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

Advertisements

Copy Blindly and Understand Later

                                   By  Vic  Odarve

Failed to understand and behind in a math discussion? Just copy blindly and understand your notes later.

Math lecturer

Math lecturer

This is an engineering student’s way of life – abounds of mathematical theorems, formulas, principles, transformations, and a lot more. What a life! So, anybody would like to become an Engineer? And adding to the pain, once students behind in a discussion, teachers just told them boldly,” Just copy blindly and understand it later”. Copying without understanding? That’s it. This is the picture painted inside the classroom. The lecturer did no longer explain the details of the steps on how the previous course of mathematical

Copy blindly and understand later

Copy blindly and understand later

principles and techniques are done. “These steps are supposed to be learned in your previous course, and the class is running out of time,” lecturer told the students. That’s why students who did poorly in the previous math are frustrated. Sounds hopeless? Not at all; just copy blindly and understand the notes later!

 Copying blindly simply means noting down whatever the steps the lecturer has

Engineering students after the class

Engineering students after the class

done in the classroom, even without complete understanding on what you have copied. This is the common scenarios in an engineering classroom. The lecturer is a lecturer and nothing more. He knows how to weigh things, whether to review or not, otherwise he will be behind or may not complete the topic before the semester ends. So as a result “just copy blindly “. It is the students’ initiative; teaching them that to become an engineer is not a bed of roses. Math professors like Einstein, works and solves worded problems lightning speed that only few can fully understand. Since math is like a ladder and if students had poor performance in their previous courses, this time it takes its toll. As a result, students just copy without understanding. But this is a significant step…first step to develop how the students can catch up the tremendous pressure to pass the course.

However, this scenario is not so horrible. This message” copy blindly and study later” encourages the students to study more. This means that students must revisit their notes and lessons after the class. The phrase “understand later” lingers in their memory urging them to review on what happen to their notes or else next meeting they do the same…. Copy blindly and completed the bachelor’s degree in six to eight years instead of five. Most often students will find that after a little review in a discussion that initially baffled them will all of a sudden make sense. Thus, like a gravitational pull exerted by dark energy in the expanding universe, “copying blindly and understand later” drags and challenges the students to study.

Subsequently, the students develop a habit of opening the notes and review everything there on what was discussed by the teacher every after the classroom session. Believe it or not, that slowly and surely, the students develop the habits of doing these practices every after the class session. The turn of events is now clear: students find themselves loving and embracing mathematics!

The phrase “copy blindly and understand later” becomes the things of the past.

African Vultures join our New Year’s Preparation

By Vic Odarve

Fearsome, bald, ugly, and dirty! This is how my friends describe these big birds as they patiently waited their turn to clean whatever the garbage left after we slaughtered cows and pigs for New Year’s celebration. These are African vultures…the icons of the African skies and are often seen across the continent.

African Vultures in Nigeria,Africa

African Vultures in Nigeria, Africa

Sniffing and crowding the slaughter area, they alighted on our rooftops and the nearby palm trees. They are our regular visitors whenever we have a huge party celebration- simply looking for whatever the leftovers. Jostling each other over the carcasses of the slaughtered cows and pigs, they gorge themselves when foods are abundant, then relax to allow food to digest. Then these birds frequently visited the area for 3 days as the surrounding still fills the smell of the rotten dead animals.

Roasted pig preparation

           Roasted pig preparation

Though fearsome in their appearance – bald head, devoid of normal feathers,they rarely killed animals by themselves for they have no sharp beaks or talons except when animals are wounded or sick. As always nature does, vulture’s urine contains uric acid, which kills bacteria as they walk through carcasses. That’s why they urinate straight down their legs.

Vultures patiently wait for their turn

Vultures patiently wait for their turn

As the dedicated scavengers, they play their role by recycling rotten animals that no living creatures simply do. They are nature’s purifiers by converting waste into a useful one; hence making our planet habitable.

New Year's day celebration at Elele Catholic Prayers Ministry, Rivers State, Nigeria. More than 10,000 people joined the celebration.

