What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration
written by
Joseph F. Wagner
Students use a variety of resources to make sense of integration, and interpreting the definite integral as a sum of infinitesimal products (rooted in the concept of a Riemann sum) is particularly useful in many physical contexts. This study of beginning and upper-level undergraduate physics students examines some obstacles students encounter when trying to make sense of integration, as well as some discomforts and skepticism some students maintain even after constructing useful conceptions of the integral. In particular, many students attempt to explain what integration does by trying to interpret the algebraic manipulations and computations involved in finding antiderivatives. This tendency, perhaps arising from their past experience of making sense of algebraic expressions and equations, suggests a reluctance to use their understanding of "what a Riemann sum does" to interpret "what an integral does."
Physics Education Research Conference 2015
Part of the PER Conference series College Park, MD: July 29-30, 2015 Pages 355-358
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Record Link
<a href="https://www.compadre.org/portal/items/detail.cfm?ID=13906">Wagner, Joseph. "What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, July 29-30, 2015.</a>
AIP Format
J. Wagner, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, 2015, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13906&DocID=4324).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Wagner, What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2015, College Park, MD, 2015, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13906&DocID=4324>.
APA Format
Wagner, J. (2015, July 29-30). What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration. 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=13906&DocID=4324
Chicago Format
Wagner, Joseph. "What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration." 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=13906&DocID=4324 (accessed 14 December 2017).
MLA Format
Wagner, Joseph. "What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration." Physics Education Research Conference 2015. College Park, MD: 2015. 355-358 of PER Conference. 14 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13906&DocID=4324>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{
Author = "Joseph Wagner",
Title = {What the Integral Does: Physics Students' Efforts at Making Sense of Integration},
BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2015},
Pages = {355-358},
Address = {College Park, MD},
Series = {PER Conference},
Month = {July 29-30},
Year = {2015}
}
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%A Joseph Wagner
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