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The Mathematics Special Interest Group (MSIG) was established in 1982 within the SEFI community.
Mathematics is at the heart of engineering, being both a language for the expression of ideas and the means of communicating results. An effective study programme in mathematics for all engineering students is a necessary requirement for the education of qualified en­gineering graduates capable both of innovation and of adaptation to changing technology. Uncertainty is an essential feature of the engi­neering environment and for this reason, the fields of probability and statistics are included in the Special Interest Group’s domain of interest.


  • to provide a forum for the exchange of views and ideas amongst those interested in engineering mathematics,
  • to promote a full understanding of the role of mathematics in the engineering curriculum, and its relevance to industrial needs,
  • to foster co-operation in the development of courses and support material, in collaboration with industry,
  • to recognise and promote the role of mathematics in the Continuing Education of Engineers.

Topics of interest

  • Activation of learners: How can we ensure that the students are more actively involved in the learning process than in the usual lecture?
  • Use of technology: How can we use technology (CAS, pocket calculator, web, etc.) in the teaching and assessment process in a pedagogically sound manner?
  • Modelling competences and their teaching: What are desirable modelling competences and who (mathematicians, engineers) teaches them how?
  • Assessment: Which forms of assessment are used, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and which learning goals are induced by certain forms of assessment?
  • Content and learning outcomes: What should be the contents and the learning outcomes of the mathematical education of engineers?
  • Mathematics at the workplace: What kind of mathematical qualifications do engineers need in their professional life?
  • Higher-level learning goals: What are higher-level learn­ing goals (e.g. deeper understanding) and how can they be achieved?
  • Mathematical needs in continuing engineering education: What kind of mathematical education do professional engi­neers need in addition to the one they obtained during their university studies?
  • Integration of mathematics and engineering subject education: How can we integrate mathematics education and education in engineering subjects to avoid mathemat­ics being seen as isolated and disconnected?
  • Students’ attitudes towards mathematics: What are students’ attitudes to mathematics and how can we achieve a positive attitude where mathematics is seen as a valuable means to formulate and solve engineering problems?
  • The transition from school to university: How can we alleviate the transition from school mathematics to university mathematics?
  • Didactical principles: What valuable and proven didactical principles (from general mathematics education) can we use in the mathematical education of engineers?
  • Mathematical education research: What are the main topics professional researchers in the mathematical education of en­gineers deal with and what are the main results relevant to the practitioner?
  • It is the intention of the special interest group to provide and update a short overview for each topic and a small list of references for further reading.


Prof. Deolinda Dias Rasteiro

ISEC Coimbra
Antanhol, Coimbra, Portugal

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