Mathematics as a Gatekeeper to Engineering

MEDLEE Project: Mathematics as a Gatekeeper to Engineering: The Interplay between Mathematical and Design Thinking

Research Questions

  1. How do students respond to open-ended, ambiguous design tasks?
  2. How do students’ thinking processes differ based on differences in mathematics, design and engineering backgrounds?
  3. How do students’ thinking processes differ based on difference in attitudes towards and beliefs about mathematics, design and engineering?

Activity and Sample
First–year Engineering Students and Senior Engineering, Design, Mathematics Students

Frameworks, Instruments, and Analysis
Data collection/framework: Think-Aloud Protocol, Design Task Artifacts, Transcribed Interview Responses
Analysis: Critical Incident Analysis using Video Data and Transcripts
All pilot participants focused more on design related aspects during the first hour.

Preliminary Results
The senior students seemed to have a more developed strategy for approaching design tasks.
The participants applied varying mathematical practices and knowledge to the task.

Contributors
Monica Cardella

DeLean Tolbert

John Mendoza Garcia (LinkedIn, Personal)

Anirudh Roshan Sriram

Guannan Liu