By: Dr Gajanan Lomte (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 21st August 2021
Data is the new fuel - this saying is becoming over-utilized phrase in discussions related data science and artificial intelligence field. Basically statistics and mathematics in general is the foundation of these emerging technologies that will have widespread applications across the industries. This has reinstated the underlying significance of mathematics in studies of engineering and technologies. Generally, it has been observed that, engineering undergraduates are aware of the fact that engineering studies will involve courses (subjects) of mathematics, however they find it difficult to understand the application of mathematical knowledge in their core course (subjects), higher studies and even in real life scenarios. It might not be exaggerated if it is mentioned that in particular cases, students find it difficult to pass the mathematics courses (subjects) with good marks nevertheless same students performed extra ordinarily well in other courses. Why?
Flexibility and autonomy, integral features of MGM University made it possible to address the challenges associated with mathematics education in engineering studies. The curriculum of course ‘Single Variable Calculus’ and ‘Multivariable Calculus’ for MGM University is designed in line with the Calculus Reform Movement led by the Harvard Consortium.
Instead of memorization, conceptual understanding is kept as a focal point for curriculum design. For its implementation, the Rule of Four is utilized.
Topics should be presented:
Active Learning Methodology
Students are encouraged to take active participation in learning the course through an activity-driven approach. When a concept is introduced, some motivating questions are put forward to make students understand importance of the concept. For introducing concept of derivative,
questions may include:
Q. How is mean velocity of a moving object related with values of its position function?
Q. How do we understand the mean velocity of an object geometrically from the graph of its position function?
Q. How is the notion of instantaneous velocity related to mean velocity?
To develop the mathematical thinking among the students, established connection between calculus and other fields such as physical sciences, engineering, biological sciences, health sciences, and economics are conveyed to the students with real life examples.
With this modern approach of learning mathematics, students feel more interested in concepts as they can relate it with their day to day life. Such innovative teaching initiatives can contribute in making Mathematics an art form to address real world challenges and budding engineers can be a master of this art!
(Author is Assistant Professor from Department of Applied Sciences of Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College (JNEC) which is constituent college of MGM University, Aurangabad.)