The study of Mathematics as an independent academic subject in engineering has always focused on the application aspect of the subject than studying pure maths. Since engineers are only interested in how the mathematical concepts can be applied to arrive at the solutions to a problem they face, an emphasis is placed on constructing algorithms and writing corresponding computer programs based on applied maths. Students aspiring to be engineers, therefore, acquire all the fundamental concepts of the subject during their secondary and higher secondary education so that they are properly equipped to face the rigours of university education.
Although the importance of maths as a pure subject cannot be overstated, the syllabus for the study of the subject during engineering heavily favours the topics such as numerical analysis and Newton’s interpolation and extrapolation formulas. It is expected of a student at this level to have a thorough grasp of topics such as conversion of units from SI units to other types and vice versa. It does not mean that a student of engineering can completely overlook concepts such as logarithmic functions or partial differential equations as understanding a lot of engineering concepts involve applying these concepts that are deemed to be ‘pure’.
As the application of computers in every field of engineering increases exponentially, classical engineering subjects such as Finite Elements Method have seen their importance diminish and their place is taken by computer programs such as AnSys. However, neglecting to remember trigonometric formulas or integral formulas can only lead to disaster.
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