ENGINEERING STUDENTS DON’T WANT TO STUDY MATHS!
City student’s petition to make mathematics optional for IT/computer engineering finds support from ‘affected’ students.
Fear of maths is all too common among students everywhere. But one group of students one would not associate this with is engineering students. That’s why it is so surprising that a petition by engineering students has been uploaded to change.org and is making the rounds of social media asking for maths to be made optional for computer/IT engineering students on Mumbai University. The petition, which was uploaded on Thursday, has more than 250 signatures so far.
Started by a city-based student Rohan Parab, the petition reads, “There is no use of maths in computer / IT engineering… There is no point mugging up formulas so please sign up my petition. One day a person you love may take up engineering, Sign up for them” (sic). The petition has struck a chord with many ‘affected’ students, with more than a hundred students sharing it across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
In the comments section, most students said that mathematics was a big hurdle for them in scoring well, as despite getting good marks in other subjects, their overall score went down solely due to mathematics. “Mathematics is a subject that is of no use to computer and IT branch. Rather than having advance mathematics, we can have some other subjects that could be related to advancements in technology,” read one such comment.
Praveen Kamath, final year engineering student, Atharva college of engineering, said, “A lot of students find mathematics difficult and often end up getting low scores in the subject. This is especially true of diploma students who struggle to cope as they come directly in their second year. While first year maths, is still fine, second year seems a bit too difficult and unnecessary.”
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Prashil Bhimani, a fourth year engineering student from VJTI, Mumbai, echoed his sentiments. “There is no doubt that mathematics is extremely important to create a foundation for any engineering student across streams. But in the beginning, a lot of students struggle with the subject to such an extent that their scores get affected. This might be due to the way in which the syllabus is structured, making it difficult for students to cope with the subject,” he said.
The petition now needs close to 230 more signatures after which it can be sent to the University of Mumbai.
Many academics, obviously, feel that this plea doesn’t add up. Suresh Ukarande, former dean of technology, University of Mumbai said that while he has not seen the petition yet, there is no way that the subject can be scrapped. “Mathematics is the backbone of engineering. Wanting to scrap maths is like saying we do not want to learn the alphabet but want to learn the language,” he added.
Dr Gopakumaran T Thampi, principal, Thadomal Shahani Engineering college, said that most students have trouble with the subject as there is a wide gap between the syllabus and the requirements of the course. “The course is also evaluated very objectively where there are right and wrong answers, as a result of which students often lose interest,” he added.