• "richtig einsteigen."

    © Universität Bielefeld

Strengthening Mathematical Competencies (MathKom)


Joachim Lotz

Coordination strengthening mathematical competencies

E-Mail: joachim.lotz@uni-bielefeld.de  
Telephone: +49 521 106-5057  
Room: UHG V6-228

Tobias Bruch

Coordination strengthening mathematical competencies

E-Mail: tobias.bruch@uni-bielefeld.de  
Telephone: +49 521 106-5057  
Room: UHG V6-228

Supervising homework and final theses - Recommendation for teachers
A handout of the Prorectorate for Studies and Teaching (October 2016)

Many courses of study at the Bielefeld University require a scientific approach to mathematical working techniques. These can occur in purely theoretical, mathematical contexts as well as in application-related problems. Both areas are hardly represented in school mathematics, which essentially deals with solution methods for certain types of tasks, and therefore represent a great challenge for students in their first year of study - and are often perceived as overstraining.

MathKom has set itself the goal of comprehensively reflecting on this fundamentally difficult transition from school to university mathematics, structuring it better and making it more transparent and accessible for students. To this end, the MathKom staff have analysed which mathematical competences should be acquired by first-year students in the introductory modules (and beyond) and at which points difficulties typically arise. This results in activities that support both students and teaching staff.

Our team

The MathKom working group consists of twelve members of nine participating faculties and two coordinators from the Institute for Didactics of Mathematics (IDM). Together we develop concepts for teaching mathematical basics to students.

Click here to get to the MathKom team.


Our offer

With our demand-oriented offer we support first-year students in entering their mathematically oriented subject (including pure mathematics) and strengthen their ability and independence in working with mathematical tools, models and structures. The aim is both to build on previous mathematical knowledge from school and to develop resilient basic ideas when acquiring new, mathematically-symbolically formulated technical terms.    

For first-year students
  • we develop learning materials:
  • we develop meaningful, course-specific self-tests to support them in their choice of studies:
  • we design tailor-made pre-courses:
  • we create entrance tests with diagnostic function
  • we have learning centres:


For teaching staff
  • we revise introductory events in cooperation with the teachers:
    • The interactive MatLab tool re.math illustrates basic contents from linear algebra and analysis. The software is used in the mathematics pre-course and in the lecture "Methods of Mathematics".
    • In economics, a collection of tasks for teachers has been created, which is arranged according to mathematical content and economic problems.
    • In chemistry, the smartphone app "Pingo" is used for anonymous knowledge retrieval from students in the pre-course as well as in supplementary maths courses.
  • we train tutors: