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Redefining Engineering Mathematics Education At Wright State University

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Best Zone Paper Competition

Tagged Division

Council of Sections

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

11.1073.1 - 11.1073.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/935

Download Count

52

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Paper Authors

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Nathan Klingbeil Wright State University

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NATHAN W. KLINGBEIL is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at Wright State University, and holds the title of Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998. Professor Klingbeil leads NSF supported research projects in the areas of manufacturing science and engineering curriculum reform. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work in engineering education, including the CASE Ohio Professor of the Year Award (2005), the ASEE North Central Section Outstanding Teaching Award (2004), and both the CECS Excellence in Service (2004) and Excellence in Teaching (2002) awards at Wright State University.

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Richard Mercer Wright State University

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RICHARD E. MERCER is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Wright State University. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Washington in 1980. Professor Mercer is active in curriculum reform, and has led an NSF supported effort to integrate Mathematica laboratory sessions into the freshman calculus sequence at Wright State University.

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Kuldip Rattan Wright State University

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KULDIP S. RATTAN is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Wright State University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1975. Professor Rattan conducts research in the area of electrical control systems, and is active in engineering education reform. He has been the recipient of the CECS Excellence in Teaching Award at Wright State University in both 1985 and 1992, and of the CECS Excellence in Service Award in 1991, 1996 and 2003.

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Michael Raymer Wright State University

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MICHAEL L. RAYMER is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Wright State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from Michigan State University in 2000. Professor Raymer has led an NSF supported research project to develop the nation's first undergraduate curriculum in bioinformatics, and has been a finalist for the CECS Excellence in Teaching Award at Wright State University.

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David Reynolds Wright State University

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DAVID B. REYNOLDS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering at Wright State University. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1978. Professor Reynolds has conducted NSF supported research to develop human factors engineering undergraduate design projects for persons with disabilities, and has been a finalist for the CECS Excellence in Teaching Award at Wright State University.

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

Redefining Engineering Mathematics Education at Wright State University

Abstract

This paper summarizes progress to date on the WSU model for engineering mathematics education, an NSF funded curriculum reform initiative at Wright State University. The WSU model seeks to increase student retention, motivation and success in engineering through application-driven, just-in-time engineering math instruction. The WSU approach begins with the development of a novel freshman-level engineering mathematics course (EGR 101). Taught by engineering faculty, the course includes lecture, laboratory and recitation components. Using an application-oriented, hands-on approach, the course addresses only the salient math topics actually used in a variety of core engineering courses. These include the traditional physics, engineering mechanics, electric circuits and computer programming sequences. The EGR 101 course replaces traditional math prerequisite requirements for the above core courses, so that students can advance in the engineering curriculum without having completed a traditional freshman calculus sequence. This has enabled a significant restructuring of the engineering curriculum, including the placement of formerly sophomore-level engineering courses within the freshman year. The WSU model concludes with the development of a revised engineering mathematics sequence, to be taught by the math department later in the curriculum. The result has shifted the traditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineering motivation for math, with a just-in-time placement of the new math sequence. The current paper summarizes the motivation, goals and development to date of the WSU model, which is currently in its first year of implementation. The paper reflects modifications since the approach was first reported one year ago, and includes a preliminary assessment of student performance and perception during the first run of EGR 101.

Introduction

The traditional approach to engineering mathematics education begins with one year of freshman calculus as a prerequisite to subsequent core engineering courses. However, only about 42% of incoming freshmen who wish to pursue an engineering or computer science degree at Wright State University (WSU) ever complete the required calculus sequence. The remaining 58% either switch majors or leave the University. This problem is not unique to WSU; indeed, the inability of incoming students to successfully advance through the traditional freshman calculus sequence plagues engineering programs across the country.

A 1998 U.S. Department of Education report1 has summarized the percent of college students who completed bachelor's degrees by age 30 in their intended fields, as indicated upon graduation from high school. In the combined fields of Engineering/Architecture, only 54% of men and 21.3% of women were ultimately successful. While more uniform among the sexes, the numbers in the combined fields of Computer Science/Mathematics are also discouraging, with success rates of only 38.5% for men and 32.7% for women. On the other hand, students wishing to pursue a bachelor's degree in business exhibited success rates of 71.8 % for men and 63.7% for women.

Klingbeil, N., & Mercer, R., & Rattan, K., & Raymer, M., & Reynolds, D. (2006, June), Redefining Engineering Mathematics Education At Wright State University Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/935

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015