## A study of students' misconceptions regarding variables in the pythagorean theorem and slope/intercept formula.

##### Subject

Geometry -- Problems, exercises, etc.; Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary); Pythagorean theorem.; Variables (Mathematics).; Mathematics teachers -- Training of.##### Abstract

Understanding the concept of mathematical variables gives an opportunity to expand and work on high-level mathematics. This study examined college students' comprehension of variables as well as variable use in well-known mathematics formulas. These formulas consist of the Pythagorean Theorem, slope, as well as the y-intercept. Students were asked to complete a ten-problem quiz in a twenty minute time frame. Immediately following the quiz, students were asked to complete a five question survey in which they described their reactions to the quiz and their knowledge of variables. Similarly 15 high school mathematics teachers were given a survey on their reflection of their students' knowledge of variables. The results of the quiz and surveys were collected and analyzed to determine if any correlations existed. The data collected showed that there was a strong indication of variable misunderstanding by college level mathematics students.