Abstract by Katie Melnyk
Implication of students’ mastery of precalculus materials on their success in chemistry
Mathematics is fundamental to all of science, especially chemistry. In this study, I would like to see how students’ mastery of precalculus affects and correlates with their ability to succeed in chemistry. We will be testing chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering majors using questions from the PCA (Precalculus Concept Assessment) applicable to chemistry, teaching important concepts to students who score poorly on said assessment, and then reassessing them to measure their improvement. This study will allow chemistry and mathematics instructors to know what mathematical concepts need to be better and more deeply taught to help ensure the success of their students in future endeavors. It will help them structure assessments and instruction to help their students truly understand what they are doing and how it relates to their future goals rather than just how to do certain types of problems to help them become more effective and successful critical thinkers.