Author: Jorge André
Digital ISBN: 978-989-26-0354-4
Publisher: Coimbra University Press
Date: October 2008
Price: 10,00 €
Size: 240 mm x 170 mm
N.º Pages: 127
It has always been challenging to teach and learn mathematics on an engineering degree course, and it will no doubt continue to be a perpetual source of dissatisfaction and doubt. Students do not understand why they have to study so much mathematics on an engineering course; they complain that it is taught in a very theoretical and unmotivating way, and that it is difficult to pass these courses. As for the teachers, many do not like teaching engineering students as they know that it is difficult to motivate them without making concessions that they believe to be pedagogically inadmissible. They do not even know how those students will need mathematics in the rest of their course or later in their professional lives. Finally, professors of engineering are scandalized that so many students take so long to pass the mathematics subjects. Many think it is the fault of the mathematics teachers for not motivating their students enough or for making it difficult for them to pass. In this context of doubts and tensions, many of which arise from the more general and deep-rooted problem of scientific specialization, this text draws upon the personal experience of the author and other participants in the process in order to stimulate interest in the subject and help organize the reflections of students and teachers about how mathematics is taught and studied on engineering courses. This is perhaps the only way to alter the status quo in this matter, and it is of great importance given the central role that mathematics plays in the training of engineers.
Hence, this book justifies the utility of and need for mathematics in engineering. It analyses the main mathematics disciplines given on engineering courses, reflects on the connection (real or desirable) between mathematics and engineering subjects, explains why it is important to perform statistical analyses of the phenomenon, and, (in appendix) analyses some examples in detail.