Asee peer logo

The Usefulness Of Mathematics As Seen By Engineering Seniors

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineers & Mathematicians Communicating

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1338.1 - 10.1338.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Elton Graves

Download Paper |

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

The Usefulness of Mathematics as Seen by Engineering Seniors


Elton Graves

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Abstract 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. One component of this project was a questionnaire which asked senior engineers about their view on mathematics. A second component of the study was a series of interviews held 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 concerning the usefulness of mathematics. All responses are from students who attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Both questionnaire and interview responses will be presented in this the paper.

Section I Survey Data

Background In the spring of 2002 senior engineering students, who took calculus I in the fall of 1998, were asked to complete the 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 does not seem to significantly influence our 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 45 questions (5-49) were used to measure the each student’s attitude towards mathematics. There were six major categories of questions:

b = Beliefs about Mathematics m = Effective Motivation in Mathematics t = Using Technology to Learn Mathematics o = Learning with Others


Graves, E. (2005, June), The Usefulness Of Mathematics As Seen By Engineering Seniors Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14349

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: © 2005 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