The three engineering programs at OC began requiring a new freshman class in Fall 2009. This class, ENGR 1103 Foundations of Engineering Mathematics, is based on a $100,000 research project at OC funded by the National Science Foundation. The intent of this class is to introduce students to engineering while providing a range of mathematics topics that are used in the early engineering classes. The rest of the curriculum has been modified so that the hours required for graduation remain at 128. The real goal of this class is to help engineering students succeed. Traditionally engineering programs have started students in calculus with a theoretical mathematics class following every semester for the first few years. Many engineering students do not connect the engineering applications to the important mathematics that proves so useful as the student progresses. This new class makes those engineering applications of mathematics very early with concrete examples and laboratories. The class also serves as the mathematics prerequisite for most beginning engineering courses, so that the timing of the calculus sequence is not as critical for the engineering student. Our goal is that more of our students have a greater understanding of the use of mathematics in engineering, they make better grades, and they complete their degrees.
The research project, A National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education, was pioneered at Wright State University. You can find a link to their web site here. Their documented results of improved student retention, motivation, and success have been remarkable. Since they began this project, other universities have joined with them, including three universities in Oklahoma: Oklahoma State University, Tulsa University, and Oklahoma Christian University.
Our class, which was offered for the first time in Fall 2009, includes a laboratory component where various electrical, mechanical, and computer experiments are used to show the applications of mathematics in engineering. The course is structured so that students who are elgible to enroll in ENGR 1103 should be able to enroll in calculus and all entry level engineering classes following successful completion of this class.
If you already have credit for some calculus, we still are asking you to enroll in this class as it stresses the application of mathematics to engineering and serves as an introduction to engineering.