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The mathematics in your ears. The role of math in integrated STEM via the modeling of hearing aids

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Although the mathematical and scientific education in Flanders is at a high level, the integration of technology with these abstract courses is a large gap in the educational system. This has the consequence that -despite the fact that in secondary education there are quite a lot of pupils taking scientific programs- there is far less choice for or interest in scientific and technical careers in continued education.In order to recognize the importance of mathematical equations and scientific models for everyday problem solving in general and for engineering in particular, students will have to make the connection between math and science and practical applications. In order to use mechanical and electrical devices, students will have to discover the world of technical systems, get insight into basic principles and make stuff work. Thus, there is a need for a new kind of didactic approach that integrates these important domains: STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.In this context, this project wants to make a first step towards a more STEM integrated view on the mathematical topics 'sines', 'integrals' and 'Fourier series'. It's all about sound: how a physical sound wave can be translated into a mathematical model, how frequencies are important in sound waves, how the biology of the human ear benefits from these mathematical transformations, and how technology steps in to support this functioning, in terms of a hearing aid. Step by step we put the necessary mathematical techniques on the map and relate them to the biological phenomena and the technical principles required in the context of sound and hearing. The material is made such that math teachers can use it with pupils of the 5th and 6th year of the Flemish secondary educational system (17- to 18-year olds). The content remains close to the learning goals within their curricula.
Book: Proceedings of the 41th SEFI Conference
Pages: 1 - 8
Publication year:2013