Practice Transfer Adopters: Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving: Loughborough
Students come with very different levels of mathematical knowledge and motivation towards the study of mathematics (or its applications to Materials Engineering) is really low. Some students prefer to focus on “passing the exam” (with disappointing results) rather than developing a conceptual understanding of the topics, and are unable to see the purpose of studying the subject.
The adoption of a modelling and problem-solving practice intends to develop in students the skills that every engineer should have as a result of a good quality undergraduate education. Mathematical modelling is at the root of any engineering practice and therefore engineering students should develop modelling skills as learning-for-life competences.
This year, several mathematics applications to Materials Engineering have been developed and introduced in tutorial sheets and in-class exercises, but more work is necessary to develop and introduce these (and new ones) into the current syllabus as modelling projects. It is expected that these projects will raise motivation for the subject and increase conceptual understanding of different mathematical topics.
The main contribution of institutions and partners to the adoption of this practice will be the sharing of expertise in designing modelling projects and introducing them into the teaching practice. Within the MEC staff there are several experienced academics that can share with the applicant their knowledge of years of successful practice. Some of these academics have been involved in the past in producing resources for teaching engineers (e.g. HELM workbooks). Also, the experience of partners from the “adopters scheme” that have successfully introduced modelling into their teaching will be very valuable, as the applicant is a relatively new lecturer.