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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 219652 matches for " C. Wittmann "
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Using resource graphs to represent conceptual change
Michael C. Wittmann
Physical Review Special Topics. Physics Education Research , 2006,
Abstract: We introduce resource graphs, a representation of linked ideas used when reasoning about specific contexts in physics. Our model is consistent with previous descriptions of coordination classes and resources. It represents mesoscopic scales that are neither knowledge-in-pieces nor large-scale concepts. We use resource graphs to describe several forms of conceptual change: incremental, cascade, wholesale, and dual construction. For each, we give evidence from the physics education research literature to show examples of each form of conceptual change. Where possible, we compare our representation to models used by other researchers. Building on our representation, we analyze another form of conceptual change, differentiation, and suggest several experimental studies that would help understand the differences between reform-based curricula.
Using conceptual blending to describe emergent meaning in wave propagation
Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: Students in interviews on a wave physics topic give answers through embodied actions which connect their understanding of the physics to other common experiences. When answering a question about wavepulses propagating along a long taut spring, students' gestures help them recruit information about balls thrown the air. I analyze gestural, perceptual, and verbal information gathered using videotaped interviews and classroom interactions. I use conceptual blending to describe how different elements combine to create new, emergent meaning for the students and compare this to a knowledge-in-pieces approach.
The Object Coordination Class Applied to Wavepulses: Analysing Student Reasoning in Wave Physics
Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1080/09500690110066944
Abstract: Detailed investigations of student reasoning show that students approach the topic of wave physics using both event-like and object-like descriptions of wavepulses, but primarily focus on object properties in their reasoning. Student responses to interview and written questions are analysed using diSessa and Sherin's coordination class model which suggests that student use of specific reasoning resources is guided by possibly unconscious cues. Here, the term reasoning resources is used in a general fashion to describe any of the smaller grain size models of reasoning (p-prims, facets of knowledge, intuitive rules, etc) rather than theoretically ambiguous (mis)conceptions. Student applications of reasoning resources, including one previously undocumented, are described. Though the coordination class model is extremely helpful in organising the research data, problematic aspects of the model are also discussed.
Limitations in predicting student performance on standardized tests
Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2002,
Abstract: The Maryland Physics Expectations Survey (MPEX) describes student attitudes and expectations toward learning, and might be used to predict normalized gains on tests such as the Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE). These predictions are incomplete, though, due to limitations of the standardized tests themselves. I illustrate the problems involved in using the MPEX to predict productive attitudes toward learning physics by focusing on two students, both with seemingly appropriate expectations toward learning. While one had high normalized gains, the other did not, due to "false favorable" responses on the MPEX.
Lab-Tutorials for teaching quantum physics (Lab-Tutorials fuer den Quantenphysik Unterricht)
Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2006,
Abstract: English abstract: In the "Intuitive Quantum Physics" course, we use graphical interpretations of mathematical equations and qualitative reasoning to develop and teach a simplified model of quantum physics. Our course contains three units: Wave physics, Development of a conceptual toolbox, and quantum physics. It also contains three key themes: wave-particle duality, the Schroedinger equation, and tunneling of quantum particles. Students learn most new material in lab-tutorials in which students work in small groups (3 to 3 people) on specially designed worksheets. Lecture reinforces the lab-tutorial content and focuses more on issues about the nature of science. Data show that students are able to learn some of the most difficult concepts in the course, and also that students learn to believe that there is a conceptually accessible structure to the physics in the course. German abstract: Im Kurs "Intuitive Quantum Physics" werden graphische Interpretationen mathematischer Gleichungen und qualitatives Denken durch ein vereinfachtes Modell der Quantenphysik gelehrt. Unser Kurs besteht aus drei wichtigen Abschnitten: Wellenphysik, Aufbau eines Werkzeugkastens ("Toolbox") und Quantenphysik, sowie drei Schluesselthemen: Welle-Teilchen-Dualitaet, die Schroedinger-Gleichung und Tunneln von Quantenteilchen. Wir unterrichten vorwiegend mit Lab-Tutorials, in denen StudentInnen in kleinen Gruppen (3 bis 4 Personen) anwendungsspezifische Arbeitsblaetter durcharbeiten. In den Diskussionen werden auch Auseinandersetzungen ueber das "Bild der Physik", bei uns "Nature of Science" genannt, gefuehrt. Ueberpruefungen haben ergeben, dass StudentInnen nicht nur die schwierigsten Konzepte des Kurses lernen koennen sondern auch lernen, dass die Quantenphysik begrifflich verstaendlich ist.
Using resource graphs to represent conceptual change
Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2006, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020105
Abstract: We introduce resource graphs, a representation of linked ideas used when reasoning about specific contexts in physics. Our model is consistent with previous descriptions of resources and coordination classes. It can represent mesoscopic scales that are neither knowledge-in-pieces or large-scale concepts. We use resource graphs to describe several forms of conceptual change: incremental, cascade, wholesale, and dual construction. For each, we give evidence from the physics education research literature to show examples of each form of conceptual change. Where possible, we compare our representation to models used by other researchers. Building on our representation, we introduce a new form of conceptual change, differentiation, and suggest several experimental studies that would help understand the differences between reform-based curricula.
