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Spatial Problem Solving in an Integrated First-Year Curriculum

Volume 1, Issue 4
Spring 1991
Jerry Fine and Lee R. Waite, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

An integrated first-year curriculum in science, engineering and mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology emphasizes the links between such subjects as calculus, physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering graphics in a way that stresses interdisciplinary problem solving. Our new course is taught in a classroom in which each student is provided with a Mathematica-equipped NeXT workstation. This paper describes how traditional material in engineering graphics has been integrated with modern computational geometry in order to enhance the students' ability to solve three-dimensional spatial problems. Mathematica provides the link between the visual world of orthographic views and the abstract world of symbols and numbers that makes this integration possible.

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