The contribution of computer science to the learning of computational physics
- Rivka Taub
The study examines the learning process induced by a computational science course for excellent high school students. In particular, we analyze and characterize the contribution of computer science to the meaningful learning of ideas and concepts in physics. Findings show that learning physics in the context of computer science has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, computer science contributes to learning physics. For example, when the students construct a computational simulation of a physical system they actually represent their physical knowledge in a different way. This concrete representation of their knowledge reflects it to them and therefore serves as criteria which they can evaluate their own knowledge. We also saw that in the context of a computational science course, computer science encourages and promotes advanced problem solving strategies. On the other hand, learning more than one discipline at the same time may cause confusion. We conclude that it is advisable to add appropriate support while learning the course, one that will strengthen its advantages while reducing the disadvantages of learning such an interdisciplinary course.
This is the doctoral research of Rivka Taub
Links for further reading
- Taub, R., Armoni, M., & Ben-Ari, M. (2013). The contribution of computer science to learning computational physics. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Informatics in Schools (ISSEP’13), Oldenburg, Germany. In I. Diethelm & R. Mittermeir (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7780, 127-137. Berlin, Germany: Springer.
- Taub, R., Armoni, M., & Ben-Ari, M. (2014). Abstraction as a bridging concept between computer science and physics. In Proceedings of the 9th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE’14), Berlin, Germany, 16-19.
- Taub, R., Armoni, M., Bagno, E., & Ben-Ari, M. (2015). The effect of computer science on physics learning in a computational science environment. Computers & Education 87, 10-23.
- Taub, R., Armoni, M., and Ben-Ari, M. (2018). Physics conceptual understanding in a computational science course. Journal of Computational Science Education, 9(2), 2-13.