Mathematical estimation and its real-world application in the construction fields.
Newcomb, David L.
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This research investigates the gap that exists between students’ skills with mathematical estimation and calculations in real-world applications, such as construction, carpentry, and masonry. The participants were asked to apply learned methods for solving area and volume problems, while expected to perform unit conversions. It was hypothesized that students with engineering backgrounds would perform better than all other college students, including mathematics and education majors. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that students would neglect to round up to estimate the amount of materials needed to complete a given project. The assessment problems were then graded on a scale from zero to five points each in order to classify the response of each student. The data generated had shown a range of eighteen points between the best and worst scores. These scores were used to evaluate students by major, age, gender, and their mathematics grades. These categories were used to predict and compute the scores which were obtained by different sub-groups of students. The study concluded that physics/Engineering students obtained the best scores. It was also noted that many participants lacked the basic mathematics skills needed to successfully compute the problems in the assessment.
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