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Project By The Faculty Of Computer Science And The Department Of Foreign Languages At The Center For Higher Education

New Platform Makes Learning Math Terminology Easier

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A dark background with technical terms written in white. © Pixabay
Technical terms in the field of mathematics can be an obstacle for in­ter­na­tio­nal students. A new digital learning platform aims to help.

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.

Learning platform “Mathematics German: Let’s Talk Math”


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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.