The WSU Model for Engineering Mathematics Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper summarizes progress to date on the WSU model for engineering mathematics education, an NSF funded curriculum reform initiative at Wright State University. The WSU model seeks to increase student retention, motivation and success in engineering through application-driven, just-in-time engineering math instruction. The WSU approach begins with the development of a novel freshman-level engineering mathematics course (EGR 101). Taught by engineering faculty, the course includes lecture, laboratory and recitation components. Using an application-oriented, hands-on approach, the course addresses only the salient math topics actually used in a variety of core engineering courses. These include the traditional physics, engineering mechanics, electric circuits and computer programming sequences. The EGR 101 course replaces traditional math prerequisite requirements for the above core courses, so that students can advance in the engineering curriculum without having completed a traditional freshman calculus sequence. This has enabled a significant restructuring of the engineering curriculum, including the placement of formerly sophomore-level engineering courses within the freshman year. The WSU model concludes with the development of a revised engineering mathematics sequence, to be taught by the math department later in the curriculum. The result has shifted the traditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineering motivation for math, with a just-in-time placement of the new math sequence. The current paper summarizes the motivation, goals and development to date of the WSU model, which is currently in its first year of implementation. The paper reflects modifications since the approach was first reported one year ago, and includes a preliminary assessment of student performance and perception during the first run of EGR 101.


Presented at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Portland, OR, June 12-15, 2005.