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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Language
  • English
Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Subject
Date Range
2012 2020


This study investigates several students’ interpretations and meanings for negations of various mathematical statements with quantifiers, and how their meanings for quantified variables impact their interpretations and denials of these quantified statements. Eight students participated in three separate exploratory teaching interviews and were selected from Transition-to-Proof and advanced mathematics courses beyond Transition-to-Proof. In the first interview, students were asked to interpret mathematical statements from Calculus contexts and provide justifications and refutations for why these statements are true or false in particular situations. In the second interview, students were asked to negate the same set of mathematical statements. Both sets of …

Contributors
Sellers, Morgan Early, Roh, Kyeong Hah, Kawski, Matthias, et al.
Created Date
2020

This study investigates Black male students' perceptions of their teachers' curricular expectations in mathematics classrooms. Curriculum in this study refers to what knowledge students are expected to learn, and the manner in which they are expected to learn it. The topic of this dissertation is in response to persisting and prevailing achievement disparities experienced by secondary Black male students in mathematics. These disparities exist at the school, district, state, and national level. Utilizing an action research methodology, multiple cycles of data collection led to the final iteration of the study, collecting strictly qualitative data and drawing from critical race methodology …

Contributors
Michael, Junior, Chen, Ying-Chih, Liou, Daniel Dinn-You, et al.
Created Date
2020

Research shows that the subject of mathematics, although revered, remains a source of trepidation for many individuals, as they find it difficult to form a connection between the work they do on paper and their work's practical applications. This research study describes the impact of teaching a challenging introductive applied mathematics course on high school students' skills and attitudes towards mathematics in a college Summer Program. In the analysis of my research data, I identified several emerging changes in skills and attitudes towards mathematics, skills that high-school students needed or developed when taking the mathematical modeling course. Results indicated that …

Contributors
agoune, linda, Castillo-Chavez, Carlos, Castillo-Garsow, Carlos W, et al.
Created Date
2020

The extent of students’ struggles in linear algebra courses is at times surprising to mathematicians and instructors. To gain insight into the challenges, the central question I investigated for this project was: What is the nature of undergraduate students’ conceptions of multiple analytic representations of systems (of equations)? My methodological choices for this study included the use of one-on-one, task-based clinical interviews which were video and audio recorded. Participants were chosen on the basis of selection criteria applied to a pool of volunteers from junior-level applied linear algebra classes. I conducted both generative and convergent analyses in terms of Clement’s …

Contributors
Sipes, Janet, Zandieh, Michelle J, Milner, Fabio A, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation reports three studies of the relationships between meanings teachers hold and meanings their students construct. The first paper reports meanings held by U.S. and Korean secondary mathematics teachers for teaching function notation. This study focuses on what teachers in U.S. and Korean are revealing their thinking from their written responses to the MMTsm (Mathematical Meanings for Teaching secondary mathematics) items, with particular attention to how productive those meanings would be if conveyed to students in a classroom setting. This paper then discusses how the MMTsm serves as a diagnostic instrument by sharing a teacher’s story. The data indicates …

Contributors
Yoon, Hyunkyoung, Thompson, Patrick W, Roh, Kyeong Hah, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation reports three studies about what it means for teachers and students to reason with frames of reference: to conceptualize a reference frame, to coordinate multiple frames of reference, and to combine multiple frames of reference. Each paper expands on the previous one to illustrate and utilize the construct of frame of reference. The first paper is a theory paper that introduces the mental actions involved in reasoning with frames of reference. The concept of frames of reference, though commonly used in mathematics and physics, is not described cognitively in any literature. The paper offers a theoretical model of …

Contributors
Joshua, Surani Ashanthi, Thompson, Patrick W, Carlson, Marilyn, et al.
Created Date
2019

Functions represented in the graphical register, as graphs in the Cartesian plane, are found throughout secondary and undergraduate mathematics courses. In the study of Calculus, specifically, graphs of functions are particularly prominent as a means of illustrating key concepts. Researchers have identified that some of the ways that students may interpret graphs are unconventional, which may impact their understanding of related mathematical content. While research has primarily focused on how students interpret points on graphs and students’ images related to graphs as a whole, details of how students interpret and reason with variables and expressions on graphs of functions have …

Contributors
David, Erika Johara, Roh, Kyeong Hah, Thompson, Patrick W, et al.
Created Date
2019

The concept of distribution is one of the core ideas of probability theory and inferential statistics, if not the core idea. Many introductory statistics textbooks pay lip service to stochastic/random processes but how do students think about these processes? This study sought to explore what understandings of stochastic process students develop as they work through materials intended to support them in constructing the long-run behavior meaning for distribution. I collected data in three phases. First, I conducted a set of task-based clinical interviews that allowed me to build initial models for the students’ meanings for randomness and probability. Second, I …

Contributors
Hatfield, Neil, Thompson, Patrick, Carlson, Marilyn, et al.
Created Date
2019

Researchers have described two fundamental conceptualizations for division, known as partitive and quotitive division. Partitive division is the conceptualization of a÷b as the amount of something per copy such that b copies of this amount yield the amount a. Quotitive division is the conceptualization of a÷b as the number of copies of the amount b that yield the amount a. Researchers have identified many cognitive obstacles that have inhibited the development of robust meanings for division involving non-whole values, while other researchers have commented on the challenges related to such development. Regarding division with fractions, much research has been devoted …

Contributors
Weber, Matthew Barrett, Strom, April D, Thompson, Patrick W, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation report follows a three-paper format, with each paper having a different but related focus. In Paper 1 I discuss conceptual analysis of mathematical ideas relative to its place within cognitive learning theories and research studies. In particular, I highlight specific ways mathematics education research uses conceptual analysis and discuss the implications of these uses for interpreting and leveraging results to produce empirically tested learning trajectories. From my summary and analysis I develop two recommendations for the cognitive researchers developing empirically supported learning trajectories. (1) A researcher should frame his/her work, and analyze others’ work, within the researcher’s image …

Contributors
O'Bryan, Alan Eugene, Carlson, Marilyn P, Thompson, Patrick W, et al.
Created Date
2018