## Conference

### Physics Education Research Conference 2017

*
July 26, 2017 - July 27, 2017
in Cincinnati, Ohio
at the RiverCenter Convention Center
*

### Conference Theme: Mathematization and Physics Education Research

The number of publications that are focusing on mathematics in physics is increasing, and there are increasing connections between PER and the Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (RUME) community. As a result, we have chosen to highlight mathematization research at the 2017 PERC in Cincinnati. By mathematization, we refer to the spontaneous tendency to use mathematical concepts to quantify and make sense of the physical world. It is __not__ about how well people can perform the procedures of mathematics. Rather, mathematization describes how people conceptualize the meaning of mathematics in the context of physics.

Expert-like mathematization in physics involves both a procedural and conceptual mastery of the prerequisite mathematics involved (Redish and Kuo, 2015; Thompson, 2011). Gray and Tall (1994) highlight this distinction, and refer to the target learning goal as *proceptual* understanding, in which *procedural* mastery and *concept*ual understanding coexist. When reasoning mathematically with physics quantities, many students become entrenched in a procedural approach. Some students reach a high level of procedural efficiency without much conceptual mathematical understanding, while other students develop greater mathematical flexibility. An achievement gap emerges between those who perform procedurally and those who develop greater flexibility. Gray and Tall refer to this gap in early math learning as the *proceptual divide*.

The proceptual divide is evident in physics courses, where success depends on having a proceptual understanding of both the prerequisite math and the learned physics. For example, Brahmia, Boudreaux, and Kanim (under review) report on obstacles that many calculus level students encounter using basic proportional reasoning when it involves physics quantities and real numbers, rather than everyday quantities and whole numbers. Rebello *et al.* (2007) observed that most introductory physics students approach symbol-rich physics problems that involve calculus or trigonometry as a procedure, framing their task as one of answermaking instead of sensemaking.

Plenary speakers at the 2017 PERC will include mathematics education researchers Megan Wawro (Virginia Tech) and Michael Oehrtman (Oklahoma State University).

In addition, lunch on Thursday will include presentations honoring the early contributions of Lillian McDermott (University of Washington) and Joe Redish (University of Maryland) to the early development of mathematization as a research area (even though it wasn't called that at the time). Andrew Boudreaux (Western Washington University), Ayush Gupta (University of Maryland), and David Meltzer (Arizona State University) will present.

The conference will include breakout sessions featuring poster and talk symposia, workshops, and, for the first time at PERC, juried talks. Contributed poster sessions will include a venue for first-time presenters.

### Conference organizing committee

Steve Kanim (New Mexico State University)Suzanne White Brahmia (University of Washington)

Michael Loverude (California State University Fullerton)

John Thompson (University of Maine)

Contact the organizing committee at percplanning2017@gmail.com.

### Important Dates

March 17: Parallel session pre-proposal survey form deadlineMarch 20: Abstract submission opened

March 20: Juried talk submission opened

April 14: Parallel session full proposal deadline

April 21: Juried talk full proposal deadline (extended)

May 12: Juried talks selection

May 19: Contributed poster abstract deadline

May 19: First-timer poster abstract deadline

June 23: Undergraduate abstract deadline

July 5: PERC paper submission deadline (extended)