Mathematical beauty in service of deep approach to learning

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In the fall of 2014 I taught ‘02601 Introduction to Numerical Algorithms’ to a class of 86 engineering students at Technical University of Denmark. The course employed basic calculus and linear algebra to elucidate and analyse canonical algorithms of scientific computing. A major part of the course was hands-on MATLAB programming, where the algorithms were tested and applied to solve physical modelbased problems. To encourage a deep approach, and discourage a surface approach to learning, I introduced into the lectures a basic but rigorous mathematical treatment of crucial theoretical points, emphasising the beauty of the underlying mathematical structure. Into this I integrated frequent and activating dialogue with the students. In section 1 I describe the course and the students in more detail. Section 2 details and justifies the pedagogical elements I introduced into the lectures; my central hypothesis is also given there. The results of the experiment are presented and discussed in section 3.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Annual SEFI Conference (2015)
Number of pages8
Publication date2015
Article number55856
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event43rd Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2015) - Orléans, France
Duration: 29 Jun 20152 Jul 2015
Conference number: 43


Conference43rd Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2015)
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CHAPTER 3. Mathematics and Engineering Education


  • Mathematics
  • Engineering


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