New Year’s day celebration at Elele Catholic Prayers Ministry, Rivers State, Nigeria. More than 10,000 people joined the celebration.

Without these birds who will take care the  rotten/dying/diseased animals in the vast African desert, savannah, and plains? None! And the world will be messed up with diseases! Vultures did the business.

God is a great designer and the role the vultures play in our environment is a remarkable one.

Vultures, one of the icons in African skies, once again join our New Years day preparation-   cleaning the garbage of slaughtered animals – a difficult task for human beings!

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!

Practice is Needed 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 practice until you can perfect it!” That’s it!

After Math practice go outside and relax. Join the Christmas merrymaking with your old folks at home.

After the Math practice, go outside and relax. Join the Christmas merrymaking with your old folks at home.

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

Difficult exercises in mathematics can be visualized and understood easier by breaking down to its simplest forms. The picture looks the same thing for the babies. Solid foods are broken down to its small pieces before taking it whole. But the visualization and better understanding can be achieved only by constant practice. This is the way of life …being an engineering student. An actual practice works best in mathematics because solution involves several processes before getting into its final form. It’s algorithm. The more you practice the more you

Engineering students use MS Excel as practice in solving Engineering mathematics at Madonna University, Elele campus, Nigeria

Engineering students use MS Excel as practice in solving Engineering mathematics at Madonna University, Elele campus, Nigeria

understand why the steps are being done. If done habitually you can explore more techniques and better approaches on 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 exist in our planet and were used by alien to travel to distant universes!

Teachers often told engineering students to do constant practice in solving mathematical exercises or problems whatever written on the classroom. These way teachers are molding students to create 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 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 an 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

This is the strategy that works. In all human endeavor, practice makes perfect!

 

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!

Engineering Mathematics 1

Engineering Mathematics 1

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.

Family tour-Chocolate hills,Philippines

Family tour-Chocolate hills, Philippines

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 am completely blank!

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!

 

Nature Teaches Mathematics

By Vic Odarve

Not everybody loves mathematics! “I don’t like numbers. That’s why I did not take up engineering courses”, said one student. This summed up everything on his schooling! Since kinder up to high school, he has performed miserably in mathematics. But one thing is certain; whether he likes it or not, mathematics is a part of his everyday life. Unknown to many, math already existed in nature the moment we took our first breath of life. What we do is simply marvel mathematics!

The

The “petals” flower form spirals curve describing Fibonacci’s numbers.

Also nature teaches mathematics! Nature and math works in never-ending harmoniously. From the particle world of billions of stars spreading in our cosmic ocean, mathematical laws seem to work keeping the universe in order. From Newton’s law to Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion and Einstein’s law of relativity, math offers our deep understanding on things around us.

Nature has its own way of expressing mathematics! Patterns such as hexagonal beehives, spiraling Fibonacci flowering trees, fractals flowers and plants, fruits and leaves, and many more are actually mathematics!

FRACTALS, BEEHIVES, AND FIBONACCI’S NUMBERS

Fractals are repeating geometric pattern. They are rough fragmented geometric shapes that can be repeatedly subdivided into parts and that each small portion can be viewed as a replica of the whole. These are geometric designs we teach in classrooms. Since repeated, in mathematics is called iterations or algorithms. Newton’s method, simplex programming, Gauss Seidel, Jacobi, and many more algorithms are among few examples. Some plants exhibit simple recursive operations that after a few number repetitions or iterations their shape can be recognized as a repeated geometric pattern. It is mathematics! Fractals in nature are always pleasing to our eyes – clouds, plants leaves and fruits, galaxies, shells and many more. Plants such as sunflowers, ferns, cabbages, and papaya leaves are among a few of them.

