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Fis-Mat Integrated Physics and Mathematics: A Proposal for a Curricular Sequence

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Engineering Physics Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

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Paper Authors


Angeles Dominguez Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) and Universidad Andres Bello Orcid 16x16

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Angeles Dominguez is a Professor of the Department of Mathematics within the School of Engineering, a researcher at the School of Education, and the Chair of the Master of Education at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. Also, she is currently collaborating with the School of Engineering at the University Andres Bello at Santiago, Chile. Angeles holds a bachelor degree in Physics Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey and a doctoral degree in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University, New York. Professor Dominguez is a member of the Researchers’ National System in Mexico (SNI) and currently she is the President of Red de Investigación e Innovación en Educación del Noreste de México (REDIIEN). Angeles has been a visiting researcher at Syracuse University, at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches undergraduate courses in Mathematics and graduate courses in Education. Professor Dominguez is a thesis advisor on the master and doctoral programs on education at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. Her main research areas are: a) models and modeling, b) use of technology to improve learning and c) evaluation. In addition, Professor Dominguez is the coordinator of the conTIgo T3 Latin America group that focuses on an effective and efficient use of the Texas Instrument technology in the mathematics and science classroom, and is member of the Executive Committee of international association (ASEE-EPPD and ICTMA).

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Jorge Eugenio de la Garza Becerra Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM)

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Jorge de la Garza is a Lecturer of the Physics Department within the School of Engineering at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico. He holds a bachelor degree in Physics Engineering and a doctoral degree in Education both from Tecnologico de Monterrey. Dr. de la Garza has been recognized by the government as a member of the Researchers’ National System in Mexico (SNI). He also actively participates in the different initiatives of the University mainly those related to interdisciplinary approach of teaching and learning, looking to close the gap between how knowledge is created and how students learn. His main research areas are a) models and modeling, b) learning environments and c) problem solving.

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Genaro Zavala Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) and Universidad Andres Bello Orcid 16x16

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Professor of the Physics Department at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. He is a member of the National Research System in Mexico and is the leader of the Physics Education Research and innovation Group. He has 68 papers in journals and proceedings, 6 books, 7 book chapters, 135 presentations in Mexico, Korea, Denmark, Hungary, Cuba, United States, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina and 26 workshops in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. He has participated obtaining projects funded by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, HP Development Company, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo and the University of Arizona. He is a member of the Mexican Council of Educational Research, Vicepresident of the Latin American Physics Education Network (LAPEN), coordinator of the Evaluation of Learning and Instruction Topical Group within the International Research Group on Physics Teaching (GIREP for French); member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in which he was member and president of the International Committee (2006-2008), president of the committee in 2008, member and president of the Philanthropy Committee (2011-2013), member of the Membership and Benefits Committee (2012-2015), founding president of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Mexican section. In the AAPT he is currently a member of the Research in Physics Education Committtee (RiPE) and elected member of the Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council (PERLOC). He is a member of the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) Network on Information Technology, and coordinator of the Science Education Community of the Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo del Internet (CUDI). The main area of interest of Prof. Zavala is Physics Education Research in which he studies students’ conceptual understanding, designs and implements assessment tools in education, researches on the use of technology in the classroom and conducts research on the acquisition of skills by university students in active learning environments.

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Cynthia Concepción Castro Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey

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Cynthia Castro Concepción Ling is Professor of the Mathematics Department of the School of Engineering ITESM Campus Monterrey (ITESM). She graduated from the Engineering in Electronics and Communications and Electronic Systems Master majoring in Telecommunications both degrees from ITESM. Currently, she has a PhD in Educational Innovation, she is coordinator of matter Multivariable Calculus and has over 10 years of experience in education where she has participated as a professor in the departments of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering. Also, she has conducted research for new learning strategies oriented Model TEC 21, implemented in the courses of engineering careers. She has promoted innovation to conduct and participate in the redesign of courses Engineering. In addition, she has been responsible for leading master's thesis at the Graduate Program of the EGE Virtual University, Campus Monterrey. Finally, she has worked in the industry in the sector of Telecommunications performing engineering design and implementation on wireless networks.

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This proposal is a project in an early stage. The curricular sequence consists of designing and implementing three integrated courses of Physics and Mathematics corresponding to the first three university courses for those disciplines. The first integrated course, Fis-Mat 1 (short for Physics and Mathematics in Spanish), combines the first course of Physics and the first course of Calculus for engineering students, and it has been taught once a year since 2012. The goal for the curricular project is to complete a sequence of three Fis-Mat courses corresponding to the first three courses of Physics and the three Calculus courses for engineering students. So far, we have gained experience in a) implementing Modeling Instruction as well as teaching from a Models and Modeling perspective, b) taking advantage of the classroom settings, c) tailoring the activities to enhance active learning, d) using the technology and the laboratory equipment in an efficient and meaningful way, and e) designing activities that provide formative and summative assessment to all (students, teachers, and researchers).

The main goal of the Fis-Mat curricular sequence is to teach what is needed when it is needed through active learning. The secondary goals are to: a) improve students’ abilities to make connections between physics and mathematics in a meaningful way, b) provide students with educational tools to help them overcome the conceptual difficulties that have been reported when the two courses are taken separately, c) foster a deeper understanding of the physical and mathematical concepts applied in engineering practices, and d) develop successful learners by helping students become knowledgeable, self-determined, strategic, and empathetic thinkers who know how to work collaboratively.

Having successfully implemented Fis-Mat 1, we propose expanding Fis-Mat from one course to three courses. That will require a reorganization of content for the three calculus courses and the physics courses, to truly integrate both disciplines in terms of models.

Dominguez, A., & de la Garza Becerra, J. E., & Zavala, G., & Castro, C. C. (2016, June), Fis-Mat Integrated Physics and Mathematics: A Proposal for a Curricular Sequence Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26914

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