Abstract by Navy Borrowman
Limits and College Algebra
One of the most difficult and fundamental topics for students to grasp in calculus is an understanding of limits. The mathematical concept of limits bridges students’ knowledge of functions and polynomials including concepts such as continuity and derivatives. How well do our college algebra courses (Math 110) prepare students for calculus? As math educators we hope that our teaching of algebra concepts will not only be understood well enough for the current coursework, but will also build a foundation for higher level mathematics. A conceptually oriented curriculum is being implemented in some of the college algebra courses. In these courses and the traditional college algebra courses, students experience different teaching techniques when learning concepts such as covariation, end behavior, and asymptotes. This research project will analyze how these different college algebra experiences influence students’ understanding of limits.