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Conference Paper/Proceeding/Abstract 876 views 261 downloads

Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students

Faron Moller Orcid Logo, Liam O'Reilly Orcid Logo

Formal Methods Teaching, Volume: 11758, Pages: 150 - 164

Swansea University Authors: Faron Moller Orcid Logo, Liam O'Reilly Orcid Logo

Abstract

Discrete Mathematics is an inevitable part of any undergraduate computer science degree programme. However, computer science students typically find this to be at best a necessary evil with which they struggle to engage. Twenty years ago, we started to address this issue seriously in our university,...

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Published in: Formal Methods Teaching
ISBN: 9783030324407 9783030324414
ISSN: 0302-9743 1611-3349
Published: Cham Springer International Publishing 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa51498
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spelling 2022-06-16T11:51:29.0460961 v2 51498 2019-08-21 Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students bf25e0b52fe7c11c473cc48d306073f7 0000-0001-9535-8053 Faron Moller Faron Moller true false 5eca7cf79b7384130a1feef384d90508 0000-0002-4894-2158 Liam O'Reilly Liam O'Reilly true false 2019-08-21 SCS Discrete Mathematics is an inevitable part of any undergraduate computer science degree programme. However, computer science students typically find this to be at best a necessary evil with which they struggle to engage. Twenty years ago, we started to address this issue seriously in our university, and we have instituted a number of innovations throughout the years which have had a positive effect on engagement and, thus, attainment. At the turn of the century, a mere 2\% of our first-year students attained a 1st-class mark (a mark over 70\%) in the discrete mathematics course whilst over half of the class were awarded a failing grade (a mark under 40\%). Despite the course syllabusand assessment remaining as difficult as ever (if not more challenging), and despite maintaining the same entrance requirements to the programme whilst more than tripling the class size, for the past two years, two-thirds of the class attained a first-class mark whilst less than 2\% of the class failed. In this paper, we describe and motivate the innovationswhich we introduced, and provide a detailed analysis of how and why attainment levels varied over two decades as a direct result of these innovations. Conference Paper/Proceeding/Abstract Formal Methods Teaching 11758 150 164 Springer International Publishing Cham 9783030324407 9783030324414 0302-9743 1611-3349 Formal methods. Pedagogy 23 9 2019 2019-09-23 10.1007/978-3-030-32441-4_10 COLLEGE NANME Computer Science COLLEGE CODE SCS Swansea University 2022-06-16T11:51:29.0460961 2019-08-21T15:11:04.5235571 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Mathematics and Computer Science - Computer Science Faron Moller 0000-0001-9535-8053 1 Liam O'Reilly 0000-0002-4894-2158 2 0051498-21082019151807.pdf FMTea19.pdf 2019-08-21T15:18:07.8930000 Output 343615 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2020-09-23T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
spellingShingle Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
Faron Moller
Liam O'Reilly
title_short Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
title_full Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
title_fullStr Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
title_full_unstemmed Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
title_sort Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Students
author_id_str_mv bf25e0b52fe7c11c473cc48d306073f7
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author_id_fullname_str_mv bf25e0b52fe7c11c473cc48d306073f7_***_Faron Moller
5eca7cf79b7384130a1feef384d90508_***_Liam O'Reilly
author Faron Moller
Liam O'Reilly
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Liam O'Reilly
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department_str School of Mathematics and Computer Science - Computer Science{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Science and Engineering{{{_:::_}}}School of Mathematics and Computer Science - Computer Science
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description Discrete Mathematics is an inevitable part of any undergraduate computer science degree programme. However, computer science students typically find this to be at best a necessary evil with which they struggle to engage. Twenty years ago, we started to address this issue seriously in our university, and we have instituted a number of innovations throughout the years which have had a positive effect on engagement and, thus, attainment. At the turn of the century, a mere 2\% of our first-year students attained a 1st-class mark (a mark over 70\%) in the discrete mathematics course whilst over half of the class were awarded a failing grade (a mark under 40\%). Despite the course syllabusand assessment remaining as difficult as ever (if not more challenging), and despite maintaining the same entrance requirements to the programme whilst more than tripling the class size, for the past two years, two-thirds of the class attained a first-class mark whilst less than 2\% of the class failed. In this paper, we describe and motivate the innovationswhich we introduced, and provide a detailed analysis of how and why attainment levels varied over two decades as a direct result of these innovations.
published_date 2019-09-23T04:03:24Z
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