Encouraging students’ motivation and Involvement in STEM degrees by the execution of real applications in mathematical subjects: the population migration problem
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Rights accessOpen Access
This paper presents a simplified model of the population migration problem, addressed to first-year engineering students in order to show them the use of linear algebra tools. The study consists of predicting the census in the city centre and in the suburbs, determining the city population equilibrium point, and making a sociological interpretation of population flows. This practical problem is part of the seminar “Applications of Linear Algebra in Engineering”, which is being held at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC). This seminar consists in the learning of linear algebra by the implementation of real applications where mathematical tools are required to resolve them. This paper presents an application of linear algebra to the population migration problem and analyses students’ appreciation through anonymous surveys and personal interviews. The surveys assessed students’ motivation towards the subject of linear algebra and their learning of mathematical concepts. Personal interviews were conducted for students in order to let them express in detail their opinion about the seminar. The results confirm that the introduction of real applications in the learning of mathematics increases students’ motivation and involvement, which implies an improvement in students’ performance in the first courses of STEM degrees.
CitationLópez-Díaz, M.; Peña, M. Encouraging students' motivation and Involvement in STEM degrees by the execution of real applications in mathematical subjects: the population migration problem. "Mathematics", 8 Abril 2022, vol. 10, núm. 8, p. 1228:1-1228:14.