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Bridging the Vector Calculus Gap

Bridging the Vector Calculus Gap

Collection of materials designed to bridge the gap between the way mathematicians typically teach vector calculus and way it is used by other scientists and engineers. (These materials are not technology-based.)


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Samuel Dagan
Samuel Dagan (Faculty)
13 years ago
The traditional courses of math for physics and engineering students presented by the math department are almost identical to those aimed for the students of mathematics, although the needs for these two populations are different. There are two possible solutions: 1. The physics department could take also the responsibility of teaching the material of the problematic math courses. 2. Convince the math department to make the necessary modifications in these problematic courses and continue to take the responsibility of teaching them. Although the second solution looks more natural, in the Tel-Aviv University we were not successful in convincing the math department to adopt it, and we had to choose the first one. The project "Bridging the vector calculus gap" is trying to influence the mathematicians to adopt the second (the better) solution. It could require a long and courageous effort, but it seems that by the use of pictorial and animated means among others, there is a good chance that the project will finally succeed. In such a case this will bring a great benefit to all sides concerned, and there are already partial indications of attitude's change in the right direction.