Practice Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


Engineering projects are frequently experienced through the complexity of knowledge co-production between experts and local communities. This involves an ability to work critically and creatively within unfamiliar epistemologies, drawing from quantitative, social and scientific methods to realise high-impact solutions. In this work-in-progress paper, we put forward a prototype for a case-control study aiming to evaluate student buy-in and learning outcomes for a cross-cultural implementation of critical mathematics approaches contextualised by sustainability challenges. We outline and discuss aspects of mathematical modelling activities that can scaffold an environment where human subjectivity amplifies the quality and relevance of quantitative arguments. As proof-of-concept, we analyse exemplary work of first-year engineering students as they design, implement, and evaluate a model of population dynamics towards proposing solutions for the endangerment of a wild species. We then identify critical learning outcomes springing from the social and subjective context that envelops the processes of mathematical modelling, analysis and communication in the real world. Our initial results show that interdisciplinary sustainability-driven mathematics activities have the potential to empower students to adopt a conscious approach to societal and environmental challenges.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.