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Motivation Building Strategies of Mathematics Instruction for Undergraduate Students in Mechanical Engineering

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 1

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Amitabha Ghosh Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Dr. Amitabha Ghosh is a licensed Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. in general engineering composite (Major: Aerospace Engineering) from Mississippi State University. He obtained his B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. He is also a significant contributor in teaching of the solid mechanics courses. For the past ten years, he has been involved heavily in educational research at RIT and has also served as the coordinator of the Engineering Sciences Core Curriculum (ESCC) in Mechanical Engineering and various other curricular committees.

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One of the biggest challenges in teaching upper level mathematics oriented courses such as Fluid Dynamics or, aerodynamics to mechanical engineering students today is the lack of focus and motivation. The advantages offered by computing tools today have simultaneously created new challenges at the undergraduate instructional level regarding understanding and absorption of theoretical modeling concepts. To compound the picture even more, lack of time and career goals have modified educational priorities in our students and pose difficulties in integrating mathematics with engineering. This paper discusses methods to overcome such barriers without compromising the mathematical rigors in learning concepts of applied mathematics. This research is supported by implanted strategies in a sequence of courses leading to and culminating with an upper level course in computational fluid dynamics.

There are many alternate outcomes posed by a flipped classroom structure adopted by many professors. Past ten years of observed data do not demonstrate deeper understanding of logical and analytical models for several reasons which are discussed in the paper. Therefore this paper focuses on motivation building aspects to offer connectivity and slow absorption of applied mathematical tools. This research identifies the primary needs of building conceptual inventories and contrasts their differences from the theories of learning mathematics. In practice, delivering mathematical theories necessary at the upper undergraduate level in mechanical engineering is not well executed and some adjustments are necessary primarily at the lower levels. Scaffolding with conceptual inventories must be completed with enough time for sufficient reinforcement. The results realized in teaching at upper levels are derived from mathematical concepts and identifiers reinforced during core courses in mechanical engineering. The paper demonstrates such measured steps together with motivation builders as the prescription required in teaching calculus and boundary value problems to mechanical engineering students.

Ghosh, A. (2018, June), Motivation Building Strategies of Mathematics Instruction for Undergraduate Students in Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30824

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