University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Karen Graham, UNH Department of Mathematics and Director of the Leitzel Center
Mathematical Instruction: The Effect on Selecting a Math Related Major
Mathematics is used in a variety of topics such as the expression of measurement, scientific processes, properties of quantities, and in the analysis of data sets. Without mathematics many, if not all, sciences would not have the specific techniques needed to perform meaningful tasks. The purpose of this research is to further understand students’ perceptions of traditional methods of instruction and their impact on the student's choice of major. A student’s perception of mathematics can be altered by many factors revolving around anxiety, understanding, achievement and performance. This perception might affect the way students decide what they should apply or exclude themselves from. Such decisions relate back to the main question of, does the traditional method of mathematical instruction decrease the likelihood that a student will decide to major in mathematics or a related major. We predict that if the student’s experience with the instructor’s method of teaching is negative; the student will not enroll in a mathematics related field of study.