NOMAD 12(4), 2007. Design of a didactic situation – mathematical experiments

Skapad: 2008-01-10. Ändrad: 2008-01-10  

NOMAD 12(4), 2007. Design of a didactic situation – mathematical experiments

THOMAS VILS PEDERSEN

Abstract

We describe how we used Brousseau’s theories of didactic  situations and didactic engineering as a framework for the development of an exam project in a first year mathematics course at a life science university. The main learning goals of the project were to (re)discover eigenvalues and eigenvectors partly by studying the asymptotic behaviour of matrix models for population growth and to understand the role eigenvalues play in such models. Moreover, the students would gain experience with mathematical experiments with the use of computers and with drawing conclusions from such experiments.

Sammendrag

Vi beskriver hvordan vi benyttede Brousseaus teorier om didaktiske situationer og didaktisk ingeniørarbejde som en ramme for udviklingen af et eksamensprojekt i et førsteårs matematikkursus på et biovidenskabeligt universitet. De vigtigste læringsmål i projektet var at (gen)opdage egenværdier og egenvektorer bl. a. ved at studere den asymptotiske opførsel af matrixmodeller for populationsvækst samt at forstå den rolle egenværdier spiller i sådanne modeller. Derudover skulle de studerende opnå erfaring med matematiske eksperimenter med brug af computer og med at drage konklusioner fra sådanne eksperimenter.

THOMAS VILS PEDERSEN
Thomas Vils Pedersen is associate professor of mathematics at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He comes from a research background in pure mathematics, but his present research interests also include mathematics education, in particular course development and the teaching of mathematics as a service subject at university level.