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Early Bird: Preparing engineering freshmen for engineering challenges

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5 Author(s)
Jeschke, S. ; Univ. of Stuttgart, Stuttgart ; Wilke, M. ; Kato, A. ; Pfeiffer, O.
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Mathematical knowledge and abilities are among the most important tools of engineers and are often needed in introductory classes before the relevant topics can be offered in the mathematics classes. The most common compromise consisting of a quick introduction to the relevant mathematics in the non-mathematical classes themselves is neither very satisfying for students and teachers nor is it particularly successful. We introduce the ldquoEarly Birdrdquo project allowing interested freshmen to utilize the often unused period between ldquoAbiturrdquo (German high-school graduation) and beginning of studies in the winter term by attending the mathematics modules of Linear Algebra and Calculus I, before the official start of the first semester. As a result students of engineering have the necessary in-depth mathematical knowledge at their disposal considerably earlier. They can reduce the duration of their education in mathematics by one semester by moving forward the advanced courses of higher semesters correspondingly. Teaching both Calculus I and Linear Algebra within one course allows for a better coordination of the content. Compared to the standard courses taught to freshmen, the curriculum of the course is modified to better address the applications of mathematics in the field of engineering. Additionally, the course covers ordinary linear differential equation as well as an introduction to numeric software.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008. FIE 2008. 38th Annual

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2008