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Abstract Title: Encouraging Students to Have Wonderful Ideas About Functions of Several Variables in Multiple Physics Contexts
Abstract: Functions of several variables occur everywhere in physics, from E&M through thermodynamics. These applications require students to have rich concept images of such functions which go well beyond what is typically taught in a multivariable calculus course, particularly concepts which deal with data and experimental representations.

You are invited to a modified poster symposium/workshop where you will have the opportunity to explore research projects that use a mixture of approaches and theoretical perspectives and also several classroom activities that use innovative hands-on tools. Finally you can investigate a learning progression that we are developing to help faculty make decisions about which activities might be useful in their courses, and when. We hope that you will be inspired to have wonderful ideas about how to introduce functions of several variables to your students and wonderful ideas about how to study students' evolving understanding of functions of several variables, so they can have wonderful ideas, in turn.

The following research projects will be presented:
A learning progression for partial derivatives, Tevian Dray & David Roundy
Finding partial derivatives with contour maps, Paul Emigh
Learning to think about covariation with Raising Physics to the Surface, Elizabeth Gire & Jonathan Alfson
Expert games with partial derivatives, Mary Bridget Kustusch
Examining problem solving with representational transformation, Corinne Manogue & Rabindra Bajracharya
Research and teaching with the partial derivatives machine, Michael Vignal
Discovering derivatives in the multivariable setting with Surface tools, Aaron Wangberg
Abstract Type: Custom Format
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I
Room: Grand Central

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Corinne Manogue
Oregon State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Moderator: C. Manogue
Presenters: T. Dray, P. Emigh, E. Gire, M. B. Kustusch, M. Vignal, Aaron Wangberg