An investigation into the mathematical education of engineering undergraduates in Australian colleges of advanced education
educational resourceposted on 07.06.2017 by J. Gurcharan Singh
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The context of this study is set principally in the DOCIT* colleges, the most significant subset of the Australian Colleges of Advanced Education in terms of engineering education, where the incidence of failure in mathematics courses amongst engineering undergraduates gives rise to fundamental questions about their mathematical education. Starting with the student himself and his prior preparation at school, the mathematical education of engineers is surveyed in all its aspects. Having established the indispensable groundwork that mathematics and mathematical modelling form in engineering education, attention is directed to the aims, objectives and underlying philosophy of mathematical education. The implications for content and methods of teaching and examining are considered. The shortcomings in service teaching are signposted and remedies suggested. Examination techniques are critically reviewed. The need for, and the manner of reducing the discrepancies between intention and achievement in teaching mathematics to engineers prescribe the substance of this study. A chapter elucidates the distinctive aims and functions of universities and CAEs, since these inevitably imply a distinctive emphasis in the design and implementation of courses and lend perspective to the issues raised. Quite apart from its great influence on the applications of mathematics, it is shown how the computer in particular and educational technology in general are valuable resources in making mathematics learning more meaningful, stimulating and illuminating, and for providing individualised instruction. The "state of the art" is summarised by a number of surveys. Recommended teaching syllabuses in mathematical methods, numerical analysis and statistics are preceded by the mapping of considerations that should influence the curriculum and its teaching. The study urges a fundamental review of objectives and the methods of achieving them, and its conclusions and recommendations are stated. * DOCIT: Directors of Central Institutes of Technology
- Mathematical Sciences