Leaves arrangement suggests repetition

Leaf arrangement suggests repetition

Honeycomb structure is also a nature mathematical exhibition. Look at its hexagonal shape. Its cross-section is made of the comb, a latticework of hexagonal cells made of beeswax. It is an expression of geometry in action. The design might be the most economical in terms of labor and wax; hence expressing least cost in economics and linear programming in mathematics!
Fibonacci number is a simple example illustrating the existence of sequence in mathematics. Just like arithmetic and geometric sequences and progressions. But in the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, each number is the sum of the previous two: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc. And these numbers are exhibited in various “family trees” and patterns of spirals of leaves and seeds. The image of a nautilus shell approximates the sequence of the Fibonacci’s number in nature. Once again, nature teaches math!

Fractals, Fibonacci‘s shells, and beehives are iconic images that capture the beauty of nature displays in mathematical expressions. These displays are like ornaments to the eyes of the mathematicians. A living math in motion in order for us to love and appreciate nature! Indeed, nature teaches mathematics!

Smartphones Boost Your Math Skills

By Vic Odarve

It is a wonderful world. Just a tip of your finger and the world will go round and round. Almost everybody loves this gadget… a cell phone! The cell phone is one of the most versatile electronic gadgets in the market today.This gadget becomes a necessity for everybody. Latest cell phone features include a camera, internet access, storage for pictures, audio, and video files, and many more. These things can help college students with all aspects of their studies. Just press the call button and you are connected to your loved ones and friends throughout the world. Talking and chatting! Young and old people alike… cell phones are their indispensable partners wherever they go. It seems our lives are difficult without this gadget.

Mathematical Formulas from these textbooks are stored in smartphones.

Mathematical Formulas from these textbooks are stored on smartphones.

But college students use these cell phones in other means… boosting their math power! It is a learning tool to develop math skills. Take for example, a student in Calculus! While studying under the shade of the old oak tree at the university campus, he forgot to recall the formula in the Differential Calculus. The product and quotient rules of differentiation! What else did he do? With a cell phone, he simply scanned the picture files and refreshed the formulas on the screen with ease. That’s how it is. Instead of pictures, mathematical formulas are put there! And instead of audio for love and rock songs, recorded audio files on discussion or explanation of the mathematical formulas are put there. Storages for picture and audio files on his phone are filled with mathematical clips. Cell phones become a storage file for his studies. That keeps boosting his math understanding and skills! The student is the one who does the recordings and arranging the formulas for his easy access and reference.

It is his real world with phones… maximizing his gadget to boost his math power. “In my

Smartphone boosts your Mathpower

Smartphone boosts your Mathpower

spare time, Sir, I spent listening to my recorded audio and helped me a lot to remember the previous mathematical theorems, principles, and formulas which are often used in mathematics”, he added.

This way he familiarizes the mathematics by listening to the audio discussions and scanning thru pictures of formulas instead of memorization. No wonder this student is one of the top achievers in my class in Calculus!

It is now a different world. It is different from our college days. Technology really works wonders! Cell phones are now a partner with students in studying mathematics. Like Higgs particle that gives mass to everything that will interact with it, cell phones give boost your math power to those who make it as a tool in mathematics. It seems this gadget is inseparable to our lives. Perhaps someday society has come to a point where the idea of living without cell phones seems absurd. With this gadget, developing the student’s math skills becomes more exciting. We are living in this digital world. And undoubtedly, smartphones boost students’ math skills and understanding!

 

LEARNING MATH AT CLASSROOM

LEARNING MATH AT CLASSROOM

Let us learn from plants! It is the nature’s way. Just like learning math at classroom! Plants make use of the quantum physics superposition theory. They harvested packets of light energy and converted to chemical energy with remarkable efficiency. Experts found that photons come in and see many energy paths and the effect called “coherence” helps determine which path is the most efficient to follow. That is it! Plants, the receiving end, maximize the conversion process!

