Precalculus Investigations: A Laboratory Manual, Preliminary Edition, 1/e
Gary M. Simundza, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Marcia A. Kemen, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Robert C. Cournoyer, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Anita T. Penta, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Charlene F. Solomon, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Published September, 1998 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics
Copyright 1999, 336 pp.
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Algebra and Trigonometry-Mathematics
Precalculus with Graphing Calculators-Mathematics
Algebra/Trig with Graphing Calculators-Mathematics
Technical Mathematics with Calculus-Mathematics
Appropriate as a supplement to any text in the Precalculus
Curriculum. College Algebra, Algebra and Trigonometry, Trigonometry
or Precalculus. This three year NSF funded project integrates an
applied approach to algebra/trigonometry/precalculus mathematics based
on real engineering and design problems with mathematics curriculum
reform principles and practice.
The Investigations reflect the AMATC and NCTM Standards in both curriculum
content and pedagogy. Each lab is based on a real-world application
from another discipline, and involves interactive and collaborative
learning. Students will use technology (primarily graphing calculators),
employing multiple approaches (analytical, graphical, numerical, verbal)
to model solutions to these problems, increasing their reasoning and
Many mathematics instructors are eager to integrate realistic applications
in their teaching, but lack the time and resources to develop the
necessary connections on their own. These Investigations provide such
applications by modeling workplace experiences of professionals in
engineering, design and management occupations.
Mathematics is placed in an authentic applications context.
Students are motivated to learn the mathematics. See: Geodesic
Domes. Pg. 4-5.
Students perform hands on experiments. Students
learn data analysis methods and modeling skills. See: Getting a
Charge out of Math. Pg. 3-8.
Probing, open-ended questions are included in all labs.
Students develop critical thinking skills. See: Buckling of
Slender Columns. Pg. 3.
Writing about mathematical concepts is a regular feature.
Students must reflect on what they've learned and clearly express
their mathematical understanding. See: Strength of Materials. Pg. 7.
Use of computational technology is encouraged throughout.
Students learn to make efficient choices of solution methods.
See: Life Cycle Cost Analysis.
Connections among different fields of study are revealed
through mathematics. Students appreciate mathematics as a unifying
language. See: Construction Project Cost and Machine Tooling.
Non-traditional topics such as statistics and discrete
mathematics (logic, networks) are included. Teachers
can extend the boundaries of the precalculus course. See: Logic
Tasks and Goals are clearly identifies throughout
Everyday language is used in attempt to make the directions
user-friendly for the student.
Instructors' notes for each lab containing tips on
equipment usage and teaching suggestions are included in the
Instructor's Resource Manual.
1. Aircraft Navigation I.
2. Aircraft Navigation II.
3. Air Pollution.
4. Buckling of Slender Columns.
5. Building Site Excavation.
6. Computing Interest I.
7. Computing Interest II.
8. Concrete Strength Testing.
9. Construction Project Cost and Machine Tooling.
10. Design of Spiral and Circular Stairs.
11. Design of a Straight Staircase.
12. Electronic Circuit Design.
13. Engineering Measurement.
14. Geodesic Domes.
15. Geometry of Design.
16. Getting a Charge out of Math.
17. Lease Space Analysis.
18. Life Cycle Cost Analysis.
19. Logic Gates.
20. Medication Dosing.
21. Milling Machine.
22. Noise Pollution.
23. Quality Assurance in Machining.
25. Shear and Bending Moment I.
26. Shear and Bending Moment II.
27. Soil Pressure.
28. Strength of Materials.
29. Temperature Sensing Diode.
30. Temperature and Volume.
31. Topics in Staircase Design.