Top 3 Performers in Engineering Math 1(EMT 201)

Shown below were the top 3 students’ performers in Engineering Mathematics 1 (EMT 201) for the First Semester 2015-16 Engineering 200 level. The Final exam was conducted last March 1, 2016, at Edeh’s Ark Exam Hall, Madonna University, Elele Campus, Nigeria, Africa. Their performance is based on their Cumulative Assessment (CA) and Final Exam result for the semester.

Reg. Number CA(30% max) Final Exam(70%max) Total Score
First Place
CHE/14/034 26 65 91
PTE/14/107 26 65 91
Second Place
CVE/14/115 25 65 90
EE/14/150 25 65 90
PTE/14/092 25 65 90
FST/14/012 25 65 90
Third Place
PTE/14/099 24 65 89
EE/T/14/122 24 64 89
MECH/14/063 26 63 89

 

Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

 

VICTOR E. ODARVE – BSME/MEP-ME/MAED/EDD

Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department

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My Math Visitor

         By Vic Odarve

Except for private institutions, the country’s federal state universities and colleges were plagued with teachers’ union strike. Students stayed at their homes waiting for trouble to settle and resume their classes afterward. But one student refused to stop her schooling!

So I am lucky to teach in one of the private universities. No teachers’ union strike!

School Campus

School Campus

In one of my visit to the university library to read some local newspaper, one of the students approached and requested me to have some explanation on the math solutions previously discussed in the classroom. “Okay, what part of the topic?” I told her. She opened her notes and showed the steps where she got the problems and I did the explanation and discussion. Satisfied, she said, “Thank you, Sir, I understand already”, she said. Then I said,” How was the result of your last quiz?” “I got 90 % score, Sir”, she smiled. “Good, and on next quiz you must get a perfect score”, I replied. Then she slowly walked quietly and slip away. I paid little attention. She got a good score. So nothing to worry!  She may just serious enough and want to do more on her study every day.

Engineering students

Engineering students

Then, the next quiz came. Only 5 out of 234 students in a class got a perfect score. And she was one of them!

It was then that I gave her an attention. I noticed that during the class session, she sat at the end of the last row of the seats in a packed and overcrowded room. She listened intently and focused to my discussion. No friend, no talking even on her seatmates as if she knew none of her classmates! “She must be too shy”, I guessed.

The semester math course was about to finish. I gave the final quiz before the final exam. “This would be the last quiz”, I told the students. Then what was the result? She got perfect score again! She had done it! “She is a good performing student”, I told myself.

The next meeting I returned the quiz scripts. She was absent. For almost two weeks, I could no longer see her. Then I inquired the course representative and her classmates what happened to this girl. To my surprise, none of her classmates knew her. She vanished and I received no word from her and her whereabouts! I was completely blank!

Math students

Math students

After two weeks my phone rang. The girl informed me that she returned to her school at the federal university since the teachers’ strike was over. She thanked and told me that she learned and enjoyed math during her stint in my class. It was then I knew that she was my math- visitor. She was not my student! She refused to stop schooling! Then she returned to where she belonged!

Why do some Universities Teach Better?

         By Vic Odarve

Some universities teach better than others; hence producing the best quality of graduates. People believe that the performance of these universities largely depends on their management style; may a private or federal government funded. Whatever the reasons, these universities that teach better have common denominators, as follows;

IMG_00000025

1.Highly qualified lecturers/teachers. This is the main factor that contributes to the student’s academic success or educational quality. Mathematically speaking, knowledge to be imparted from the lecturers is directly proportional to what lecturers are having.With highly qualified lecturers, there is a predetermined body of knowledge that the teacher should pass on to the student.

These universities believe that the qualifications and competency of the lecturers bear some direct correlation to their work as lecturers.  Retention of these lecturers/teachers maintains the good performance of the institution.  Good lecturers foster student mastery of more rigorous and challenging academic contents. They can create a positive learning environment in the classroom. These lecturers allow students to feel comfortable, safe and engaged – something that all students deserve. The academic success of any school depends on the instruction provided by the hands of able, high quality and committed teachers.

