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The Wsu Model For Engineering Mathematics Education: A Multiyear Assessment And Expansion To Collaborating Institutions

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

13.1285.1 - 13.1285.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3630

Download Count

18

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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 of Mechanical Engineering and Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching at Wright State University. He is the lead PI for WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work in engineering education, including the CASE Ohio Professor of the Year Award (2005) and the ASEE North Central Section Outstanding Teacher Award (2004).

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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 is a Co-PI on WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. He 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 Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Wright State University. He is a Co-PI on WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education, and has also led an NSF supported research project to develop the nation's first undergraduate curriculum in bioinformatics.

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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 is a Co-PI on WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education, and has also conducted NSF supported research to develop human factors engineering undergraduate design projects for persons with disabilities.

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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 is a Co-PI on WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. He 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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Anant Kukreti University of Cincinnati

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Anant R. Kukreti is Associate Dean for Engineering Education Research and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati (UC). He is the lead investigator for the UC adoption of WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. He teaches structural engineering, with research in experimental and finite element analysis of structures. He has received two Professorships, and won four University and two ASEE Teaching Awards.

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Brian Randolph University of Toledo

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Brian W. Randolph is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo. He is the lead investigator for the UT adoption of WSU's National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and professional activities, including the ASEE North Central Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award, repeated department and college teaching awards and was named Toledo Engineer of the Year in 2005.

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Abstract
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The WSU Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: A Multiyear Assessment and Expansion to Collaborating Institutions Abstract

The inability of incoming students to advance past the traditional first-year calculus sequence is a primary cause of attrition in engineering programs across the country. As a result, this paper will describe an NSF funded initiative at Wright State University to redefine the way engineering mathematics is taught, with the goal of increasing student retention, motivation and success in engineering. The WSU approach begins with the development of a novel first-year engineering mathematics course, EGR 101 “Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications.” 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 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 curriculum without having completed a traditional first-year calculus sequence. The WSU model concludes with a revised engineering math sequence, taught by the math department later in the curriculum, in concert with College and ABET requirements. The result has shifted the traditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineering motivation for math, with a "just-in-time" structuring of the required math sequence. This paper includes significant updates since the approach was last reported, including a multiyear assessment at Wright State University and expansion of the program to collaborating institutions.

1.0 Introduction

The traditional approach to engineering mathematics education begins with at least one year of freshman calculus as a prerequisite to subsequent core engineering courses. However, the inability of incoming students to successfully advance past the traditional freshman calculus sequence plagues student retention and success in engineering programs across the country. Indeed, as noted by the NSF Director of Engineering Education and Centers1, the traditional engineering curriculum has been essentially unchanged for half a century - heavily front-loaded with classical math prerequisites, with too little engineering early in the curriculum. This makes engineering unattractive to potential recruits, and difficult to endure for those brave enough to give it a try. This is particularly so for members of traditionally underrepresented groups, including women and minorities, whose enrollment and retention in engineering has not kept pace with the demands of an increasingly diverse society. As highlighted by the U.S. Department of Education2 and more recently by the National Academies3, the global competitiveness of our great nation may ultimately rest on our ability to rise above this gathering storm in engineering and STEM education. As such, there is a drastic need for a proven model which eliminates the first-year mathematics bottleneck in the traditional engineering curriculum, yet can be readily adopted by engineering programs across the country. Such is the focus of this work.

Klingbeil, N., & Rattan, K., & Raymer, M., & Reynolds, D., & Mercer, R., & Kukreti, A., & Randolph, B. (2008, June), The Wsu Model For Engineering Mathematics Education: A Multiyear Assessment And Expansion To Collaborating Institutions Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3630

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