Example: First-year Students at Rose-Hulman Link Chemistry and Mathematics
Mathematicians and chemists at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology introduce reaction kinetics simultaneously. They present the general nth order reaction and the associated differential equation as well as first and second order reactions (n = 1 or 2) as important special cases. Obtaining solutions (analytical models) to the differential equations motivates antiderivatives (or indefinite integrals). Students acquire data from reactions in the chemistry laboratory and attempt to fit the data with these analytical models. An application in one discipline motivates theoretical exploration in another discipline. Models obtained from the theoretical exploration are used to interpret laboratory data. Students begin to see how a single concept appears in diverse contexts.