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Abstract Title: Representational Integration: A framework for Mathematical Sense Making
Abstract: In studying and analyzing physical systems, physicists make use of multiple representational forms including graphs, pictures, verbal descriptions, and mathematical expressions, each providing insight into the phenomenon of interest.  We consider the coordination and integration of these representations to be an essential part of sense making, and when the mathematical formalisms are privileged in this integration we consider this to be mathematical sense making (MSM).  Here, we distinguish between translation among representations and integration of multiple representational modes.  We then present a preliminary framework for developing a taxonomy and understanding of this representational aspect of MSM.  Using focus group data from students in a modern physics course, we show how sense making using abstract mathematical formalisms can be combined with conceptual understanding of the physical system to generate a more robust understanding of quantum phenomena.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A31

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Julian D. Gifford
University of Colorado Boulder
1895 Alpine Avenue
Apartment B11
Boulder, CO 80304
Phone: 3606201899
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jessica R. Hoehn - University of Colorado Boulder
Noah D. Finkelstein - University of Colorado Boulder