Grant Number: DUE: 9651404
We describe the implementation of a new, computationally intensive, project-based course in applied mathematics and statistics for senior level mathematics majors and qualified minors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
The course is designed to give students practice in combining experimental methods, mathematical and statistical modeling techniques, mathematical analysis, and computational skills to study physical problems and processes. Students are required to perform experiments and collect data, develop mathematical models of the experiments, study the models using analytical, numerical, and/or statistical methods and state-of-the-art computational equipment, work in teams on an applied project under the direction of a faculty mentor, and present oral and written project results. We discuss the course organization and give examples of teaching modules and student projects. Topics covered include circuit design, mass-spring and pendulum systems, fiber optics, traffic flow, and nonlinear regression analysis.
We also describe the facilities of the Capstone Lab, which is used in the development and implementation of Capstone course work and projects, as well as for other undergraduate purposes, including summer research projects and the development of physical experiments and demonstrations for other courses in the mathematics curriculum. Initial assessment of the effectiveness of the Capstone course and future enhancements are discussed.
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