Rounded Rectangle: Mechanics Meta-analysis 
By: K Alison Gomez
Mentor: Eleanor Sayre



Bienvenidos a mi pagina

Welcome to my page

Kansas State University KSU Physics Department  REU Program University of Texas at Brownsville UT Physics Department






This page summarizes my research experience during summer 2014 with Dr. Sayre on Physics education. I worked with another REU student, Edward Schenk.

Below you will find my Project Overview, my Research Description, my Research Progress, and my Poster. After all this you will find information About Me. Under the title you would find some useful links.

Project Overview: 

We conduct a meta-analysis of data from all papers published in PhysRevST-PER, the PERC proceedings, and AJP that measure student performance on the FCI and FMCE in college-level courses (76 papers, ~51k students). The papers' descriptions of teaching methods are coded according to their level of interactive engagement (a lot, some, and none). We augment published data about teaching methods with institutional data such as Carnegie Classification and SAT scores. We statistically determine the effectiveness of different teaching methods as measured by FCI and FMCE gains and mediated by institutional and course factors. In contrast to the landmark 1998 Hake study, a broader distribution of normalized gains occurs in each of traditional and IE classes. Over time, average gains in classes described as "traditional" have increased, suggesting that the definition of traditional teaching has drifted.

Research Description: 

 During this summer, I learned how to run statistical analysis using R. For the most part we used to do graphs. We also used it to run ANOVAS which is useful to find out if samples within a population are similar or different, and after the anova we run Tukey HSD test to find out which pair of samples are different from each other and which one are the same. In order to run those analyses you have to use a code. The following image shows R when you first open it.

The following lines are a code sample and in front of it you can find a small description of what each line does. Red is the code, black are comments and blue is the result.

Mechanics = read.csv("20140718-ECS-Mechanics.csv") #This reads the file and sends it to mechanics.

attach(Mechanics) #It makes objects within the dataframe.

summary(aov(Hake_gain~Test*Teaching_Method)) #Runs an anova with to factors

Df Sum Sq Mean Sq F value Pr(>F)

Test 1 1.504 1.504 103.80 < 2e-16 ***

Teaching_Method_Shorter 1 4.626 4.626 319.21 < 2e-16 ***

Test:Teaching_Method_Shorter 1 0.331 0.331 22.82 2.39e-06 ***

Residuals 465 6.739 0.014


Signif. codes: 0 *** 0.001 ** 0.01 * 0.05 . 0.1 1

19 observations deleted due to missingness

TukeyHSD(aov(Hake_gain~Test*Teaching_Method_Shorter)) # Tukey Test, less than 0.05 means significant different, and greater than 0.05 means they are significant the same.

diff lwr upr p adj

FMCE:IE-FCI:IE 0.11147326 0.07866423 0.14428229 0.000000

FCI:TRAD-FCI:IE -0.20177749 -0.24313085 -0.16042413 0.000000

FMCE:TRAD-FCI:IE -0.23421905 -0.29875244 -0.16968565 0.000000

FCI:TRAD-FMCE:IE -0.31325075 -0.35648173 -0.27001976 0.000000

FMCE:TRAD-FMCE:IE -0.34569231 -0.41144470 -0.27993992 0.000000

FMCE:TRAD-FCI:TRAD -0.03244156 -0.10284784 0.03796472 0.634721


Research Progress: 

Here are some other graphs that we made that are not on the poster.


Click on the image below to download my poster in PDF version.


About Me:

My name is K. Alison Gomez. I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but I grew up in Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas (Mexico). I have been always interested in activities that in the past were thought been only for boys. As a child I always enjoyed sports like soccer, basketball, wrestling, etc. I also liked to help my dad to fix electronic devices and the car that was when I first have contact with science (physics). My favorite science class was biology, but when I was a freshman in high school I had a deep contact with physics, so my mind changed and physics became my favorite science. I started college in Fall 2010. Next year, I am going to be a senior at my school. My bachelor degree is Physics 8th-12th because I am interested in Physics and teaching. For that reason this summer I did research in Physics education. Before this summer my plan was finish my degree and start working as a teacher, but now I am considering go to grad school and get either a Master or a Doctorate in Physics. I really liked my research experience.


This program is funded by the National Science Foundation through grant number PHY-1157044.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.