This research examines the mathematical process used by students when solving physics tasks that require proportional reasoning. Investigates students’ understandings and explanations of their mathematical processes.
A unit that addresses the sheer volume of incomprehensible numbers (speed, distance, age) in the natural world, helping students to understand the scale of the world using the concepts of rates, proportions and dimensional analysis. Students learn to calculate problems such as: Measurements indicate that the continents of Europe and North America are separating (plate tectonics) at the rate of about 2 centimeters per year. If Columbus could repeat his famous voyage of 1492, about how many feet or yards farther must he travel?
Abstracts of studies on how much mathematics is used in various occupations: Mathematics in Automobile Production; Proportional Reasoning by Nurses; Modeling the Mathematics of Banking; Mathematical Models as Seen by Biologists; How do Scientists Interpret Graphs? From the MAA’s Teaching and Learning Research Sampler.