Professor Romualdo T. deSouza

Professor de Souza's area of research is Nuclear Chemistry. Understanding the thermodynamic properties (i.e., equation-of-state) of nuclear matter is important in understanding the synthesis of the heavy elements as it occurs in explosive stellar environments (e.g., supernovae) or the existence of objects such as neutron stars.

For more on the Nuclear Chemistry Research Group

Research we conducted in the fall of 1997 offers evidence of CALM’s impact in its present form, as well as a model of our assessments of an enhanced CALM (as proposed below). The focus of our initial analysis was the relationship between “SCORE”, the sum of hourly and final exam scores, and the degree to which students solved problems using CALM (“CALMPTS”) during the semester. Also studied were SATACT (math SAT or ACT scores scaled to SAT points) and Chemistry Placement exam scores representing the prior aptitudes and knowledge of each student.

Effect | Coefficient | Std Error | Std Coef | Tolerance | t | P(2 Tail) |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

CONSTANT | -9.785 | 6.118 | 0.000 | . | -1.599 | 0.110 |

CALMPTS | 3.787 | 0.246 | 0.495 | 0.925 | 15.398 | 0.000 |

SATACT | 0.113 | 0.010 | 0.360 | 0.900 | 11.052 | 0.000 |

CHEMPLACE | 1.349 | 0.272 | 0.156 | 0.967 | 4.963 | 0.000 |

From an OLS regression analysis of data collected, we see that CALM has the largest relative influence (as the standardized coefficients suggest) on exam scores and that both SATACT and the chemistry placement score are also significant. To convey the substantive impact of CALM here, one should note that the average difference in “A” vs “B” letter grades on SCORE was roughly 15 points (on a 150 point continuum). A difference between two students with 0 versus 5 or 5 vs 10 “CALMPTS (on a 10 point continuum)” corresponds on the average to (5*3.787) almost 19 exam points, more than a letter grade equivalent. Students who differed by 100 math SAT points would differ, on the average, by (.113*100) or 11.3 exam points. Put another way, it would take a difference of 168 SAT points (19/.113) to correspond to the 19 exam point differences calculated for 5 CALM points. The results form these initial studies on CALM effectiveness led us to extend CALM to other courses with financial support from the chemistry department and College of Arts and Sciences.

Take a look for yourself at how the student uses CALM.