Course Title: A Mathematical Toolbox for Scientists

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: A Mathematical Toolbox for Scientists

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

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Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: A\Prof Stephen Davis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2278

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 15-03-18

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will introduce you to fundamental concepts and key topics across the Mathematical Sciences including statistics and/or calculus.   

The course will then consider the wider significance and importance of mathematical sciences across major global societal, industrial, technological and environmental priorities and, challenges.  The course will enable you to develop an appreciation of the mathematical sciences, the universal language it provides and the associated technical and transferable skills that will support your future studies and careers. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes. 

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs): 

PLO-1    Understanding science 

PLO-1.1 You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice. 

PLO-1.2 You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and relevance of science in society. 

PLO-1.3 You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and importance of evidence in the continuous evolution of scientific knowledge. 

PLO-2    Scientific knowledge 

PLO-2.2 You will have knowledge in at least one discipline other than your primary discipline and some understanding of interdisciplinary linkages. 

PLO-3    Inquiry and Problem Solving 

PLO-3.1 You will be able to plan and carry out a research project under supervision, showing the development of some capacity for independent work. 

PLO-3.2 You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project. 

PLO-3.3 You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization. 

PLO-3.4 You will demonstrate well-developed problem-solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively. 

PLO-3.5 You will possess an ability to accurately record, analyse, interpret and critically evaluate your research findings. 

PLO-5    Personal and professional responsibility 

PLO-5.1 You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work. 

PLO-5.2 You will work responsibly, safely, legally and ethically.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs).

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

CLO1. Apply mathematical knowledge of functions, differential calculus, and probability to solve problems drawn from the physical, data and life sciences.

CLO2. Use technology with proficiency to confirm calculations and solutions of results worked by hand, using current web browser mathematical tools.

CLO3. Articulate and explain the important role that mathematics plays in developing theory in science through simple models, forming hypotheses and proposing linear and non-linear relationships.

CLO4. Present and interpret mathematical calculations to gain insight and communicate results.

CLO5. Reflect on an inclusive and global perspective of mathematical knowledge including those of Indigenous peoples.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will undertake an integrated series of immersive learning experiences and activities to develop fundamental conceptual and practical understanding and experience in mathematical sciences. A blended learning approach will be used involving face-to-face experiential learning activities complemented by online learning and team-based activities. 

Overview of Learning Resources

Blended learning resources will be provided via the Canvas learning management systems and associated tools, in conjunction with practice-based in-class experiential learning activities. 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Task 1: Weekly Problem Sheets

Weighting: 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3.

Assessment Task 2: Extended Problem Sheets

Weighting: 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4.

Assessment Task 3: Reflections

Weighting: 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 5.