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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Bethany R. Wilcox, Marcos D. Caballero, Daniel A. Rehn, and Steven J. Pollock
Many students in upper-division physics courses struggle with the mathematically sophisticated tools and techniques that are required for advanced physics content. We have developed an analytical framework to assist instructors and researchers in characterizing students' difficulties with specific mathematical tools when solving the long and complex problems that are characteristic of upper division. In this paper, we present this framework, including its motivation and development. We also describe an application of the framework to investigations of student difficulties with direct integration in electricity and magnetism (i.e., Coulomb's law) and approximation methods in classical mechanics (i.e., Taylor series). These investigations provide examples of the types of difficulties encountered by advanced physics students, as well as the utility of the framework for both researchers and instructors.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
- Problem Solving
= Frameworks
- Research Design & Methodology
Mathematical Tools
- Problem-Solving Techniques
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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- application/pdf
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119
NSF Numbers:
1023028
1144083
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.Ha
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 18, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
April 28, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 13, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Wilcox, M. Caballero, D. Rehn, and S. Pollock, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9 (2), 020119 (2013), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Wilcox, M. Caballero, D. Rehn, and S. Pollock, Analytic framework for students’ use of mathematics in upper-division physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9 (2), 020119 (2013), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119>.
APA Format
Wilcox, B., Caballero, M., Rehn, D., & Pollock, S. (2013, November 13). Analytic framework for students’ use of mathematics in upper-division physics. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 9(2), 020119. Retrieved December 11, 2017, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119
Chicago Format
Wilcox, B, M. Caballero, D. Rehn, and S. Pollock. "Analytic framework for students’ use of mathematics in upper-division physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, no. 2, (November 13, 2013): 020119, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119 (accessed 11 December 2017).
MLA Format
Wilcox, Bethany, Marcos Caballero, Daniel Rehn, and Steven Pollock. "Analytic framework for students’ use of mathematics in upper-division physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9.2 (2013): 020119. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Bethany Wilcox and Marcos Caballero and Daniel Rehn and Steven Pollock", Title = {Analytic framework for students’ use of mathematics in upper-division physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {9}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020119}, Month = {November}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Bethany Wilcox
%A Marcos Caballero
%A Daniel Rehn
%A Steven Pollock
%T Analytic framework for students' use of mathematics in upper-division physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 9
%N 2
%D November 13, 2013
%P 020119
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Wilcox, Bethany
%A Caballero, Marcos
%A Rehn, Daniel
%A Pollock, Steven
%D November 13, 2013
%T Analytic framework for students' use of mathematics in upper-division physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 9
%N 2
%P 020119
%8 November 13, 2013
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.9.020119


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