Current Students - Robert Blaisdell
Office: 213 York Complex #1
Phone#: (207) 581-4677
EMail: Robert Blaisdell
- 1993 A.S. Electrical Power, Eastern Maine Community College
- 1998 B.S. BioRes. Engineering, University of Maine
Advisor: Susan McKay, Professor of Physics and Director, Center for Research in STEM Education
“Student Understanding in the Concept of Limit in Calculus: How Student Responses Vary Depending on Question Format and Type of Representation” – Research indicates that calculus students have difficulties with limit concepts. However, the underlying reasons for those difficulties and possible influences of the form of the questions have not been examined in detail. Since the limit concept is a foundational concept in calculus it would help the mathematics education community to know not only the difficulties that students have, but also how the questions used to assess their knowledge affect their responses. Data for this study came from surveys administered to 111 first semester calculus students’ about their understanding of and difficulties with the concept of limit. Survey questions focused on limit in multiple representations including graphs, mathematical notation and definitions. Questions were multiple choice and free response. Student difficulties documented in previous research were found to be evident in this population of students. Findings from the current study also indicated that difficulties students exhibited in one question were sometimes different then the difficulties those same students exhibited when asked about the same idea in slightly different ways or in a different representation. Students in general had less difficulty with graphical representations than mathematical notation or definition questions.
Rob is currently teaching mathematics at the Sanford Christian Academy.