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American Journal of Physics
written by Ernst Breitenberger
Systematic observations were made of the mathematical knowledge of physics students from the U.S. and other countries during their first years of graduate study at Ohio University. It was found that all were deficient in general and in "modern'' mathematical concepts, and in problem-solving skills. Sizable fractions of them did not even possess adequate concepts of "derivative,'' "integration,'' and "truth.'' Nearly all were limited to some familiarity with rather elementary calculus, and with equally elementary differential and linear equations, but they showed some ability and a pronounced willingness to perform manipulations. Roughly, they regarded mathematics as mechanical method, not as constructive thinking. In view of the significantly higher levels of mathematical fluency demanded by contemporary advances in physics and in computer usage, none of these students was adequately prepared for future-oriented study, or for research and employment in physics and related areas at the close of the 20th century. It is intended to discuss the likely causes of this state of affairs elsewhere with a view toward remedial actions.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 60, Issue 4, Pages 318-323
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Levels Ratings
- PER Literature
- Graduate/Professional
- Lower Undergraduate
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Intended User:
Educator
Formats:
text/html
non-digital
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 1992 American Association of Physics Teachers
Accession Number:
4145110
DOI:
10.1119/1.16874
Keywords:
Ohio-University, calculus, computer-usage, derivative, differential-equations, education, integration, linear-equations, mathematical-knowledge, mathematics, physics-graduates, problem-solving-skills, teaching, truth
Record Creators:
Metadata instance created June 13, 2005 by Lyle Barbato
Ernst Breitenberger
Record Updated:
March 10, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 1992
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Breitenberger, , Am. J. Phys. 60 (4), 318 (1992), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874).
AJP/PRST-PER
E. Breitenberger, The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions, Am. J. Phys. 60 (4), 318 (1992), <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874>.
APA Format
Breitenberger, E. (1992, January 1). The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions. Am. J. Phys., 60(4), 318-323. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874
Chicago Format
Breitenberger, Ernst. "The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions." Am. J. Phys. 60, no. 4, (January 1, 1992): 318-323, https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874 (accessed 26 September 2022).
MLA Format
Breitenberger, Ernst. "The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions." Am. J. Phys. 60.4 (1992): 318-323. 26 Sep. 2022 <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Ernst Breitenberger", Title = {The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {60}, Number = {4}, Pages = {318-323}, Month = {January}, Year = {1992} }
Refer Export Format

%A Ernst Breitenberger %T The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions %J Am. J. Phys. %V 60 %N 4 %D January 1, 1992 %P 318-323 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Breitenberger, Ernst %D January 1, 1992 %T The mathematical knowledge of physics graduates: Primary data and conclusions %J Am. J. Phys. %V 60 %N 4 %P 318-323 %8 January 1, 1992 %M 4145110 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16874


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