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Student difficulties with complex numbers
written by Emily M. Smith, Justyna P. Zwolak, and Corinne A. Manogue
Complex numbers and functions are used in multiple subfields in undergraduate physics. We use pretests, quizzes, and exams administered throughout the junior year to identify middle-division students' difficulties with complex number fluency. These difficulties are classified into three categories: performing calculations, switching between forms, and appropriately selecting forms to simplify calculations. Our exploration suggests that students in middle-division physics courses have varying levels of fluency with complex number manipulations. Some of these difficulties persist over time.
Physics Education Research Conference 2015
Part of the PER Conference series
College Park, MD: July 29-30, 2015
Pages 311-314
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
Mathematical Tools
- Complex Variables
- Trig and Pre-cal
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Researchers
- application/pdf
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2015.pr.073
NSF Number:
1323800
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.gb
Keyword:
PERC 2015
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 16, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 18, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 18, 2015
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Smith, J. Zwolak, and C. Manogue, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, 2015, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315).
AJP/PRST-PER
E. Smith, J. Zwolak, and C. Manogue, Student difficulties with complex numbers, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, 2015, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315>.
APA Format
Smith, E., Zwolak, J., & Manogue, C. (2015, July 29-30). Student difficulties with complex numbers. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315
Chicago Format
Smith, E, J. Zwolak, and C. Manogue. "Student difficulties with complex numbers." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, July 29-30, 2015. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315 (accessed 14 December 2017).
MLA Format
Smith, Emily M., Justyna Zwolak, and Corinne Manogue. "Student difficulties with complex numbers." Physics Education Research Conference 2015. College Park, MD: 2015. 311-314 of PER Conference. 14 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Emily M. Smith and Justyna Zwolak and Corinne Manogue", Title = {Student difficulties with complex numbers}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2015}, Pages = {311-314}, Address = {College Park, MD}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 29-30}, Year = {2015} }
Refer Export Format

%A Emily M. Smith
%A Justyna Zwolak
%A Corinne Manogue
%T Student difficulties with complex numbers
%S PER Conference
%D July 29-30 2015
%P 311-314
%C College Park, MD
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2015
%O July 29-30
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Smith, Emily M.
%A Zwolak, Justyna
%A Manogue, Corinne
%D July 29-30 2015
%T Student difficulties with complex numbers
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2015
%C College Park, MD
%P 311-314
%S PER Conference
%8 July 29-30
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13897&DocID=4315


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