Maths high fliers rare in engineering ranks

April 18, 1997

ENGINEERING students are either downhillers, haters, ambivalents or high-fliers when it comes to studying maths, say researchers at Warwick University.

Husband and wife team Chris and Vivienne Shaw studied engineering students at three universities - one old, one former polytechnic and one former college of higher education - in an attempt to characterise students' attitudes towards maths.

They found that students at each of the universities fitted easily into one of four categories. One in three students were on the "downhill" path - they enjoyed maths before university, but found it increasingly difficult since starting their degree course and recorded only average marks. One in ten students were described as haters - they disliked maths before and since joining university. Half were described as ambivalent, with only 8 per cent of engineering students classed as high-fliers.

(* See research papers) * Research papers relating to the stories on this page (where indicated) can be found through THESIS. The THES Internet service is:

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