Engineering students

       Engineering students

2. Strong management supports to teachers/lecturers/students. These universities do have a strong support to the lecturers as well as students by having seminars, upgrading activities, incentives, and other forms of relevant enrichments.  Some do have programs for students such as allowing them to spend time in a clinic, establishments, or school to observe the work of a professional in the field. In most cases, the students may participate in the work in addition to field trips and on the job training.

3. Sufficient and modern laboratory facilities. These universities do have better and updated laboratory equipment and apparatus to meet the advancement of science and technology. Hands- on- training develops student skills and first -hand knowledge application from the classroom lectures. Students can conduct experiments that replicate or illustrate a scientific principle introduced in the course. Laboratory experiments are important in courses such as Physics, acoustics, thermodynamics, and mechanics. Laboratory sections usually augment lectures or discussions in the classrooms. Speech laboratories allow students to listen to audio tapes or use other interactive forms of instruction. These laboratories can provide necessary training for students’ creativity, insight, and analytical skills.

Advising student

                        As adviser

4. Offer competitive salaries. These universities offer attractive salaries to the lecturers. Good salaries tend to attract more competent teachers. The managements believe that with good salaries, lecturers would stay longer at the university, meet the cost of living, bring contentment to the teaching profession, and drive motivation in the day to day activities in the classroom.  The management does not focus too much on monetary profit.

 Universities with the above features teach the students better; hence producing world class graduates – extremely well prepared for high skilled-level jobs globally and potential for future world leaders and great statesmen. In contrast, low-performing schools do not give much attention to the above school environments.

Math-Anxious Parents

                By Vic Odarve

“Math is difficult. I could not get along very well with numbers. Just a set of equations and worded problems got me nervous and frightened”, exclaimed one of the parents whose daughter was at university studying engineering course. He is not alone. He may be one of the hundreds of parents following their child’s math performance at university. Indeed, math is difficult and providing help our students in math is one of the parental problems.

Parents must teach their kids on some apps program

Parents must teach their kids on some apps program involving math

Faced with the growing emphasis in Math in all schools from kindergarten to diploma levels, parents must assist math assignments to their children to whatever levels they are in in the education. It is a parental responsibility to see to it that progress has been made on their studies in all the courses. It is a part of parental monitoring process in order to guide them and what part of the study they could be of help.

Final Exam- Engineering math

Final Exam- Engineering math. The new exam hall can accommodate 3000 students.

With the advancing technology, math expands rapidly, such that most parents are left behind. Modern math, from kindergarten to university courses, is becoming complex that most parents no longer understand the whys behind at every step in computations. In the elementary level, it goes beyond the fundamental of addition and subtraction. Algebraic and probability equations in secondary education often grow into combinatorics and number theory, and differential equations and advanced math in tertiary level are coupled with transformations. These issues are out of the parental mathematical worlds. These require deep understanding that most parents are already grasping their breath. That’s why oftentimes they ignored their child’s request for assistance. Simply, it is because they do not understand as well. They could not give since they don’t have. Faced with difficulty, math anxious parents just keep their mouth shut and bite their lips in silence.

Parents have trouble understanding math notes

Parents have trouble understanding math notes

It is a parental woe. Parents look helpless. Hiring a private tutor is an option but most could not afford. They are trying to help the children in math but how. Some researchers suggest that  parents may enroll in math classes; employ learning tools such as math books or apps that may enable them to interact with the children in positive ways; and coordinate closely with the teachers on new teaching techniques and strategies. These may work, at least, to some degree.

Math-anxious parents are common in our modern society. But math is part of our life. Whether we like it or not, we must be in good terms with math. It is time for the parents to stop saying ‘I don’t like math’. There is no day without math. It not only describes our world, but it underpins everything we do. God bless!

Top Five(5) Performers MEC 232-Strength of Materials

Top Five (5) Performers  MEC 232-Strength of Materials

Second Semester 2014-2015

Below are the top 5 performers of Strength of Materials for the Second Semester 2014-2015 of Madonna University, Elele Campus, River State, Nigeria. Final Exam was given last July 31,2015. Final Score consists of Cumulative Assessment (CA) (30%) and Final exam (70%). There are 230 students in a class in MEC 232.

Reg. Number CA Final Exam Total Score
Top 1 SC/13/309

SC/13/385

27

25

65

67

92

92

Top 2 SC/13/437 25 65 92
 Top 3 SC/13/409 23 65 90
Top 4 SC/13/411

SC/13/500

SC/13/516

27

22

27

60

65

60

87

87

87

 Top 5 SC/13/279

SC/13/533

26

26

60

60

86

86

CONGRATULATIONS. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS!

