Sep 5th 2016

Getting a Grip on Mathematical Symbolism (FutureLearn)

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Want to be an engineer or scientist? Lack mathematical confidence? Learn to think mathematically and explore essential concepts. This course is aimed at those who aspire to study science or engineering foundation courses at university level. It draws upon the experience of staff from the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University - a centre that has specialised for many years in mathematics teaching and mathematics support for science and engineering students who find the transition to university mathematics particularly challenging.

Through an accessible introduction to graphical and algebraic techniques students will start to think mathematically and develop an informal understanding of vital properties of points, lines and curves before formalizing mathematically some of these essential notions. We adopt a user-friendly approach and describe mathematical processes in everyday language. New ideas are developed by example and discovery rather than by formal proof. Further development will introduce the equation of a line and the significance of its slope and vertical intercept.

The course will close by reinforcing the importance of mathematics to science and engineering. It will pave the way into the study of calculus by explaining that engineers and scientists need to build upon the ideas introduced in order to describe, analyze and predict the behavior of physical, biological and technological systems.

What will you do ?

- watch video explanations of key mathematical ideas

- hear from leading scientists and engineers about the importance of mathematics to their work

- watch fully worked mathematical examples

- try and solve mathematics problems yourself

- test your progress with quizzes

- try and apply what you have learned

- share ideas with other students on the course

- prepare yourself well for embarking upon a science or engineering course