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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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!

How and Why Do Students Cheat During Exams?

                        By Vic Odarve

Cheating, which has been a problem for generation in educational institutions, has increased dramatically in the past few years. It becomes a game of ‘hide and seek’ between students and teachers! How and why do students cheat require both expertise in the field and understanding of our society where we lived in.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Teachers need not be a secret agent or detective like James Bond to catch students cheating during exams! Classroom experiences often guide them detect and catch students cheating. There is no second thought about that. They are the experts in this field.

How do Students Cheat?

Below are the common signs students doing the cheating;

1. Students’ eyes wander to the ceiling or somewhere else instead of their own papers. They may be pretending to recall or work out the answers in their minds, but actually copying from another’s paper or sneaking in a cheat piece of scripts.

2. Hands are very busy moving or scanning a sort of paper or scripts hidden somewhere at his disposal. Palms, hands, fingers, and arms are written with codes

Exam time. No cheating!

Exam time. No cheating!

that only they could decipher. Codes related to the exams! Just like an ancient writings, they alone can interpret! Notes are sometimes on their laps or hidden under their chairs waiting for any chance to deliver!

3. Twisting their heads more often than not. Students do bend their heads and shoulders to have a good glimpse on others scripts.

Above are the classic pictures in the exam rooms. Teachers could then simply pinpoint the students who are cheating.
But one thing must be avoided…. don’t immediately suspect students to have cheated without catching them. Some students may just be nervous and twitchy, and other students might just collect the thoughts by looking upon ceiling or around the exam rooms.

Why Do Students Cheat?

The school with difference.

The school with difference.

1. Unprepared to take the exams. Most students open and study the notes only when the exam time period is near. They are running out of time to study. The toll takes in.

2. Behavioral influence. Cheating has been their way of life, whether at home or school. Some merely emulate high profile people in our society who are cheaters and get away with it unpunished. Their minds are whitewashed that cheating is normal.

3. Pressure to get good grades. Parents as well as teachers are always reminding them to obtain good grades. Others are determined to get good grades by cheating. They are lazy to stay awake all night to study.

But how far we have this problem? In biblical times, Rebekah helping her favorite son, Jacob, tricks his blind father, Isaac by having his arms covered with animal skin in imitation of Esau’s hairier body. Thus, Jacob was able to ask for and receives the blessing that should have gone to the eldest son, his brother. It is cheating in biblical time!

Today, both high and low-achieving students cheat. Students generally like to think of themselves as honest and condemned cheating; but they do cheat. They point to examples of cheaters in our government officials that tell us the standards for honesty are different these days. That is why senators, congressmen, and other lawmakers, nowadays, insist that they have not committed graft and corruption despite being indicted by the supreme court and put in jail.

Learning how students cheat and knowing this practice since time immemorial put the teachers/lecturers in a better position to control its widespread practice to our educational system. One thing is clear: The effects of cheating are detrimental both to the students and society.

 

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!

 

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!

 

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.

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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.

Keep Your Big Mouth Shuts!

           by Vic Odarve

When Joseph visited Dr. Martin’s clinic for HIV patients, some of his friends spotted him. So in a party held for the employees a week later, somebody asked him if he had an HIV. Joseph jokingly said, “Yes, that’s why you had seen me at the clinic last Tuesday”. He just talked without bothering it! Joseph actually had no HIV but merely visited the doctor for some business not related to his health. But when he reported to work the next day, almost everybody thought that he was infected with HIV. The news grew rapidly like a wildfire! “It is horrible!” he said. The news amplified and became unpleasant to his ears when somebody asked him on his health. That was it. It started as a joke and appeared out of control!

Keep our big mouth shuts!

Keep our big mouth shuts!

In one of a work happy hour, Mary shared her stories to the group that school management approved her scholarship abroad. Then somebody asked her question,”What if you will be hired to teach at that university with much higher salary?”Then she replied without bothering herself,”Well, I have to accept the offer”. That was it! A little rumor developed! But to her surprise the message amplified and spiraled to a proportion that it reached to the management. A few days later, her boss called her to his office. The school management cancelled her engineering doctorate scholarship in London.

So, better keep your mouth shuts next time!

See what happened. Joseph felt irritated when friends asked about his health. It brought an unpleasant atmosphere to his working environment. On the other hand, School management cancelled Mary’s scholarship for no apparent reasons. Their common denominator: Both did not keep their big mouths shut!

Biblical story, too, reminds us that it is better to keep out our mouth shuts. Abraham kept his mouth shut from the day he received the message to sacrifice Isaac until the final moments when the angel intervened.

Life is what we make it. Perhaps some intimate details in our lives are better left unsaid. Keep it from public knowledge! Even to our best friends! Or make second thoughts if we want to divulge! By keeping some vital information to ourselves is a safer option than risking ourselves to the outside world. We will soon realize that this world is much wider than just what we know to be our own.

So, keep your big mouth shuts!

The Joy of Helping Others

               By Vic Odarve

My office is open to all students except on some special occasions. And one day, a student came to my office asking assistance on how to derive the famous Einstein equation E= mc2. Upon recognizing that he was not my student, I asked him “How do you know that I can derive the equation?”My friend told me, Sir”, he replied warily.

Final Exam

              Fr. Edeh’s Arch Exam room

Then on another occasion, students came to my office bringing laptops and asking more tips on solving problems on matrices, statistics, and linear programming using MS Excel. The same thing: most of them were not my students! Then I asked them, “How do you know that I can help you?”Our friends told us, Sir”, they replied in unison.

“No problem”, I said to myself. I love to help students. A little help would mean a lot to them. These students are resourceful and they are making the best of things while I am still in this university.

IMG_20151109_173748

                  Seminar Workshop

Then one day somebody knocked my office door. I was surprised. He was not a student! He was a university teacher and an owner of a mall in the community. He requested for a website design offering assistance for campus students! I was overwhelmed! I was wondering how he got the information. Without asking questions and hesitation, I made one for him! Later I found out   that students told him that I am making a website for free.

That was it! I designed a website for free. It was a good website design and it attracted students’ attention. It became a big hit in the campus! The news spread like a wildfire in the entire university. Students were asking who design the website! The word was spreading.

Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria

After a few months and upon their request, I conducted a seminar on website design inside in the campus. The seminar drew much attention to students and community people alike. There I found myself speaking in a huge crowd that I never expected. My heart filled with joy. I could see on their faces how happy the students and community people were!

That’s how the things started. From a student who came to know the E= MC2 and ended on a seminar engagement on website design!

This is life. A little help makes a big difference to our neighbors. Just by helping others freely without expecting something in return! Helping others by sharing your knowledge gives you a happiness that money can’t buy. The events become the opportunity for growth. It motivates us to do more and make our life fulfilling. You feel that you are adored and loved by the students as well as the community people. Sharing our knowledge to the less fortunate makes you always feel happy. It also brings joy to our neighbors, too! You have done something good to your brothers and pleasing to the eyes of our Maker. The bible says,

“Let each of us bring joy to our neighbors helping them for the good purpose, for building up.”
– Romans 15, 2

I did it for the glory of God the Father! And to the one sitting on His right hand where no angels and prophets were ever admitted!