Special Issue "Mathematics Education in Science, Technology and Engineering: Exploring Research and Scholarship of the Student and Staff Experience"

A special issue of Mathematics (ISSN 2227-7390). This special issue belongs to the section "Engineering Mathematics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 7318

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. William Guo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, North Rockhampton, QLD 4702, Australia
Interests: mathematics education; computational intelligence; data mining; modelling and simulation; geophysics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Christopher C. Tisdell
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia, Australia
Interests: ordinary differential equations; difference equations and dynamical systems; mathematics education; science education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mathematics is a core element within most educational programs in science, technology, and engineering around the world. This includes what is termed as “service teaching” within secondary and tertiary education sectors.

The learning and teaching of mathematics has suffered from an image problem with students and some staff. Many students exhibit low levels of engagement and interest towards learning mathematics. Some staff fail to see the value in fully committing to service teaching as an activity. The focus of this Special Issue is on exploring and illuminating the student and staff experience of the learning and teaching mathematics within STEM. This includes the learning and teaching of mathematics as a service subject for other disciplines, such as physics, engineering, biological sciences, and so on.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Mathematical curricula in science, technology and engineering programs;
  • New or alternative perspectives and techniques of teaching mathematics;
  • Authentic assessment and activities;
  • Collaborative problem-based teaching and learning;
  • Equitable teaching for students in diverse learning environments;
  • Engagement among secondary schools, universities, and local communities to increase STEM participation.