Happy vacation for all!

  1. VICTOR E. ODARVE, BSME, MEP-ME,MAED, EDD, PHILIPPINES, ASIA

Final Exam Strength of Materials

How to Develop Student’s Math Skills?

                                   By Vic Odarve

Like a game of chess, math involves analyses, deep understanding, and practice. Analyzing every steps as to why it is necessary is very critical in math calculations. Coupled with the analyses, deep understanding of the given information related to the problems makes the situation clear; hence solution will appear. Finally, practice by reworking similar types of math problems will give the students a thorough understanding. These habits develop student’s math skills.

Math lectures

Math lectures

Yes, in math, analyses of the full problems must be pictured out. These include the given information and the questions about the problems. Then think of the approach, methods to be employed, and the principle to be involved that you think will work on the problems, leading to its solution. If however you could not get through, review the lecture notes, if whatever, how the teacher works on the similar problems. Your approach can be different, but it can still be just as effective and yield the same answer. This prepares the students perk up to think of possible results; thus developing their mathematics skills.

Math exam

Math exam

Like the game of chess, deep understanding on every movement matters. With a sound foundation in the theories and principles, math problems can be worked out simpler. It also builds confidence. If it involves complex formulas, break it down into little parts. Analyze and read the steps. If you don’t understand, take a break. Your brain will continue to work on the problem subconsciously. You will often find that after a little work on the steps that initially baffled you, these make sense. Hence, it would be necessary to strive to understand mathematical concepts and its applications and what the math problems are all about. Understanding will develop your skills in math.

Madonna University , Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

Practice math by reworking the same problems until no hitches on your solution. Work on your own until you are familiar with the type of the problems. It will give you an experience of what occurred. If you get stuck up, see your lecture notes. On applied math problems, always check your final answer if it is logical or reasonable. Always check the units of measurement involve as units sometimes will tell you that you get a mistake. Rework your classroom math problems at home until you are confident that you can do it alone. Practice makes perfect, after all.

Math is difficult but with the habit of analyzing, understanding the formulas and concepts, and ceaseless practice, it will grow your skills. And who knows that one day, you will become a mathematician.

Exam and Discipline; No Copying, Please!

                      By Vic Odarve

Without warning, a teacher slapped the student’s face twice after being caught twisting his head to copy another student’s script during the final exam of the course. The student simply did nothing in response after seeing perhaps a million stars twinkling in heaven! In another cheating incident, the lecturer tore the script into pieces before his very eyes in the closing minutes of an exam. Scripts were nothing more than a waste thrown into a garbage can. Surely, this student failed the course! “No copying, please!” the teacher warned.

Final Exam in Engineering Math

Final Exam in Engineering Math

The above scenarios are common sight during final exams. Twisting the heads to almost 360 degrees with eyes dangling a mile just to see and copy the scripts of the classmates seems an eyesore inside the exam room. Sometimes invigilators of an exam talk in a stern voice but lose and raise tempers; hence slapping of faces has acted in.  Copying is more prevalent at the last minute of the exams such that teachers can be seen confiscating scripts and tore them into pieces.  “I am not surprised by this cheating. I have seen this for so many years. It is already in our culture and these strong punishments are messages to our students during final examinations”, quoted one native professor. So be it!

African university, Nigeria

African university, Nigeria

Eastern and western countries have different modes of disciplining college students’ misdeeds. Scripts are merely confiscated and advised the students to go out the classroom quietly. Some schools are stricter when it comes to examination time. In China, for instance, lecturers are allowed to slap students in the face and kick out of the class. But in most countries, physical harm is to be avoided or else you will end up in a court battle. Here, we can beat students with a stick, slap their faces, and kneel before you. And they will not bring you to a court!

But in no way cheating is pleasing to the eyes of God and mankind. Copying one’s scripts during final examination is synonymous to cheating. Whether these disciplines are an extra mile or just a quite short with the red lines established in the student’s manual, this university is not lifting her hands in defeat. Whether one is cheating or copying scripts or corrupting millions of government funds, one is certain: in the last days, we will face God face to face and be judged according to our deeds.

