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Undergraduate Courses

CAES9821 Professional and Technical Communication for Mathematical Sciences

Coordinator: Simon BOYNTON


This 6-credit English-in-the-Discipline course aims to develop students' professional and technical communication skills for disciplinary studies in mathematical sciences. There are three main components in the course: 1). Case study report writing, 2). professional oral presentation. and 3). independent language learning. Students will learn rhetorical skills for presenting and explaining mathematical and statistical data and trends, and justifying analyses and recommendations convincingly in both written and spoken communication. This will be achieved through analysing samples of case study reports and presentations using a genre-based approach. Students will also be given an opportunity to design a personalised language learning plan, carry out the plan and reflect on their own independent language learning experience. Students in the BSc (Actuarial Science) programme are required to take this course. Students who intend to major in decision analytics, mathematics, risk management, and statistics are strongly encouraged to take this course. Students from other science disciplines who are interested in developing their communication skills in mathematical sciences are also welcome to take this course.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Present and explain mathematical and statistical data and trends using appropriate rhetorical skills
  • Organize and articulate coherent ideas with appropriate language devices in a case study report and oral presentation
  • Justify analyses and recommendations convincingly in a case study report and an oral presentation
  • Identify their own language learning needs, develop independent learning strategies to address those needs, and reflect on their own independent language learning experience


  • Students are given a selection of six categories to write for in an online popular science journal which are the environment, health, physics and maths, space, science in society, and technology. The best articles submitted are considered for publication.
  • Students are asked to write three annotated bibliography entries, each with a summary, evaluation, and a statement of how the source will be used in the journal article.
  • In-class spontaneous speaking practice gives students direction and practice to improve their spoken confidence and accuracy.
  • Students engage in a Self-Access Language Learning (SALL) project. They are challenged to analyse their own language needs and develop corresponding goals and strategies.

Assessment Methods:

(with breakdown of percentage weighting of the various methods)

  • Other genres of writing (20%)
  • Group learning work (30%)
  • Oral Presentations (30%)
  • Independent learning work (20%)