New online program helps students achieve required Mathematics for their MSc programs

Mathematics is the language of science, engineering and technology, and increasingly the foundation of many important technology driven developments in industry and society. Understanding its essentials is fundamental for applications and advanced studies.

However, due to a variety of factors (for example international and institutional differences in curricula, student background, and the effects of the pandemic on knowledge acquisition), during the first year of a master often many faculties spend a considerable amount of time in recapping students’ prior knowledge in relevant Maths topics. A new online program, consisting of several stackable MOOCs and titled Mastering Mathematics for Engineering will be developed to help provide a solution to this less than ideal situation.

A valuable resource for students, lecturers and professionals

Lecturers from the Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics (DIAM) – supported by online education experts at the TU Delft Extension School for Continuing Education – will develop the online program over the next two years.  “We expect the program will be ready to run in August 2023,” says Annoesjka Cabo, Director of Studies Interfaculty Education. “It will support students starting their master program who need a more thorough understanding or a refreshing of their Maths knowledge. The online courses will cover topics that are a prerequisite for many MSc engineering programs: calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics. In addition, it will help to ease lecturers’ workload”.

With regards to the new academic year starting September 2021 for example, the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment offers an MSc Geomatics program, which is heavily relying on Mathematics. A pilot crash course taking place this summer will specifically address the Maths needs of new students in this MSc program.

“The new online program will also be valuable for working professionals who need to recap, refresh, update and upscale their Maths skills,” adds Cabo, “since these become increasingly important, in particular in careers where they need to perform data collection and analysis, information modelling and the visualisation of data”.

Dedicated courses for high school and bachelor students

Whilst the new program is being developed to address the needs of master students (and of bachelor students who wish to consolidate their knowledge), TU Delft already offers online courses to help (prospective) bachelor student be well prepared for their university studies through the Pre-University Calculus and Pre-University Physics MOOCs. These online courses are specifically designed to help high school and first year bachelor students bridge the gap between their knowledge in those subjects and what is required and used at university.

In addition to developing the online Mastering Mathematics for Engineering program, the DIAM will also be working with the Teaching and Learning Service Team (Education and Student Affairs) and the TU Delft Library to write an Open interactive book on Linear Algebra.

For more information about the new online program, contact the Project Lead Loes van Hove, Education Coordinator DIAM.

For information on TU Delft’s work in continuing education and lifelong learning, visit the Extension School website.


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