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The Wsu Model For Engineering Mathematics Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Mathematics Curriculum in Transition

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1340.1 - 10.1340.13



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Paper Authors

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Nathan Klingbeil

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

The WSU Model for Engineering Mathematics Education

Klingbeil, N.W., Mercer, R.E., Rattan, K.S., Raymer, M.L. and Reynolds, D.B. Wright State University, Dayton, OH, 45435

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

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Klingbeil, N. (2005, June), The Wsu Model For Engineering Mathematics Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14384

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