The role of sign in students' modeling of scalar equations
Kate Hayes,Michael C. Wittmann
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1119/1.3361994
Abstract: We describe students revising the mathematical form of physics equations to match the physical situation they are describing, even though their revision violates physical laws. In an unfamiliar air resistance problem, a majority of students in a sophomore level mechanics class at some point wrote Newton's Second Law as F = -ma; they were using this form to ensure that the sign of the force pointed in a direction consistent with the chosen coordinate system while assuming that some variables have only positive value. We use one student's detailed explanation to suggest that students' issues with variables are context-dependent, and that much of their reasoning is useful for productive instruction.
Plasticity of intermediate mechanics students’ coordinate system choice
Eleanor C. Sayre,Michael C. Wittmann
Physical Review Special Topics. Physics Education Research , 2008,
Abstract: We investigate the interplay between mathematics and physics resources in intermediate mechanics students. In the mechanics course, the selection and application of coordinate systems is a consistent thread. At the University of Maine, students often start the course with a strong preference to use Cartesian coordinates, in accordance with their prior physics and mathematics classes. In small-group interviews and in homework help sessions, we ask students to define a coordinate system and set up the equations of motion for a simple pendulum for which polar coordinates are more appropriate. We analyze video data from several encounters using a combination of Process/Object theory and Resource Theory. We find that students sometimes persist in using an inappropriate Cartesian system. Furthermore, students often derive (rather than recall) the details of the polar coordinate system, indicating that their knowledge is far from solid. To describe our work more precisely, we define a scale of plasticity and several heuristics for defining resources and their plasticity.
Combining 2-m temperature nowcasting and short range ensemble forecasting
A. Kann, T. Haiden,C. Wittmann
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG) , 2011,
Abstract: During recent years, numerical ensemble prediction systems have become an important tool for estimating the uncertainties of dynamical and physical processes as represented in numerical weather models. The latest generation of limited area ensemble prediction systems (LAM-EPSs) allows for probabilistic forecasts at high resolution in both space and time. However, these systems still suffer from systematic deficiencies. Especially for nowcasting (0–6 h) applications the ensemble spread is smaller than the actual forecast error. This paper tries to generate probabilistic short range 2-m temperature forecasts by combining a state-of-the-art nowcasting method and a limited area ensemble system, and compares the results with statistical methods. The Integrated Nowcasting Through Comprehensive Analysis (INCA) system, which has been in operation at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) since 2006 (Haiden et al., 2011), provides short range deterministic forecasts at high temporal (15 min–60 min) and spatial (1 km) resolution. An INCA Ensemble (INCA-EPS) of 2-m temperature forecasts is constructed by applying a dynamical approach, a statistical approach, and a combined dynamic-statistical method. The dynamical method takes uncertainty information (i.e. ensemble variance) from the operational limited area ensemble system ALADIN-LAEF (Aire Limitée Adaptation Dynamique Développement InterNational Limited Area Ensemble Forecasting) which is running operationally at ZAMG (Wang et al., 2011). The purely statistical method assumes a well-calibrated spread-skill relation and applies ensemble spread according to the skill of the INCA forecast of the most recent past. The combined dynamic-statistical approach adapts the ensemble variance gained from ALADIN-LAEF with non-homogeneous Gaussian regression (NGR) which yields a statistical \mbox{correction} of the first and second moment (mean bias and dispersion) for Gaussian distributed continuous variables. Validation results indicate that all three methods produce sharp and reliable probabilistic 2-m temperature forecasts. However, the statistical and combined dynamic-statistical methods slightly outperform the pure dynamical approach, mainly due to the under-dispersive behavior of ALADIN-LAEF outside the nowcasting range. The training length does not have a pronounced impact on forecast skill, but a spread re-scaling improves the forecast skill substantially. Refinements of the statistical methods yield a slight further improvement.
Evaluating multi-scale precipitation forecasts using high resolution analysis
C. Wittmann, T. Haiden,A. Kann
Advances in Science and Research (ASR) , 2010, DOI: 10.5194/asr-4-89-2010
Abstract: The SAL (Structure, Amplitude, Location) method is used for verification of precipitation forecasts at horizontal grid spacings ranging from 2.5 km to 25 km, using a high-resolution 1 km precipitation analysis as a reference. The verification focuses on a summertime period with predominantly convective precipitation. The verification domain contains lowland as well as alpine areas. Evaluation of the individual SAL components shows that with regard to area mean values (A) the benefit of high resolutions models becomes apparent only in high impact weather situations. For the summertime period studied, the subjective impression of better structured precipitation fields (S) in higher resolution models can generally be confirmed. The most significant improvement appears to be associated with explicit simulation of deep convection.
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