Wolfram Library Archive

Courseware Demos MathSource Technical Notes
All Collections Articles Books Conference Proceedings

Mathematics Laboratories for Science Undergraduates

Richard Templer
David Klug
Ian Gould
Phillip Kent
Organization: Imperial College
Department: The METRIC Project, Department of Mathematics
Philip Ramsden
Organization: Imperial College
Department: Mathematics
M. James

C. Hoyle
C. Morgan
G. Woodhouse
Journal / Anthology

Rethinking the Mathematics Curriculum
Year: 1998
Page range: 140-154

This chapter describes a curriculum development project begun at Imperial College in 1994 as a collaboration between the chemistry and biochemistry departments, and a specially funded computer-based mathematics education project (then called TMP: Transitional Mathematics Project) based in the mathematics department. In many science and engineering departments, mathematics teaching is wholly in the hands of either mathematicians or, perhaps, more rarely, specialists in the subjects concerned. The approach described here is an example of an alternative model, where we have set out to develop the course as a collaboration between scientists and mathematicians. We feel that if we have achieved anything worthwhile it is in large part due to the cooperation that exists between us and to a shared willingness to make alterations in response to educational need. Central to our approach is the idea that the computer should be used to allow the student to explore and investigate mathematical concepts, to experiment, and to form conjectures. This is, of course, an essential part of thinking mathematically, but a part that is often marginalized in courses that are exclusively concerned with pen-and-paper algorithms. We present this chapter in part as stories told by the scientists and the mathematicians. We hope that it will be interesting for together to see how the teams' different backgrounds meshed into a common project, and how their differing global aims and intentions developed. We have tried as much as possible to present events and decisions as they happened, without the benefit of 20:20 hindsight.

Related items

*Mathematics Laboratories for Science Undergraduates   [in Articles]