#### Understandings of Function Notation and its Impacts on Student Approaches to Problem Solving

The focus of this study was to examine how a student's understanding of function notation impacted their approaches to problem solving. Before this question could be answered, students' understandings about…

The focus of this study was to examine how a student's understanding of function notation impacted their approaches to problem solving. Before this question could be answered, students' understandings about function notation had to be determined. The goal of the first part of the data was to determine the norm of understanding for function notation for students after taking a college level pre-calculus class. From the data collected, several ideas about student understanding of notation emerged. The goal of the second data set was to determine if student understanding of notation impacted their reasoning while problem solving, and if so, how it impacted their reasoning. Collected data suggests that much of what students "understand" about function notation comes from memorized procedures and that the notation may have little or no meaning for students in context. Evidence from this study indicates that this lack of understanding of function notation does negatively impact student's ability to solve context based problems. In order to build a strong foundation of function, a well-developed understanding of function notation is necessary. Because function notation is a widely accepted way of communicating information about function relationships, understanding its uses and meanings in context is imperative for developing a strong foundation that will allow individuals to approach functions in a meaningful and productive manner.

**Contributors**

- Le, Lesley Kim (Author)
- Carlson, Marilyn (Thesis director)
- Greenes, Carole (Committee member)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)
- Division of Teacher Preparation (Contributor)

**Created**

- 2015-05