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ERIC Number: EJ1133288
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Undergraduate Students' Initial Conceptions of Factorials
Lockwood, Elise; Erickson, Sarah
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v48 n4 p499-519 2017
Counting problems offer rich opportunities for students to engage in mathematical thinking, but they can be difficult for students to solve. In this paper, we present a study that examines student thinking about one concept within counting, factorials, which are a key aspect of many combinatorial ideas. In an effort to better understand students' conceptions of factorials, we conducted interviews with 20 undergraduate students. We present a key distinction between computational versus combinatorial conceptions, and we explore three aspects of data that shed light on students' conceptions (their initial characterizations, their definitions of 0!, and their responses to Likert-response questions). We present implications this may have for mathematics educators both within and separate from combinatorics.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A