Why join the course?
This course has now finished, but you can sign up for the next run of this course which begins on 15 September 2014.
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, analyse and predict the behaviour 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
- learn how to plot points and straight line graphs and use these lines to solve problems
- 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
Professor Tony Croft has written about how this course will help young people prepare for the mathematical demands of university for the FutureLearn blog. Read his post: “Trying to make it all add up.”
Who is the course for?
The course is designed for students who have some engineering or science knowledge gained through vocational qualifications or through workplace experience but who perhaps have not studied mathematics formally since leaving school. It will be appropriate for those who lack confidence but who need to establish a bedrock of knowledge in order to further their education. To gain the most from the course it will be necessary to plot some graphs (graph paper will be provided).
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