IMG-20131003-00161Students studying mathematics are like plants harvesting the light energy. If students do not find the most efficient way to capture the wisdom of the classroom discussion, they are not converting efficiently the best knowledge that supposes to be imparted by the lecturers. Everything they do from the start to the end of the lectures has something to do with their own learning method.
Classroom lectures work on the same idea as plants do. Students, being the recipient of knowledge, must learn it with remarkable efficiency. Teachers always find the most efficient means to impart the subject to the students the best that they can deliver. Teachers feed them different ways how to solve mathematical problems by breaking these into its components slowly

Engineering Mathematics 1 students batch 2013 First Semester

Engineering Mathematics 1 students batch 2013 First Semester

and slowly. Then finally problems are transformed to its basic operations. This is basically the features of the classroom lectures!
Still classroom lectures are the best means for students to learn fast in mathematics. Teachers are there to instruct, discuss, assist, and show different approaches in mathematics by working out examples and illustrations. Classroom lecture offers opportunities for students to ask questions, offers suggestions and presents ideas, and shares knowledge with others.
In order to help students, the following are tips on how to maximize learning on classroom lectures;

1. Take an advanced reading of the topic for discussion before going to the class. Just read and picture out the new subject matter even you do not have clear understanding. Just a glimpse of the new topic! The idea is to let you feel as if you are in a review mode when you are in the classroom.

2. Listen carefully the discussion done by the teachers. Make notes on important points! This keeps you alert for the whole session. This avoids feeling sleepy or daydreaming. Sometimes teachers could share their own knowledge on things that may not be found in your textbook. Be an active participant.

3. Ask question if you fail to grasp some important points during class lectures. This keeps you from guessing and spending time later on your review. By asking questions, you learn and solidify important points. Understand the why behind every steps of the solution.

High-achievers undoubtedly do more efficient way to maximize their learning in classroom. Though not all students are endowed with wisdom to learn quickly like King Solomon, above suggested tips will help the slow learners in Mathematics. Remember there is no day in our life without mathematics!

Working Math Exercises; Tips and Benefits

           By Vic Odarve

Mathematics texts/workbooks have something in common: exercise sets are presented at the end of the chapters. That’s why engineering students often wonder what are they for? More so, lecturers often told students to solve some of these exercises and submit the solutions on the next meeting. The message is clear: they are there to be worked out! These exercises are like a passport before students can go ahead to the next chapter. That is it!

Engineering Mathematics 1

Engineering Students

Like a wormhole, it screens whether students are ready for the next topics; also meant to wrap up everything what students are supposed to learn the whole chapter under study.  If the teachers do not give an assignment on the exercises, solve them by yourself for your own benefit. Following are tips on how to work most out of the exercises;

1. As starting point, select one exercise that is similar to your notes or workbooks or the one discussed by your teachers.

2. If you find still difficult and you could not solve anyone of the exercises, go back to the examples from your notes and textbook you are using. Review your example notes and solve without looking the solution. Check if you have a similar answer. If along the way you get stuck up, uncover the solution for a while and see where in the way you get lost. Repeat this process until you can master and understand how it is done. If you are convinced that you comprehend the process, go back to the exercise which is similar to your notes and solve it.

3. Make it a habit of reviewing or checking your work until your final answer. Since most exercises have answers, look and compare your answer only after you thoroughly check yours. If you get one exercise with a correct answer, solve the remaining. This way will build your confidence.

Working math exercises proves beneficial to engineering students. It relates to academic success. Following are common benefits derive from working math exercises;

1. Students who work math exercises perform better on tests or examination. By working exercises, students are reviewing what they cover in class, thus increasing their understanding of the subject concept better.
2. Students develop self-discipline and management skills too.
3. Students feel enjoyment and challenge in mathematics.
4. Students put their new acquired skills into practice. Practice makes perfect.

IMG-20140114-00333

Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

Later, students will realize that what they learn in that particular chapter will be used in the next chapter. Mathematics or workbooks subject contents are presented in sequence. Master the first one before the next. Do not skip. If they could not solve the exercises at the end of the chapter, most likely they will be in trouble the next chapter. Follow the tips. Do it now, do not delay! Solve the exercises! Geniuses in mathematics are a gift from God, but skills could be developed!

Simply by following the tips, academic success and other benefits are yours.