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Journeys in mathematical landscapes: genius or craft?

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posted on 12.08.2019, 08:27 by Lorenzo Lane, Ursula Martin, Dave Murray-Rust, Alison Pease, Fenner Tanswell
We look at how Anglophone mathematicians have, over the last hundred years or so, presented their activities using metaphors of landscape and journey. We contrast romanticised self-presentations of the isolated genius with ethnographic studies of mathematicians at work, both alone, and in collaboration, looking particularly at on-line collaborations in the “polymath” format. The latter provide more realistic evidence of mathematicians daily practice, consistent with the the “growth mindset” notion of mathematical educators, that mathematical abilities are skills to be developed, rather than fixed traits.We place our observations in a broader literature on landscape, social space, craft and wayfaring, which combine in the notion of the production of mathematics as crafting the exploration of an unknown landscape. We indicate how “polymath” has a two-fold educational role, enabling participants to develop their skills, and providing a public demonstration of the craft of mathematics in action.
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Funding

EPSRC EP/K040251/2

EP/J017728/2

EP/P017320/1

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

Proof Technology in Mathematics Research and Teaching

Pages

197 - 212

Publisher

Springer

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Publisher statement

The final authenticated version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28483-1_9.

Acceptance date

06/08/2018

Publication date

2019-10-02

Copyright date

2019

ISBN

9783030284824; 9783030284831

ISSN

2211-8136

Book series

Mathematics Education in the Digital Era;14

Language

en

Editor(s)

Gila Hanna; David A. Reid; Michael de Villiers

Depositor

Dr Fenner Tanswell

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