by Franco Vivaldi
Number of pages: 74
Learning modern higher mathematics--discrete mathematics, in particular--requires more than ever fluency in elementary arithmetic and algebra. An alarming number of students reach university without these skills. The Essential Mathematics programme at Queen Mary is designed to address this problem. It provides training for a compulsory examination, which all first year mathematics students must pass to be admitted to the second year; the exam is to be attempted repeatedly, until passed, and is supported by the course MAS010. A similar--if a bit less demanding--programme has been introduced as the core course SEF026 within the Science and Engineering foundational year. The Essential Mathematics programme consists of over 1000 gradual exercises on integers, fractions, radicals, polynomials, rational functions, linear and quadratic equations. Each exercise is provided with answer, for immediate feedback. A student following this programme conscientiously, will develop automatic response, stamina, and confidence, in a vital area of mathematical knowledge.
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