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Communications of the ACM


Common Problems of SE Students in Latin America, Part 1

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Drummond Ltd. Systems engineer Carlos A. Brewer R.

As part of my experience i worked as a teacher in both universities and schools.

During that time i realized that in many cases students have a lot of deficiencies on basic areas as for example mathematics, algebra, logics or even writing, which are key aspects of  a systems engineering (SE) course structure.

Why these students arrive to the universities with so many problems?, why are such a  lack of knowledge on these areas?, well there are many causes, lets describe some of them.

One key factor, from my point of view, is the absence or lack of interest of students in their basic math and algebra clases, no matter were they get this basic training, this situation can be observed not only in systems engineering but in other engineering areas.  This lack of interest is caused by several factors and in countries like my own where drug traffic and easy money derived from that illegal activity attracts persons from the entire society, students are faced with a reality where little effort and no major math knowledge provides increased benefits than a carrer based in maths.

One possible solution to this situation could be a kind of summer course for students where they are presented with the challenges of following up a career on systems engineering.

Another factor is the absence of good courses on preparatory and basic school that train students in a proper matter and catch their attention, these courses should be given in a way that all the necessary knowledge is properly absorbed and assimilated, this means that teachers must be prepared and their knowledge updated.

Several other factors influence those deficiencies found on SE students, i will deal with them in future blogs.


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