Making engineering mathematics more relevant using a computer algebra system

Desmond Adair, Martin Jaeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the uses of Engineering Mathematics is to provide underpinning knowledge which is useful and often essential for Engineering modules later in an undergraduate engineering degree course. It can be the case, however, that students perceive distinct boundaries between an Engineering Mathematics module and Engineering modules and fail to link what is being taught in both. The purpose here is to help alleviate this problem by incorporating a computer algebra system into an Engineering Mathematics module, so making the teaching and learning process more accessible and meaningful, providing students with a more realistic way of how professional engineers tackle problems today, increasing student skills, hopefully increasing their interest and finally breaking down the boundary alluded to above. The inclusion of the computer algebra system gave students a better appreciation of how essential Engineering Mathematics is within Engineering modules in general. However, its inclusion had a detrimental effect on interest. It was noted from the survey that the students liked the hands-on and self-discovery approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Volume30
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 18 2014

Keywords

  • Computer algebra system
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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