home - login - register

PERC 2019 Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: Adapting the structural features framework to address computation: Exploring student preferences when calculating expectation value
Abstract: A common activity in undergraduate quantum mechanics (QM) involves calculating expectation values. Analysis of written exam data given at three universities (teaching spins-first QM) showed students had a tendency to use matrix or integral calculation in situations where it is much simpler to use the summation method. To investigate students' use of and preferences for the various methods, interviews were conducted at two universities in the middle and end of the semester. Adapting Gire and Price's framework for categorizing structural features of different quantum mechanical notation, we analyze student responses to expectation value problems to highlight specific areas of difficulty and features of the methods which led to students' choices of one method over another.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Representing student reasoning about math in physics
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I
Room: Cascade D

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin Schermerhorn
Cal Poly Pomona