Electronic Classroom for Mathematics Instruction

Joyati Debnath, Ph.D
Felino Pascual, Ph.D

Mathematics and Statistics Department
Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987

jdebnath@Vax2.Winona.MSUS.edu
fpascual@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU

Grant Number: DUE: 9551256

The objective was to incorporate the use of computers and software in the teaching of Calculus and Numerical Analysis to enhance the learning atmosphere in the classroom by discussing problems that cannot be covered with traditional methods of instruction. The authors used group projects to supplement the lecture. Some of the problems in the projects have been derived from industrial problems. The authors found that Calculus is a very difficult course to modify to allow for the introduction of our approach for two reasons

  1. Freshmen students tend to resist the idea of doing projects in Mathematics. Also, many of the freshmen have had Calculus in some form in high school and are set in their ways of doing Calculus. Some of the projects require that they do away with any previous knowledge of Calculus.
  2. Many of the freshmen will continue to take other courses that require techniques in Calculus that are covered in a repetitive fashion such as the memorization of integration techniques. The authors have had to make a difficult compromise between understanding and memorization.
Numerical Analysis is very well-suited for this approach. Industrial problems lend themselves very well to the use of computers and software.


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