College Faculty in Bhutan looks to improve national mathematics education using Maple - Maplesoft

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College Faculty in Bhutan looks to improve national mathematics education using Maple

Faculty at Sherubtse College, part of the Royal University of Bhutan, wanted to improve mathematics education throughout the country, at every level of the system.

The faculty identified Maple as an ideal tool for realizing their vision and set out to create greater awareness of Maple’s capabilities in high schools and other post-secondary institutions.

The college implemented a workshop for high school teachers. The teachers were trained on Maple and took the software and knowledge back to their home schools. The college is also developing new strategies to promote Maple and mathematics at institutions throughout Bhutan.

Modern STEM education solutions provide students and instructors with many benefits, including ease-of-use, greater accessibility, and enhanced learning tools that foster a deeper understanding of materials. The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Sherubtse College, part of the Royal University of Bhutan, identified Maple as a tool to improve mathematics education in their country. Degree students are already required to complete assignments in Maple as a part of their course work, but the college wanted to spread that impact beyond its walls.

The college wanted to create greater awareness of Maple’s capabilities in Bhutan and have it adopted by high school institutions to improve math levels of students entering the university system. To support that goal, they recently invited 15 secondary school math teachers to a workshop where they trained them for three days on Maple and its various features. Members of the mathematics faculty taught sessions during the workshop centered on their areas of interest. “Nearly all of the concepts covered in high school mathematics can be taught using Maple,” said Raju Balamurugan, department head of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences. “Most students fail to fully grasp these concepts because they are restricted by traditional teaching methods and learning tools.”

Professor Raju Balamurugan uses Maple to teach his students at Sherubtse College

Maple’s unique features and tools allow students to better visualize mathematical concepts and engage with materials in a way that enhances their understanding. With the help of software like Maple, students can work through solutions in a way that solidifies their knowledge and gives them a better grasp of core mathematical elements, Balamurugan said. “Students can use the interactive applications to create and manipulate charts, plots and graphs to visualize how changing parameters impact the final solution,” he said. “Trying to understand mathematics is much more challenging without resources like Maple.”

In addition to the workshop, the college donated Maple licenses to the six secondary schools participating in the program so teachers could implement it in their classrooms. Ugyen Lhamo, a high school mathematics teacher who attended the workshop, said Maple enhances not only the learning process, but the teaching process as well. “When students can visualize what they are learning, and see plots and graphs in three dimensions, it allows them to better understand the concepts, which makes this easier for instructors as well,” she said.

The college is currently working on new strategies to promote Maple in other institutions around Bhutan. Their next objective is to have all secondary schools in Bhutan using Maple to teach mathematics within five years, an initiative to be undertaken in conjunction with the country’s Ministry of Education. “When teachers are able to access software like Maple, and are equipped to use it, we expect knowledge and understanding of mathematics among students to be greatly improved,” Balamurugan said. “This will greatly benefit the mathematics and educational communities in Bhutan.”

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