Acta Didactica Napocensia
Volume 10 Number 1, pages 1-18
Published: 30 May 2017
FORMAL ABSTRACTION IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION —
CHALLENGES AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
Walther A. Neuper
Abstract. This is a position paper in the the field of Engineering Education, which is at the very beginning in Europe. It relates challenges in the new field to the emerging technology of (Computer) Theorem Proving (TP). Experience shows, that teaching abstract models, for instance the wave equation in mechanical engineering and in electrical engineering, is difficult. This paper suggests novel technology to support learning in a novel way such that abstract models are better understood eventually. Such support acknowledges learning and mastering abstraction as a long-term process, which requires revisiting physical and mathematical concepts again and again, which in turn continuously raises the level of abstraction at an individual pace and fosters students' familiarity with formal descriptions capturing essential properties of models and respective elements. The paper discusses the potential of TP to support students' process of abstraction and expected impact on teaching mathematics at engineering faculties.
Key words: Engineering Education, Formal Models, Mathematical Abstraction, Interactive Worksheets, Computer Theorem Proving