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Situated Acquisition of Mathematical Knowledge


In cooperation with the Competence Center University Didactics in Mathematics (KHDM) this project concentrates on mathematics for students of electrical engineering in the introductory phase. Beyond different entry prerequisites for students and the resulting heterogeneity in mathematical expertise, engineering mathematics involves the challenge to formulate mathematical abstractions of technical contexts. These abstractions can be handled using mathematical methods before returning to technical aspects.

The project includes specific development work with subsequent testing and evaluation. Among others, the following topics are examined:
  • students' prerequisites such as mathematical expertise, utilized learning strategies and incitements for the choice of study;
  • study and work habits, learning difficulties, development of students' motivation and mathematical competencies during the first year of study.
Moreover, the initial phase of the bachelor degree course in electrical engineering requires mathematical knowledge which in some cases clearly goes beyond school mathematics but will be presented only later in mathematical courses. Therefore, this project focuses on the situated acquisition of mathematical knowledge in the course Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering A. By this gaining mathematical competencies in the situated context of this specialist subject is meant. After evaluating and systematizing measures already taken, the following steps are intended:
  • development of mathematical excursions within the lecture;
  • preparation of applets to clarify mathematical relations;
  • arrangement of coordinated self-learning offers.
Further objectives are the general enhancement of the coordination of mathematical and technical subjects as well as transferring the concept to other subjects.

The project is funded by the Stiftung Mercator and VolkswagenStiftung within the initiative „Bologna - Zukunft der Lehre” and is accomplished with participation of the Universities of Kassel and Lüneburg.


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