Abstract

Existing research suggests an intuitive relationship between mathematics and computer programming. These previous studies have focused primarily on the cognitive connection and have ignored the potential impact of programming on an individual's perception and application of mathematical skills. By surveying and interviewing a variety of participants, this study aims to provide a descriptive foundation for the experiential side of cognitive correlations and causalities. These phenomenological accounts, garnered from individual interviews of seven different programmers, indicate four specific areas of interest. First, learning to program provided context for many abstract concepts. Second, programming illustrated the important distinction between understanding the application of math in a specific situation and the execution of a known procedure. Third, programming habits helped participants divide complex problems into more manageable tasks. Finally, the necessity of solving a programming problem provided motivation and eliminated apprehension toward mathematics.

Degree

MS

College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-06-13

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4482

Keywords

mathematics, computer programming, attitude, influence, phenomenological, logo

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