 “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay for each one according to his deeds”. Rev 22:12

Glory to God in the highest. So be it!

Practice Makes Perfect in Math

By Vic Odarve

To practice is to learn. That is learning by doing! And so is mathematics! The same principle can be applied to pass the course in mathematics! An old adage “Practice makes perfect” holds true. After the classroom illustrative examples, solved step by step by the teacher, students must strive hard at home to practice solving by themselves with the aid of the notes. Notes will be put aside only if their confidence is building up and that they can do it by themselves. Teachers often told the students “Don’t stop practicing until you can perfect it!” That’s it!

IMG-20141201-00925

Classroom lecture

Practice working out the solution after classroom can be difficult for some students. But if they continue working on the same examples, chances are they can do it perfectly. It can be developed into a habit later. It is often suggested to read and rework the exercises before going to bed and refresh at early morning before going to school.

Difficult exercises in mathematics can be visualized and understood easier by

Engineering students Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

Engineering students-Practice makes math perfect
Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

breaking down to its simplest forms. But the visualization and better understanding can be achieved only by constant practice. This is the way of life… being an engineering student. Actual practice works best in mathematics because the solution involves several processes before getting into its final form. Its algorithm. The more you practice the more you understand about why the steps are being done. If done habitually you can explore more techniques and better approaches on

Workbooks are designed for practice solving Math problems

Workbooks are designed for practice solving Math problems

what to do with the mathematical exercises or problems. The more you discover its secrets, the more you love mathematics. One will find this learning method quite fascinating just like wormholes… believed to be existed in our planet and were used by alien to travel to the distant universe!

STUDENTS UNCOMFORTABLE AND TEACHERS’ HAPPY

Teachers often told engineering students to do constant practice in solving mathematical exercises or problems whatever written on the classroom. These ways teachers are molding students to create a strong study habits. That is actual practice or hands on! But sometimes students feel uncomfortable when teachers press them to do more practice at home. There were times when teachers reminded students to do constant practice, they could see their eyebrows rose up and their hairs also rose at their backs. It’s something eerie! Teachers know best that by building this habit they are building the students character and lifestyle. Teachers also want to create the student’s landscape and its environment that they are supposed to live in! These teachers are really working hard to help weak learners and by doing so they feel happy to give the students the best education possible! It is happiness in giving your best to the profession you are in. The great teacher Saint Luke, who traveled far and wide with Saint Paul, worked hard in the early expansion of the Christian church. Thus, he once said,

“In every way I have shown you that by so working hard one must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, “Happiness lies more in giving than in receiving.”- Acts 20, 35

STRATEGY THAT WORKS

Constant practice in solving exercises and problems develops the skills on mastery and understanding mathematics. These, too, in turn, are the basic ingredients in developing students to analytical and critical thinking skills. That is, breaking any difficult problems down to its simplest forms. This is the strategy that works. In all human endeavors, practice makes perfect!

Why Mathematics Needs Imagination

                                                By Vic Odarve

For many students, Math is described as a difficult course and only a few are interested; that is why imagination helps to understand, appreciate, and challenge how this course works. Unknown to many, imagination keeps various mathematical equations and formulas stay in our minds; keeping us to understand how it works in real worlds and of course, their limitations. As Mother Nature expresses her beauty through mathematics, from Newton’s law of motion and Kepler’s laws in revolving planets, imagination keeps us appreciate the beauty and grandeur of our planet and the universe we live in. And a lot more, our imagination would keep us challenged to investigate math secrets and its function in the mysteries the universe has. Understanding math is more like doing an imaginative play than anything else!

Mathematics brings anxiety and stress to students

Mathematics brings anxiety and stress to students

Math consists of interwoven equations and formulas, and imagination would keep the students considering how math works in tangible worlds. Imagination adds our knowledge in quantum and cosmic worlds because variables or quantities involve in the math equations, develop only in modern science labs and scientific experiments which are often out in our real senses. In quantum mechanics, for instance, particles behave differently from the classical mechanics. In cosmic science, some mathematical formulas and equations developed from years of observation in various astronomical phenomena like an event horizon, a quantum singularity, the expanding universe, the uncertainty principle and many others. But Einstein’s equations, where time is not constant, and his conversion ratio between matter and energy, are clearly a result in imagination. Prediction formulas, too, which are the product of probability and statistics, also come from imagination. Hence, imagination helps us going to get deep into equations with mathematical relationships between different things.

