An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students

Peters, Michael D. and Graham, Edward (2013). An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. IN: Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education. Ubuz, Behiye; Haser, Çiğdem and Mariotti, Maria Alessandra (eds) Ankara (TR): Middle East Technical University.

Abstract

This investigation is grounded within the concept of embodied cognition where the mind is considered to be part of a biological system. A first year undergraduate Mechanical Engineering cohort of students was tasked with explaining the behaviour of three balls of different masses being rolled down a ramp. The explanations given by the students highlighted the cognitive conflict between the everyday interpretation of the word energy and its mathematical use. The results showed that even after many years of schooling, students found it challenging to interpret the mathematics they had learned and relied upon pseudo-scientific notions to account for the behaviour of the balls.

Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences > Electrical, Electronic & Power Engineering
Event Title: 8th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2013-02-06 - 2013-02-10
Full Text Link: http://www.math ... Proceedings.pdf
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Published Date: 2013-12-31
Authors: Peters, Michael D. ( 0000-0002-0993-8391)
Graham, Edward

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