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Vertical assessment of math competency among freshmen and sophomore engineering students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1354.1 - 23.1354.16

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Paper Authors


Kendrick T. Aung Lamar University

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KENDRICK AUNG is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lamar University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan in 1996. He is an active member of ASEE, ASME, SAE, AIAA and Combustion Institute. He has published over 70 technical papers and presented several papers at national and international conferences.

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Ryan Underdown Lamar University

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Dr. Underdown is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Engineering department at Lamar University. Since joining Lamar in 1998, he has taught over 12 different courses including management, quality and economics. His research interests include six sigma, facility layout and risk management. Dr. Underdown is the academic advisor of the Industrial Technology academic program at Lamar. He has been a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers since 1996. Dr. Underdown consults small businesses in the areas of strategic planning, process improvement, and lean manufacturing.

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Qin Qian Lamar University

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Qin Qian

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Feb., 2008
Dissertation: Solute exchange with sub-aqueous sediments: hydrodynamic interactions with advection flows induced by surface waves or bed forms
M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2004
M.S.S. Software Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, 2003
B.S. Hydrogeology & Engineering Geology, Nanjing University, China, 1994

• Assistant Professor, (06/2008 – Current), Lamar University, Civil Engineering, Beaumont, TX
• Research Associate (01/2008 – 05/2008), University of Minnesota, Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL)
• Civil Engineer (08/2007 – 01/2008), HZ United, LLC, Plymouth, MN
• Research/Teaching Assistant (01/2003 – 01/2008), University of Minnesota, Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), Department of Civil Engineering
• Lab Assistant (02/2003 – 05/2003), University of Minnesota, Department of Geology and Geophysics
• Research/Teaching Assistant (07/1998 – 02/2000), Nanjing University, Department of Earth Science, China
• Construction Engineer and Geotechnical Engineer (06/1994 – 06/1998) Nanjing Construction Company, China

Book Chapter
Sediment pollution, Handbook of Hydrology, 2012

Journal paper
1. Qian, Q., Voller, V. and Stefan, H., 2010, Can the “dispersion tensor model” for solute exchange in the sediment bed of a stream or lake be simplified? Advances in Water Resources 33 (2010) 1542–1550. DOI:10.1016/j.advwatres.2010.09.001
2. Qian, Q., Voller, V. and Stefan, H., 2009, Modeling of vertical solute dispersion in a sediment bed enhanced by wave induced interstitial flow, Journal of American Water Resources Association 45(2): 343-354. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2008.00297.x
3. Qian, Q., Clark, J. J., Voller, V. and Stefan, H., 2009, A depth-dependent dispersion coefficient for modeling of vertical solute exchange in a lake bed under surface waves, J. Hydr. Engrg. Volume 135, Issue 3, pp. 187-197
4. Qian, Q., Voller, V. and Stefan, H., 2008, A vertical dispersion model for solute exchange by underflow and periodic hyporheic flow in a stream grave bed, Water Resour. Res., 44, W07422, doi:10.1029/2007WR006366.
5. Qian, Q. Stefan, H. and Voller, V. 2007, A physically based flux limiter for QUICK calculations of advective scalar transport, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids 55:899-915
6. Qian, Q., Voller, V. and Stefan, H., 2007, Modeling of solute transport into sub-aqueous sediment. Journal of Applied Mathematics Modelling 31, 1461-1478.
7. Qian, Q., Xiaofang Mu, Yuntao Lu, 2000, Research on the Application of Pulverized Fuel Ash to Mortar in Building Work, Journal of Architecture Technology, 31(5), 320-321
8. Tan Qu-lin, Zhai Jian-ping, Zhou Wei-ke and Qin Qian, 1999, Analysis of toxic element in the vegetable growing in the soil mixed with coal ash. Geological Journal of China universities, 3, 298-305
9. Xiaoyun Chen, Yongjun Wu and Qin Qian, 1997, Comprehensive application of new construction technology Jinsili Tall Building in Nanjing, Journal of Construction Technology, 26(9), 40-41.
1. National Science Foundation Panel reviewer for the Water Quality/Pollution Control Unsolicited Spring Panel (P091361) May II-12,2009,;
2. Technical Assistant of the Technical Advisory Panel for the Research Management Committee 5 (RMC-5) of the Texas Department of Transportation (2008-Current)
3. Board Member for the Gulf Coast Recovery and Protection District.
4. Judge for the 1st International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, & Environment) Project Olympiad Competition, Houston, Texas, 2009
5. Committee Member of ASCE Groundwater Hydrology Committee
6. Member of American Society of Civil Engineers(ASCE) , 09/2004~current
7. Member of American Geophysical Union(AGU), 06/2005~current
8. Member of Overseas Chinese Environmental Engineers and Scientists Association (OCEESA), 05/2009~current
9. Member of Chi Epsilon, Honor Society of ASCE, 05/2010~ current
10. Member of Chinese American Water Resources Association (CAWRA), 05/2012~current

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Vertical assessment of math competency among Freshmen and sophomore engineering studentsAbstract In recent years, many studies [1-3] have found that lack of preparation inmathematic skills among entering freshmen engineering students posed serious problemsfor retention and graduation of these students. Multiple initiatives [2, 4] have beenongoing to address the problem including revising the engineering mathematic contentsand delivery, utilizing interactive tools and online learning environment, implementingnew and better ways to impart math skills to the students, motivating students onimproving their math skills, etc. One of the important issues that must be known beforesuccessfully addressing the math competency problem among engineering students is tocollect and analyze their math preparation and math skills throughout their four years ofengineering study. These data will highlight issues related to their college preparationmath to higher level math skills required to be successful as practicing engineers. Thepresent paper presents assessment data of math skills among freshmen, sophomore, andjunior engineering students. The paper identifies areas of common weaknesses among thefreshmen and discusses whether university mathematics courses taken by sophomore areeffective in addressing math deficiencies among sophomore and junior engineeringstudents.References[1] Fahmida, M. and Abulkhair, M., “Effect of Math Competency on Success in Engineering ScienceCourses,” Proceedings of 2011 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 2011, Vancouver, Canada.[2] Wood, S., et al. “Integrated Engineering Math-Based Summer Bridge Program for Student Retention,”Proceedings of 2007 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 2007.[3] Alting, A., and Walser, A., “The Influence of Mathematics Preparation on the Retention and AcademicAchievement of Underrepresented Engineering Students,” Proceedings of 2006 ASEE Annual Conferenceand Exposition, June 2006.[4] Astatke, Y., and Mack, P. L., “A Web-based Foundations of Mathematics Course: A new approach toprepare freshmen students for the Math Placement Exams,” Proceedings of 2001 ASEE Annual Conferenceand Exposition, June 2001.

Aung, K. T., & Underdown, R., & Qian, Q. (2013, June), Vertical assessment of math competency among freshmen and sophomore engineering students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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