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Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research
written by Benjamin M. Zwickl, Kingston Chen, Joshua Deslongchamps, Anna E. Leak, and Kelly Norris Martin
As physics departments increasingly emphasize computational training within the physics curriculum, there is a need for educators to have guiding principles for deciding how and when to use computational approaches over analytical math and vice versa. We investigated the use of analytical and computational mathematics in professional practice by conducting ten semi-structured interviews with PhD students in the physical sciences. The interviews revealed context-rich situations where computational and analytical math were valued and used. Through an emergent and thematic coding process, key contextual features were distilled. Although analytical math was valued as a calculational tool (e.g., manipulating equations), the most prevalent use of analytical math was to develop a preliminary understanding of a problem, which included modeling systems through equations, developing simplified "toy models", understanding background concepts, and understanding how varying parameters affected system behavior. Computational tools had a complementary role of data analysis, complex numerical simulations, and visualization.
Physics Education Research Conference 2017
Part of the PER Conference series
Cincinnati, OH: July 26-27, 2017
Pages 476-479
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Behavior
- Problem Solving
General Physics
- Computational Physics
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
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.2017.pr.114
NSF Numbers:
1432578
1359262
Keyword:
PERC 2017
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 26, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
March 14, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 1, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Zwickl, K. Chen, J. Deslongchamps, A. Leak, and K. Martin, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Zwickl, K. Chen, J. Deslongchamps, A. Leak, and K. Martin, Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851>.
APA Format
Zwickl, B., Chen, K., Deslongchamps, J., Leak, A., & Martin, K. (2017, July 26-27). Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851
Chicago Format
Zwickl, B, K. Chen, J. Deslongchamps, A. Leak, and K. Martin. "Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, July 26-27, 2017. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851 (accessed 6 April 2020).
MLA Format
Zwickl, Benjamin, Kingston Chen, Joshua Deslongchamps, Anna Leak, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research." Physics Education Research Conference 2017. Cincinnati, OH: 2017. 476-479 of PER Conference. 6 Apr. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Benjamin Zwickl and Kingston Chen and Joshua Deslongchamps and Anna Leak and Kelly Norris Martin", Title = {Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2017}, Pages = {476-479}, Address = {Cincinnati, OH}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 26-27}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Benjamin Zwickl
%A Kingston Chen
%A Joshua Deslongchamps
%A Anna Leak
%A Kelly Norris Martin
%T Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research
%S PER Conference
%D July 26-27 2017
%P 476-479
%C Cincinnati, OH
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%O July 26-27
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Zwickl, Benjamin
%A Chen, Kingston
%A Deslongchamps, Joshua
%A Leak, Anna
%A Martin, Kelly Norris
%D July 26-27 2017
%T Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%C Cincinnati, OH
%P 476-479
%S PER Conference
%8 July 26-27
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14674&DocID=4851


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