Prof. Dr. William Guo
Prof. Dr. Christopher C. Tisdell
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Mathematics is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Effective Pedagogy of Guiding Undergraduate Engineering Students Solving First-Order Ordinary Differential Equations
Mathematics 2021, 9(14), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9141623 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
An alternative pedagogical design is discussed that aims to guide engineering students to solve first-order ordinary differential equations (ODEs), and is based on students’ learning weaknesses identified from previous teaching and learning activities. This approach supported student’s self-enrichment through exploration of relevant resources [...] Read more.
An alternative pedagogical design is discussed that aims to guide engineering students to solve first-order ordinary differential equations (ODEs), and is based on students’ learning weaknesses identified from previous teaching and learning activities. This approach supported student’s self-enrichment through exploration of relevant resources in ODEs, and guided students towards the choice of their own effective ways for solving ODEs for different problems. This paper presents the practices on designing and delivering solution techniques for first-order linear ODEs using this approach for more than 400 undergraduate engineering students at a regional university in Australia during 2014–2017. The timeline involved initial experimentation in 2014 and 2015, followed by refinements to the pedagogy based on student’s feedback. The refined pedagogy was then used for the advanced mathematics course in 2016 and 2017. Significant improvements were made in student’s learning outcomes in effectively and accurately solving the first-order linear ODEs over this period. Full article
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Article
Flipped Classroom among Minorities in the Context of Mathematics Learning: The Israeli Case
Mathematics 2021, 9(13), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9131500 - 26 Jun 2021
Viewed by 692
Abstract
This study presents a designated flipped classroom (FC) mathematics environment that utilizes a unique online platform designed for Arab minority students in Israel. It investigates how studying in an FC affects conceptual understanding and motivation to study mathematics among Arab high school students. [...] Read more.
This study presents a designated flipped classroom (FC) mathematics environment that utilizes a unique online platform designed for Arab minority students in Israel. It investigates how studying in an FC affects conceptual understanding and motivation to study mathematics among Arab high school students. The study also explores the factors that contribute to effective learning in the FC environment. Participants were 75 Arab high school students in 10th and 11th grades who studied advanced mathematics. Each grade group was randomly divided into two subgroups: an FC group and a traditional classroom group (comparison group). Quantitative questionnaires given before and after the learning program served to measure students’ motivation and conceptual understanding of the derivative and integral topics. Additionally, a random sample of students who studied in the FC group and the teacher who taught all the groups were interviewed. The study describes the positive effect an FC environment has on students’ conceptual understanding, particularly for 11th graders. The participants mostly appreciated how the FC resulted in less lecturing in class. The study contributes to the literature about FC among minorities and contributes to national and international efforts being made to reduce the gap in mathematics achievements between minorities and other sectors. Full article
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Article
Mathematics Training in Engineering Degrees: An Intervention from Teaching Staff to Students
Mathematics 2021, 9(13), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9131475 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 576
Abstract
There has always been a great concern about the teaching of mathematics in engineering degrees. This concern has increased because students have less interest in these studies, which is mainly due to the low motivation of the students towards mathematics, and which is [...] Read more.
There has always been a great concern about the teaching of mathematics in engineering degrees. This concern has increased because students have less interest in these studies, which is mainly due to the low motivation of the students towards mathematics, and which is derived in most cases from the lack of awareness of undergraduate students about the importance of mathematics for their career. The main objective of the present work is to achieve a greater motivation for engineering students via an intervention from the teaching staff to undergraduate students. This intervention consists of teaching and learning mathematical concepts through real applications in engineering disciplines. To this end, starting in the 2017/2018 academic year, sessions addressed to the teaching staff from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain were held. Then, based on the material extracted from these sessions, from 2019/2020 academic year the sessions “Applications of Mathematics in Engineering I: Linear Algebra” for undergraduate students were offered. With the aim of assessing these sessions, anonymous surveys have been conducted. The results of this intervention show an increase in students’ engagement in linear algebra. These results encourage us to extend this experience to other mathematical subjects and basic sciences taught in engineering degrees. Full article
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Article
A Multilevel Study of the Impact of District-Level Characteristics on Texas Student Growth Trajectories on a High-Stakes Math Exam
Mathematics 2021, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9010008 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 766
Abstract
Mathematics is a core content area in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and is vital to student learning in the other STEM subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the math performance of fifth- and eighth-grade students in [...] Read more.
Mathematics is a core content area in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and is vital to student learning in the other STEM subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the math performance of fifth- and eighth-grade students in 1170 Texas school districts. We conducted growth hierarchical linear modeling in SAS 9.4 in order to explore the effects of time, district-level characteristics, and their interaction on student performance as measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) math test across three performance levels (i.e., approaching, meeting, and mastering grade level) over three academic years: 2016–2019. The overall findings indicated that, over time, Texas school districts improved in the percentage of students who approached, met, and mastered grade-level performance on the STAAR math test. The results also indicated that five district-level variables consistently and significantly impacted Grade 5 and 8 students’ math achievement at three performance levels. Significant positive factors included the percentage of English learner students and principal years of experience; significant negative factors were the percentage of economically challenged students, student mobility rate, and teacher turnover rate. Full article
Article
An Intervention Based on Identifying Topics That Students Have Difficulties with
Mathematics 2020, 8(12), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8122220 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
Students who start university coming from secondary school commit some common conceptual errors. This paper presents a study developed in the subject of Numerical Methods taught in the second term of the Industrial Engineering Degrees of Oviedo University (Spain). The study was comprised [...] Read more.
Students who start university coming from secondary school commit some common conceptual errors. This paper presents a study developed in the subject of Numerical Methods taught in the second term of the Industrial Engineering Degrees of Oviedo University (Spain). The study was comprised of several activities, with two main objectives. Firstly, detecting over time the main deficiencies in mathematical knowledge presented by students in the first year of their university degrees and secondly, overcoming these shortcomings. The activities carried out involved preparing teaching materials to be uploaded to a shared folder and made available to the students of the subject, the preparation of a questionnaire and the performance of a task group by the students and then giving them feedback about the shortcomings identified. These activities have been well-received by the students and the results obtained have been positive. Our intention, for later courses, is to continue developing this work with some supplementary activities. Full article
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Article
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Maths. The Protective Factor of Resilience in the Face of Mathematical Anxiety
Mathematics 2020, 8(10), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8101660 - 26 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
According to the latest PISA report, the level of mathematical competence of Spanish students is far behind the rest of the OECD countries. One of the main reasons for this is the animosity that students feel towards this subject. Therefore, this study aims [...] Read more.
According to the latest PISA report, the level of mathematical competence of Spanish students is far behind the rest of the OECD countries. One of the main reasons for this is the animosity that students feel towards this subject. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the processes of overcoming the vicissitudes of mathematical anxiety with respect to motivation, metacognitive strategies and academic performance. This study involved 1742 high school students with an average age of 14.87. To analyze the variables of the study, descriptive statistical analyses and a model of structural equations were carried out. The results revealed a negative correlation between resilience and anxiety. In turn, resilience was positively related to motivation and metacognitive strategies, while anxiety was negatively related to motivation and metacognitive strategies. Motivation was positively related to metacognitive strategies and academic performance; finally, metacognitive strategies were positively related to academic performance. Full article
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Article
Analysis of a Mathematical Model. Opportunities for the Training of Food Engineering Students
Mathematics 2020, 8(8), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8081339 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
International research has revealed different roles of mathematics in the practices of engineers and some implications of mathematics teaching for engineering students. Modeling and mathematical models have proven to be valuable tools for their professional work and for their teaching process. This study [...] Read more.
International research has revealed different roles of mathematics in the practices of engineers and some implications of mathematics teaching for engineering students. Modeling and mathematical models have proven to be valuable tools for their professional work and for their teaching process. This study identifies opportunities offered by a process of analysis of a mathematical model in the training of engineers. For this analysis, an interpretation of mathematical models as an object–user–representation triad was used; mathematical models were also considered a pedagogical approach to mathematics teaching. Based on this approach, a qualitative study was developed. A teaching experiment was designed, in which, through a set of tasks, the analysis of a model describing the percentage of moisture removed in a radial airflow food dryer is considered. Results show that students evidenced a comprehension of the model function as a covariation relationship and implemented strategies for understanding it through the graphs in the model. The situated character of students’ reasoning and their experience with professional practices of engineers are also highlighted. Full article
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