Introductory courses in mathematics typically focus on solving problems exactly using so-called analytical techniques. This is in sharp contrast to what is done in real world problems where the problems are much more challenging, and we need to use computational models to get approximate solutions. In order to bridge the gap between these two worlds, Francis Poulin has developed what he calls “Experiential Learning through Model Simulations” or ELMS. These are experiments "in silica" that students do in a tutorial where they are able to visualize solutions to problems such as the vibrations in a string and drum (of various shapes) and surface waves near the beach (with a bumpy bottom). This experience not only gives the students a powerful means of finding solutions, but they are also able to play with the parameters very easily to see different solutions and develop intuition about the physics at play. After completing enough of these simulations, students submit ELMS Explorations, which is essentially a lab report but with a more inspiring name.
In this talk, Francis and Aaron, a student from the course, will share their experiences with the first offering of a course using ELMS. Together, we can learn from Francis’ and Aaron's experience, and in turn, Francis will engage the audience to learn how he might make this experience even better the next time he offers the course.
Location: MC 2036
Please join us for our fall 2018 Experiential and Integrative Education Session.
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1