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The Impact Of Calculus Reform As Seen By Engineering Seniors

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Math Software Use in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1268.1 - 9.1268.8



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Paper Authors

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Elton Graves

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

The Impact of Calculus Reform as Seen by Engineering Seniors

Elton Graves Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


During the academic years of 2001-2003 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology participated in a NSF sponsored project to determine The Impact of Calculus Reform on Long-term Student Performance. The project was broken down into three major components. The first component was to compare registrar data for students who had taken a traditional calculus curriculum with those who had taken calculus in a “reformed” curriculum. The second component was a questionnaire to discover the views of graduating seniors to the use of technology in their education. The third component was a series of interviews with graduating seniors. We obtained their responses to their calculus and engineering education. This report will focus on the responses made by senior engineering students attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to the questionnaire concerning the use of technology in their undergraduate education.

The results of the survey showed that the engineering students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology used mathematical software or graphics calculators not only in mathematics courses but in other courses either as part of the class, or to check their homework. The students also believe that learning how to use mathematical software or graphics calculators is a very important part of their educational experience, and in many cases helped students to better understand the mathematical concepts presented.

Section I Survey Data


In the spring of 2002 senior engineering students, who took calculus I in the fall of 1998, were asked to complete a forty-nine question survey. The invitation was e-mailed to the students. To complete the survey students logged on to a website at Duke University. 134 (107 male and 27 female) Rose-Hulman seniors were asked to participate in the survey. A total of 54 students (38 men and 16 women) responded. While a greater percentage of women responded to the questionnaire than were in our original sample this did not seem to significantly influence the results. In no question was there a significant difference between the responses of the male students and the female students.

The first four responses were background questions. The remaining forty-five questions (5-49) were used to measure the each student’s attitude towards mathematics. There were six major categories of questions:

Graves, E. (2004, June), The Impact Of Calculus Reform As Seen By Engineering Seniors Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12976

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