Abstract by Sarah Cox

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Sarah Cox

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation


Mathematics Education

Faculty Advisor

Blake Peterson
Keith Leatham


How Students Interpret Variables


A group of middle school students were asked the question, “Which is larger, x or x+x?” Many students treated x as a positive number and claimed x+x was larger than x. Through a class discussion, negatives and zero as values for x were also used. How do students interpret the variable x in the context of multiple domains? For example, one student believes that all negative numbers have a negative sign in front so, intuitively, a single variable x cannot represent a negative input. I will present student work that taps into the domain reasoning of students.