Abstract for: Math and Engineering Education: A Dialogue Created by Introducing Modeling and Simulation in a Mathematics Course

The work presents the importance of building communication bridges between two apparently disjoint academic communities: the mathematicians’ and the engineers’. The need for building communication bridges between these two communities seems to be fundamental in order to rethink the goals of mathematics education. This paper presents the results of an experiment conducted at a private university in Mexico in which a mathematics professor proposed a series of two lessons to introduce System Dynamics modeling as a method to help students better understand the notion of Differential Equations (DE). Four DE groups were involved in the study for a year (2 semesters). The professor designed 2 experimental lessons. The qualitative results collected indicated that SD modeling might potentially help the students’ comprehension of the DE notions; furthermore, this approach allows to see some advantages of incorporating new ways of visualizing and understanding phenomena with the language and philosophy of Systems Dynamics. Moreover, SD modeling allows students to have a new vision of mathematics and deeper understanding of several math concepts.