Ellie Darlington

Work place: Assessment Research and Development Division, Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge, CB2 1GG, UK

E-mail: darlington.e@cambridgeassessment.org.uk


Research Interests: Computational Mathematics, Mathematics


Ellie Darlington is a Research Officer in the Assessment Research and Development Division at Cambridge Assessment, a non-teaching, not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge. She has a BSc in Mathematics and a MSc in Mathematics Education from the University of Warwick, England, and a MSc in Educational Research Methodology from the University of Oxford, England. Her DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford concentrated on the transition between secondary and tertiary mathematics study relating to the role of assessment and students’ approaches to learning. She serves on the editorial board of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications’ journal, Teaching Mathematics and its Applications.

Author Articles
Decision Mathematics as Preparation for Undergraduate Computer Science

By Ellie Darlington Jessica Bowyer

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijmecs.2017.04.01, Pub. Date: 8 Apr. 2017

In England and Wales, students commonly take what are called Advanced ‘A’ level examinations in their final two years of secondary school. Good passes in these examinations are required to be accepted onto university degree courses. 123 Computer Science students from 24 different UK universities participated in an online survey about their perceptions and experiences of A-level Mathematics and A-level Further Mathematics as preparation for the mathematical component of their degree. The majority reported that decision mathematics units that they had studied as part of either qualification had been good preparation for their degree. Additionally, those who had taken the Further Mathematics qualification were positive about their experience and its utility as preparation for undergraduate Computer Science. A-levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics in England and Wales are currently undergoing significant reform. One of the major changes will see the removal of Decision Mathematics as an optional topic in A-level Mathematics, meaning that students who wish to study it must take Further Mathematics – a much less commonly studied subject. Consequently, this research might encourage admissions tutors to reconsider their admissions requirements for undergraduate Computer Science.

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