#### Undergraduate Students' Ways of Thinking About Function Notation

Previous research has examined difficulties that students have with understanding and productively working with function notation. Function notation is very prevalent throughout mathematics education, helping students to better understand and…

Previous research has examined difficulties that students have with understanding and productively working with function notation. Function notation is very prevalent throughout mathematics education, helping students to better understand and more easily work with functions. The goal of my research was to investigate students' current ways of thinking about function notation to better assist teachers in helping their students develop deeper and more productive understandings. In this study, I conducted two separate interviews with two undergraduate students to explore their meanings for function notation. I developed and adapted tasks aimed at investigating different aspects and uses of function notation. In each interview, I asked the participants to attempt each of the tasks, explaining their thoughts as they worked. While they were working, I occasionally asked clarifying questions to better understand their thought processes. For the second interviews, I added tasks based on difficulties I found in the first interviews. I video recorded each interview for later analysis. Based on the data found in the interviews, I will discuss the seven prevalent ways of thinking that I found, how they hindered or facilitated working with function notation productively, and suggestions for instruction to better help students understand the concept.

**Contributors**

- Mckee, Natalie Christina (Author)
- Thompson, Patrick (Thesis director)
- Zazkis, Dov (Committee member)
- School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (Contributor)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)

**Created**

- 2018-05