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Abstract Title: Examining student understanding of matrix algebra and eigentheory
Abstract: Matrix algebra and eigentheory are important to students' learning of physics in upper division physics courses. In this study, we investigated how students apply matrix algebra and eigentheory in various physics contexts, excluding quantum mechanics. The data collected consist of student written responses taken from a math methods course. We used the Physical-Mathematical Model (Uhden et al, 2011) to categorize each question by the three skills the model presents: mathematization, interpretation, and technical operation. The results from our data show that students have difficulty with mathematizing and interpreting the mathematical and physical system of a matrix equation, but are fluent in technical operations. We will present examples of student responses illustrating student reasoning, and discuss implications for classroom instruction.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: 1.N1
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Pachi Her
California State University, Fullerton
Fullerton, CA 92831
and Co-Presenter(s)
Michael Loverude; California State University, Fullerton