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TOPIC STUDY GROUP 9: MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN AND FOR WORK
Name(s): Gisela Hernandes Gomes & Janete Bolite Frant
Affiliation:: Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie and Universidade Bandeirante de So Paulo
Country: Brazil
Email: giselah@mackenzie.com.br and janetebolite@yahoo.com.br
Proposal Title of: The mathematics used by the students of a Production Engineering Undergraduate Course for its mandatory curriculum.
Proposal Nature of: Research
One sentence summary: In Brazil the national curriculum guidelines of the engineering undergraduate courses of 2001 establish as obligatory (Trabalho de Concluso de Curso - TCC) as an activity of synthesis and integration of knowledge. The present work has as goal to investigate how the mathematical content - ideas and techniques - taught in engineering undergraduate courses is mobilized by the students when they are preparing their work for courses conclusion. Specifically, it proposes to analyze the interventions of the adviser professors and the observations of the different execution stages of the projects elaborated by the students of a Production Engineering Undergraduate Course.
Abstract
The mathematics that is taught in undergraduate courses of Engineering has been emphasized in debates and studies and a reason of attention since the creation of the International Commissing on Mathematica Instruction (ICMI) in 1908, according to Howson et al (1988). In 1918, at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) there was an relevant discussion about the mathematics taught to engineers and about who should teach mathematics to the engineer in a more suitable way, which indicates to us that these concerns are not recent. In the Brazilian context, the institutions and associations have been propitiating encounters and debates about Engineering Education, such as the discussions and proposals of Programa do Desenvolvimento das Engenharias - PRODENGE (Program for Development of the Engineering), its subprograms of Reengenharia do Ensino da Engenharia REENGE (Program for Reengineering of the Engineering Education) and the Redes Cooperativas de Pesquisa - RECOPE (Cooperative Networks of Research) of the Programa de Modernizao e Valorizao das Engenharias PROMOVE (Program of Modernization and Value Increasing of the Engineering) and of the Associao Brasileira de Ensino de Engenharia - ABENGE (Brazilian Association of the Engineering Teaching).
Some researchers point out how certain professionals work and use the mathematics in their specific areas. Noss and Kent (2000), in the project The Mathematical Components of Engineering Expertise, examined how the ideas and mathematical techniques were used by civil engineers on projects at a great company of civil engineering.
The present research tries to point to and discuss some elements that demonstrate the application of the mathematics studied on the academic trajectory of a student in an undergraduate Production Engineering course, during the elaboration phases of the subject of its undergraduate work. Some indications of that use appear in an interview made with the students of 8th semester from an undergraduate course of Production Engineering, in the period in which these students were determining the subject to be studied and investigated in their final projects.
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