Experts' understanding of partial derivatives using the Partial Derivative Machine

Article, Preprint English OPEN
Roundy, David; Dorko, Allison; Dray, Tevian; Manogue, Corinne A.; Weber, Eric;

Partial derivatives are used in a variety of different ways within physics. Most notably, thermodynamics uses partial derivatives in ways that students often find confusing. As part of a collaboration with mathematics faculty, we are at the beginning of a study of the t... View more
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    Excerpt 24 24:27

    P1: Now we can clamp that [indicates y string].

    P2: Okay... So now...

    P1: But that's the natural expectation if you don't

    P1: They taught me. Like when I was a student. INT: So tell me exactly, what exactly did they tell you

    P1: That when you do a partial derivative of a func-

    P1: Now if you're doing the second thing, it's real,

    P2: Right, so it's...

    P1: So it's not something that...

    P2: So you take the derivative in a di erent direction

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