Event Type:

Seminar

Date/Time:

Friday, May 25, 2007 - 08:00

Location:

Kidder 364

Guest Speaker:

L. Burger

Abstract:

What difficulties are encountered by beginning undergraduate linear algebra students when solving problems involving the use of the row-reduction algorithm? We discuss the difficulty encountered by beginning undergraduate linear algebra students when solving linear system, combination, and transformation problems.

In experiments inspired by the Luchinsâ€™ (1942) water jar problems from the field of experimental psychology, subjects solved linear algebra problems involving three typical settings and solution types. Results suggest that linear algebra students suffer from negative transfer, a phenomenon where prior experience can limit the ability to function efficiently in new settings.