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Abstract Title: Faculty expectations of dimensional analysis
Abstract: Although dimensional analysis is often considered a fundamental skill in physics, surprisingly little research has examined how instructors teach it or expect their students to do it.  Eight faculty from Oregon State University were interviewed to better understand how they think about and teach dimensional analysis. These faculty teach introductory, upper division and graduate courses, and have diverse research backgrounds. Dimensional analysis was identified as either a tool for deriving formulas or answer checking, some preferred to think of the latter mode as "unit checking". Students are expected to be able to check units/dimensions at all levels (introductory through graduate) of their physics education. Many faculty commented that, although they may demonstrate dimensional analysis, they do not explicitly discuss strategies for doing it or require students to practice it in course assignments.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: MacKenzie Lenz
Oregon State University
OR Phone: 5036795071
and Co-Presenter(s)
Elizabeth Gire