ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Observations after Taking a Pre-Calculus Course

Final Paper
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The first author took Math 1710 Pre-Calculus I during the 2012-13 academic year at Tennessee Technological University. The second author was the instructor of record. This paper describes the first author’s experience taking pre-calculus for the first time. The Math 1710 course is similar to a course in college algebra—trigonometry is covered in Math 1720 Pre-Calculus II. In addition to participating in the course for the semester, the first author observed the in-class aspects of the course and talked to students before and after class, playing the role of a nontraditional student. Additionally, the students were not aware that the first author was a fifteen-year veteran faculty member in engineering. In a manner substantially less spectacular than the immersion sports journalism of the late George Plimpton, the first author even managed to make A-marks on some quizzes and tests! Although mostly anecdotal in the nature, the observations of both authors provided some valuable insights into the in-class aspects of the course and the course performance expectations.


Christopher D. Wilson    
Mechanical Engineering
Tennessee Technological University
United States

Troy Brachey    
Tennessee Technological University
United States


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