At the Technische Universität Berlin, more than 2000 first-year engineering students from over 20 different
fields attend the same mathematics courses, namely a two-semester calculus course and a one-semester linear
algebra course.
For the latter, some reform efforts are already well underway. On the other hand, 'Projekt Praktische Mathematik' (PPM), a reform project that was initiated in the 1970's, involves teaching numerics using projects related to real-world problems. Complementarily, the focus of our project is on the calculus sequence for engineering students, which consists of a large lecture twice a week as well as a weekly small group tutorial. Our aim is to redesign the first-year calculus education, taking into account the changes in the ways modern engineers use mathematics and some of the difficulties that arise due to time constraints and large-scale courses. The teaching and learning materials being currently developed are online-training exercices (using Java applets and electronically corrected exercices), programming exercices (using Scilab, an open-source computer software package similar to MATLAB) and lecture material (mainly using Scilab). |