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Title: "When am I Going to Use This Anyway?": Motivating Students of Mathematics Utilizing the Network Structure of Wikipedia
Authors: Wellons, Megan
Advisors: van Handel, Ramon
Department: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Students of mathematics often doubt if they will ever use what they are being taught outside of a math classroom. Education literature shows that students with intrinsic motivation who believe that the subject they are learning will have value in their life learn more than those who do not. This thesis will utilize the network structure of Wikipedia (both wikilinks and category membership) to identify topics in mathematics that are most applicable outside of the math category and develop a tool to allow students to search for the math topics most relevant to their areas of interest as well as the applications of specific math topics. This is achieved through the creation of specialized category-wikilink networks which use the categories at a given level of the category graph along with mathematics categories as nodes and links with weight equal to the number of wikilinks between articles in the two categories. Various measures of centrality are used to determine the most broadly applicable fields of mathematics which were then ranked with TOPSIS. The search tool is also developed using a 4-step Markov Centrality and Markov Centrality to allow students to search for applications of math topics or math related to a topic of interest.
Extent: 100 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Operations Research and Financial Engineering, 2000-2017

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