home - login - register

PERC 2022 Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: Learning Quantum: Contributed Posters Symposium
Abstract Type: Poster Symposium
Abstract: This collection of contributed posters focuses on Learning Quantum. Presenters will be allowed a 3-5 min overview of their poster to the entire group followed by an open discussion like traditional poster sessions.
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster III
Room: Gerald R. Ford Ballroom

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Sara Mueller
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Phone: 9702188882

Symposium Specific Information

Presentation 1 Title: Effectiveness of an online homework tutorial about changing basis in quantum mechanics
Presentation 1 Authors: Giaco Corsiglia
Presentation 1 Abstract: Changing basis is a common task when solving quantum mechanical problems.  As part of a research project investigating student understanding of basis and change of basis in quantum mechanics, we developed a tutorial to support students in learning about basis in the context of spin-1/2 systems.  We have since created an interactive online version of the basis tutorial as part of a freely available suite of online quantum tutorials called ACE Physics (https://acephysics.net).  The ACE Physics tutorials include dynamic guidance elements and, unlike other tutorials, are intended for use outside the classroom without instructor facilitation.  After extensive study in an instructor-supported environment, we assigned the ACE Physics basis tutorial as homework in two semesters of upper-division quantum mechanics, and we report on the effectiveness of the activity based on pre-/post-testing and comparison of student exam performance with a similar semester that did not include the activity.  We find that the tutorial produces sufficient learning gains to justify continued assignment as a homework problem in our classes.
Presentation 2 Title: Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers
Presentation 2 Authors: Josephine C. Meyer
Presentation 2 Abstract: Significant attention in the PER community has been paid to student cognition and reasoning processes in undergraduate quantum mechanics. Until recently, however, these same topics have remained largely unexplored in the context of emerging interdisciplinary quantum information science (QIS) courses. We conducted exploratory think-aloud interviews with 22 students in an upper-division quantum computing course at a large R1 university crosslisted in physics and computer science, as well as 5 graduate students in a similar graduate-level QIS course offered in physics. We classify and analyze students' responses to a pair of questions regarding the fundamental differences between classical and quantum computers. We specifically note two key themes of importance to educators: (1) when reasoning about computational power, students often struggled to distinguish between the relative effects of exponential and linear scaling, resulting in students frequently focusing on distinctions that are arguably better understood as analog-digital than classical-quantum, and (2) introducing the thought experiment of analog classical computers was a powerful tool for helping students develop a more expertlike perspective on the differences between classical and quantum computers.
Presentation 3 Title: Development, validation and virtual and in-person implementation of clicker question sequence on quantum measurement uncertainty
Presentation 3 Authors: Peter Hu
Presentation 3 Abstract: Research-validated clicker questions comprise an easy-to-implement instructional tool that can scaffold student learning while formatively assessing students' knowledge. We present findings from the development, validation and implementation, in consecutive years, of a Clicker Question Sequence (CQS) on measurement uncertainty as it applies to two-state quantum systems. This study was conducted in an advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics course, in both a virtual and in-person learning environment. Student learning was first assessed after receiving traditional lecture-based instruction on relevant concepts, and their performance on it was compared with that on a similar assessment given after engaging with the CQS. We analyze and discuss similar and differing trends observed in the two modes of instruction.
Presentation 4 Title: Investigating students' strengths and difficulties in quantum computing
Presentation 4 Authors: Tunde Kushimo
Presentation 4 Abstract: The field of quantum computing is presently gaining tremendous attention from governments, researchers, engineers, academics, and investors. There is an ongoing push for the development of quantum computers, advances in information technology, and the development of a quantum workforce. This needs to be accompanied by the development of quantum computing courses and curricula and the development and adoption of evidence-based materials and pedagogies to support the education of the next generation of quantum information scientists. We have introduced a course in Quantum Computing and have begun to research student understanding of topics in this field. Our goal is to develop evidence-based materials for the course. We did a series of interviews to identify students' strengths and difficulties in these topics.  We report on the results of these interviews and our initial work on the development of supplementary materials for the course.
Presentation 5 Title: Seeing quantum mechanics: The role of quantum experiments
Presentation 5 Authors: Victoria Borish
Presentation 5 Abstract: The second quantum revolution has prompted not only research in quantum science and technology, but also research on how best to educate students who may enter this burgeoning field. Much of the conversation around quantum science education has focused on students' conceptual learning or skills desired by potential employers; there has been an absence of work understanding how laboratory courses and experiments contribute to undergraduate quantum education. To begin understanding the role quantum experiments may play, we surveyed instructors who implement experiments with single and entangled photons in undergraduate lab courses and found that one of the most important learning goals was to ``see quantum mechanics in real life.'' To better understand this goal, we interviewed 15 of the surveyed instructors asking what seeing quantum mechanics means to them and why they believe it is an important part of students' education. We present emergent themes from a qualitative coding analysis of these interviews, which begin to elucidate how instructors think about seeing quantum mechanics and what learning goals instructors hope seeing quantum mechanics---and working with quantum experiments more generally---will help students achieve.
Presentation 6 Title: Applying a symbolic forms lens to probability expressions in upper-division quantum mechanics
Presentation 6 Authors: William D Riihiluoma
Presentation 6 Abstract: As part of an effort to examine student understanding of expressions for probability in an upper-division spins-first quantum mechanics (QM) context, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with students following relevant instruction. Students were given various tasks to showcase their conceptual understanding of the mathematics and physics underpinning these expressions. The symbolic forms framework was used as a lens through which to analyze their understanding. Various symbol templates and conceptual schemata were identified, in Dirac and function notations, with multiple schemata paired with different templates. The overlapping linking suggests that defining strict template-schema pairs may not be feasible or productive for studying student interpretations of expressions for probability in upper-division QM courses.