Course Title: Elements of Professional Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Elements of Professional Practice

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

MATH2126

City Campus

Undergraduate

145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Lynne McArthur

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99253122

Course Coordinator Email: lynne.mcarthur@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 8.9.39


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

This course will look at a number of issues related to the professional practice of mathematics and statistics.

  • The work and social context of mathematics and statistics will be explored by looking at current job opportunities for graduates, as well as the impact and place, and history of mathematics in other disciplines.
  • Information literacy will be taught by the library staff, covering the use of the library, the internet and online databases, a major issue being the quality of information found on the internet.
  • Group dynamics will be taught by a psychologist. This is aimed at understanding the factors that determine the dynamics of a group, what can go wrong, and what can be done about it.
  • Communication will be taught in a number of its different aspects: visual communication, through LaTeX or power point presentations, the correct presentation of graphical data; written communication though report writing (professional and scientific), including equations in a document, use of spreadsheets etc; and oral communication, how to give a talk. These skills will be exercised by group presentations and individual reports.
  • Accurate mathematical argument. You will be taught the major forms of argument in mathematics: direct proof, proof by contradiction, and contra positive proof. The emphasis is on developing this as a practical skill.
  • Ethics will be taught through examination of a range of ethical issues, such an examination of scientific fraud, and the deliberate misrepresentation of scientific evidence that occurs in advertising and newspapers. The emphasis will be on identifying the different types of misrepresentation, and considering its consequences.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to

  • Apply knowledge and skill to diagnose and solve a wide range of problems;
  • Effectively collaborate in groups or teams;
  • Communicate both technical and non-technical material in a range of forms (written, oral, electronic, graphic,) and to tailor the style and means of communication to different audiences;
  • Appreciate the ethical considerations that inform judgments and decisions in academic and professional settings;
  • Locate and use data and information and evaluate its quality with respect to its authority and relevance.


This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes:

Personal and professional awareness

  • The ability to contextualise outputs where data are drawn from diverse and evolving social, political and cultural dimensions
  • The ability to reflect on experience and improve your own future practice
  • The ability to apply the principles of lifelong learning to any new challenge.

Knowledge and technical competence

  • The ability to use the appropriate and relevant, fundamental and applied mathematical and statistical knowledge, methodologies and modern computational tools.

Problem-solving

  • The ability to bring together and flexibly apply knowledge to characterise, analyse and solve a wide range of problems
  • An understanding of the balance between the complexity / accuracy of the mathematical / statistical models used and the timeliness of the delivery of the solution.

Teamwork and project management

  • The ability to contribute to professional work settings through effective participation in teams and organisation of project tasks
  • The ability to constructively engage with other team members and resolve conflict.

Communication

  • The ability to communicate both technical and non-technical material in a range of forms (written, electronic, graphic, oral) and to tailor the style and means of communication to different audiences. Of particular interest is the ability to explain technical material, without unnecessary jargon, to lay persons such as the general public or line managers.

Information literacy

  • The ability to locate and use data and information and evaluate its quality with respect to its authority and relevance.

Ethics

  • The ability to discuss the ethical considerations that inform judgments and decisions in academic and professional settings.


Overview of Learning Activities

During this course, you will:

  • Attend lectures where underlying theory will be presented.
  • Prepare a group presentation.
  • Practice presentations.
  • Attend sessions run by a psychologist.
  • Attend sessions run by library staff.
  • Participate in sessions designed to inform you of your choice of electives.

 


 


Overview of Learning Resources

The teaching staff will provide handouts for this course.


Overview of Assessment

In order to achieve a pass grade or higher in the course, you must satisfactorily complete and submit ALL assessment tasks and satisfactorily participate in group meetings.