There is no ugly mathematics. Math is always beautiful.

There is no ugly mathematics. Math is always beautiful. The beauty of math can be further appreciated by imagination. Mother Nature teaches us math; from the plant leaves to the cloud formations and the intricate webs of heavenly bodies stretching into the cosmic ocean are mathematical wonders. Beautiful and intricate applications of mathematics are illustrated in the complexities of our natural world such as the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence, fractals and the honeycomb conjecture. The simple twig of a tree is a fragmented geometric shape, look like the branches which they grow on, which look like the tree itself—a math beautiful expression! Another one is a hexagonal shaped honey combs created by the bee, it is geometry in action. And these are all around us. Mathematical equations give us understanding Mother Nature’s mind and discover how the laws of physics are working. The existence of these laws keeps us appreciate the beauty of understanding mathematics.

Beautiful monuments and natural landscapes are the expression of  mathematics 

And much more, imagination would keep us challenged to investigate math further; unlocks some of the secrets and discover the things we don’t yet understand. Some mathematical laws discovered are so strange that keep our mind-boggling and expanding. Through imagination, we are just like playing equations in our mind and think how it works in different circumstances and challenge to solve some of the mathematical problems. Newton and Leibnitz, for example, imagined how to solve areas of figures bounded by several curves, developed integral calculus; Laplace developed the method for solving differential equation; and probability and statistics for gambling or game of chance.

For math-intensive career like engineering, it is through the imagination that students can play around various math equations and formulas. Imagination is a driving force that leads to many inventions and innovations and what brought us to our present state of civilization. Math is not math until it is understood, appreciated, and challenged. And it needs imagination!

Simplest Way to Study Math

      By Vic Odarve

This is the simplest way to learn mathematics! It is enjoyable and fun! Follow me and let’s explore!

At classroom, you listen intently to your teacher or lecturer. Every word he speaks gathers important information. Observe how he does the steps in solving the problems or exercises. Ask a question if necessary.

Working Examples at the classroom

Working Examples at the classroom, University of Immaculate Conception, Davao City

Then at home, it is your turn! Open your notes. Review and study the steps. Recall the reasons why the professor does it.

Finally, test your understanding! This is the moment! Close the notes and get an extra sheet of paper and solve it by yourself. If you fail to get the correct answer, open your notes and see why you get wrong. Rework if you get wrong! Don’t stop doing it until you get it right! It is just like playing the game of “hide and seek”. You hide the solutions of the problems in your notes and seek its answer by solving yourself. That’s it!

Math students

           Math students at Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

 It’s as simple as that. It is just a pleasure! Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. It holds true!

This simple technique develops a positive thinking. If the final answer is the same as your notes, it gives you confidence. And getting the correct answer raises your adrenaline to a certain level of excitement and joy. Confidence is building up!

 Then go out in your room and relax. See the world outside. It pictures better. It sounds good. You will be in a good mood as if the world is joining your excitements. Happiness for getting the correct answer! That is without seeing the solution from your notes! And you get it right! It is like a medicine. It alleviates depression! It fosters positive mood!

Harvesting rice in Mayana- Beautiful scenery is the work of His Hands

Harvesting rice in Mayana- Beautiful scenery is the work of His Hands

One of my friends was doing this before our final exam. I met him outside of his house, seeing the beautiful pictures of the old school of Mayana Elementary School and National Pilgrimage Center at Elele, River State, Nigeria. He was singing as if in harmony with the bird’s sweet song on the bough of the trees as the sunset faded in the western sky. I told him “Why are you looking these pictures so happy and smiling, my friend”? What was his answer? “I know now the secrets on how to study mathematics.” Then he showed me his scratched papers and said,” I solve it by myself, without looking my notes”. That was his reply. So astonishing!

It caught me by surprise. Indeed, he had learned mathematics in the simplest way!

Learning mathematics is a fun-filled activity. It makes the lives of the students better and, us, too. Even this simple technique is interesting! I love students come to see me with toothy smiles, saying,” Sir, you make our study in mathematics in this university simple and easy”.