Tarleton undergrad receives honors for mathematical fluency research

Tarleton State University sophomore Kristen Bowman (right) and her undergraduate faculty adviser Dr. Thomas Faulkenberry recently attended the annual Southwest Cognition Conference at Baylor University where she received Honorable Mention accolades for her poster presentation: "The Effects of Mathematical Fluency on Multi-Digit Number Representations."

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STEPHENVILLE (November 5, 2015) — Tarleton State University sophomore Kristen Bowman received honorable mention accolades during the recent Southwest Cognition Conference hosted by Baylor University.

Bowman, a psychology student from Blanco, Texas, received the honors for her poster presentation, “The Effects of Mathematical Fluency on Multi-Digit Number Representations” after competing against 20 other undergraduates from institutions such as Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, UT-El Paso, Rice, University of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The annual conference, held Oct. 30-31, draws cognitive psychologists from the southwest region of the United States and is dubbed the Armadillo Conference: Association for Research in Memory, Attention, Decision Making, Intelligence, Language, Learning and Organization.

In her research, Bowman found that greater mathematical fluency predicts more precise representations of numerical magnitude in two-digit numbers. This research, carried out jointly with her faculty adviser, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Thomas Faulkenberry, has implications for teaching children concepts of place value, as she found that mathematically fluent adults process the holistic magnitude of multi-digit numbers instead of processing each digit separately.

“This implies that place value instruction for children should be accompanied by activities that focus on magnitude, using questions like ‘how much’ and ‘how many,’” said Faulkenberry.

Bowman’s research was supported through Tarleton’s First-Year Research Experiences (FYRE) program.

To learn more about Tarleton’s Department of Psychological Sciences, visitwww.tarleton.edu/pc. For more information about student research and creative activities, such as FYRE, visitwww.tarleton.edu/studentresearch.

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