Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Taylor series expansion of functions has important applications in engineering, mathematics, physics, and computer science; therefore observing responses of graduate and senior undergraduate students to Taylor series questions appears to be the initial step for understanding students’ conceptual cognitive reasoning. These observations help to determine and develop a successful teaching methodology after weaknesses of the students are investigated. Pedagogical research on understanding mathematics and conceptual knowledge of physics majors’ power series was conducted in various studies ([1-10]); however, to the best of our knowledge, Taylor series knowledge of engineering majors was not investigated prior to this study. In this work, the ability of graduate and senior undergraduate engineering and mathematics majors responding to a set of power series questions are investigated. Written questionnaire responses of participating students and the follow-up interviews to have a better understanding of these written responses are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by using the Action-Process-Object-Schema (APOS) theory. Samples of the student responses to the written questionnaire and the transcribed interview data are displayed throughout this work. Written and oral interview data collected from participating STEM majors indicated a well-established knowledge of approximation, a poor knowledge of the meaning of center concept that takes place in the Taylor series expansion of functions, and a well-established knowledge of infinity as a part of infinite series concept.
Tokgoz, E. (2018, June), Conceptual Power Series Knowledge of STEM Majors Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30216
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