- TEACHING APPLIED MATHEMATICS FOR ENGINEERS - A NEW TEACHING PARADIGM BASED ON INDUSTRIAL MATHEMATICS
- Taavitsainen, Veli-Matti ;
- Journal of the Korea Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, volume 11, issue 2, 2007, Pages 31~40
Abstract
What is the "new paradigm"? It is impossible express it in one or two words, but if one had to; the closest might be the "holistic approach". The expression can be justified by the fact that the conclusions above lead to a greater intermixing of mathematics with engineering and natural sciences subjects, typically expressed in the form of examples of simplified real problems. They also lead to a greater intermixing of subjects within mathematics so that the courses should have less separation e.g. between symbolic and numerical mathematics. The conclusions also lead to the spreading the mathematics courses throughout all study years, not just the first two years. Of course, this should be done with great care in order to guarantee studies that are logically linked together. The new paradigm also means that the needs arising from industrial mathematics must be taken into account in the contents of engineering mathematics courses. Such topics are e.g. multivariate methods, statistics and use of mathematical software. What are we expected to gain from the paradigm shift? The primary benefit should be in obtaining more productive engineers equipped with a better degree of mathematical preparedness for engineering problems. But in addition, it should also promote more intensive use of applied mathematics and easier communication with professional mathematicians, often needed in complicated industrial problems.?Finally, it can be noted that the new paradigm is in harmony with the basic ideas of the CDIO (Conceive - Design - Implement - Operate) initiative for producing the next generation of engineers [1]. New ideas for engineering education can be found also in the homepage of SEFI (European Society for Engineering Education) [2].