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A digital learning platform aims to help international STEM students get off to a good start at TU Dortmund University. “Mathematics German: Let’s Talk Math” is the name of the platform developed in the framework of a collaborative project between the Faculty of Mathematics and the Department of Foreign Languages at the Center for Higher Education. The tool, which is optimized for smartphones, presents mathematics terms using mathematical symbols and written German as well as audio and video recordings.
Mathematics terminology comprises not just a universal character code. In university lectures and tutorials, communication takes place in the local language. This means that above all international students of STEM subjects are faced not only with topic-related but also linguistic challenges. This is the starting point for the project “Mathematics German: Let’s Talk Math”.
The learning platform lists “vocabulary” from the basic areas of mathematics: The most important technical terms are presented in the form of mathematical symbols, written German and as an audio or video recording. Topics such as sets, analysis or numbers are structured in clear learning units. Special attention is paid to including all common ways of expressing the same thing: For example, the variant “one plus one is two” as well as “one plus one equals two”. A light-hearted test to check listening comprehension rounds off each section.
Originally designed for self-study by international STEM students, the intention now is for the digital platform to form part of preparatory and introductory math courses at TU Dortmund University. Since the 2019/20 winter semester, the technical language courses run by the Department of Foreign Languages at the Center for Higher Education – “German for STEM Students” – can also make use of the new learning platform and integrate it in teaching.
The project was made possible by funding from the “Bildungsengel” initiative.
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
Dortmund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dortmund Airport to TU Dortmund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dortmund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dortmund Airport.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.