tow-hour ‘hands on’ workshop, and does not have any mandated entrance prerequisites and yet CIM attracts a wide range of students, has been consistently oversubscribed, and attracts both cross-faculty and cross-institutional enrolments from other universities within the Perth area. Its wide appeal across a broad spectrum of students has meant that many of those who enrol may not possess an appropriate technological, scientific, and mathematical background. Hence a new pedagogical framework was required. However led to the use of a model required that students to be able to solve simple formulae, convert to and from SI magnitudes and to transpose simple equations. The need for basic mathematical skills and knowledge is considered as many students found the above mathematical requirements problematic. The testing of students’ mathematics on this unit, the results, and the reasons for the response chosen to address these problems along with the necessary mathematics required on this unit, are outlined.

1. Introduction

Computer Installation & Maintenance (CIM) and are ‘hands on’ units run by the Computing Science department at ECU. This unit was designed and introduced as a result of surveys of job advertisements in papers in Western Australia. Subsequent interviews with potential employers in the computer and network support who had recently advertised for staff lead to a list of employer requirements. Testing of 10% of third year computer science students, who had successfully passed all of their previous units, subsequently revealed that none could fulfil these requirements 14 . Those who could partly fulfil the employer requirements had been self-taught. International studies have revealed that a similar situation also exists in other countries 14. Similar findings were discovered from testing multi-media students 15. CIM is a single semester first level unit. It consists of a weekly two-hour lecture with an accompanying two-hour ‘hands on’ workshop.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Swan, G., & Maj, S. P., & Veal, D. (2001, June), Mathematics Requirements On A Computer Technology Unit Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9534

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