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PERC 2008 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: How Differentials are Taught in Mathematics and Used in Physics
Abstract: Differentials are widely used in mathematics and applied in physics and engineering courses. However, there is little understanding of the concept of differentials among undergraduate students. This paper is part of an ongoing project to understand how differentials are taught in mathematics classrooms and used in physics undergraduate courses taken by a diverse group of engineering majors. To that end, we analyzed the mathematics instruction based on what is taught; specifically, we looked at the most commonly used calculus textbooks for a first-year calculus course. It is our claim that the way differentials are introduced in mathematics textbooks does not support undergraduate student understanding of the use of differentials in physics and engineering.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Angeles Dominguez
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey
E. Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: 528181048444
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ricardo Pulido,
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey