A

primary goal of physics is to create mathematical models that allow both

predictions and explanations of physical phenomena. We weave mathematics

extensively into our instruction beginning in high school, and the level and

complexity of the math we draw on grows as our students progress through a

physics curriculum. Despite much research on the learning in both physics and

math, the problem of how to successfully teach most of our students to use math

in physics effectively remains unsolved. A fundamental issue is that in

physics, we don't just *use* math, we think about the physical world with

it. As a result, we make meaning with mathematical symbology in a different way

than mathematicians do. In this talk I analyze how developing the competency of

mathematical modeling is more than just "learning to do math" but

requires learning to blend physical meaning into mathematical representations

and learning to use that physical meaning in solving problems. Examples are

drawn from across the curriculum.

Reference:

Language of physics, language

of math: Disciplinary culture and dynamic epistemology, E. F. Redish

and E. Kuo, *Science &
Education*,

**24**:5-6 (2015-03-14)

561-590. doi:10.1007/s11191-015-9749-7

Watch a video of the colloquium.