Annual Boole Lecture in Mathematics

What is Mathematics Education, Really?

a public lecture by

Professor Alexandre Borovik

(University of Manchester)

Thursday, 2nd of November 2017,

6:00-7:20 pm

Newton Lecture Theatre  INB0114 in the Isaac Newton building, University of Lincoln

Eventbrite - Annual Boole Lecture in Mathematics

Alexandre_Borovik-bAs I argue in my paper, the current crisis in the school level mathematics education is a sign that it reaches a bifurcation point and is under increasing pressure to split in two streams:

* education for a selected minority of children / young people who, in their adult lives, will be filling increasingly small share of jobs which really require mathematical competence (I call them mathematical makers); and

** basic numeracy and mathematics awareness classes for the rest of population, end users of technology saturated by mathematics invisible to them.

In my talk, I will discuss challenges in mathematics education which will arise from this split. This is a theme which is rarely discussed in the mathematics education literature. It demands re-thinking of basic assumptions underpinning the mainstream mathematics education. I invite the audience to an open discussion of a difficult problem:

What is Mathematics Education, Really?

In the changing socio-economic environment of mathematics, it needs to be addressed from the first principles.


Professor Alexandre Borovik mbk-71-1is a member of the Advisory Board of School of Mathematics and Physics of University of Lincoln. He graduated from Novosibirsk University and received his PhD in 1982 from the Institute of Mathematics in Minsk, USSR. He held academic positions at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of California, Irvine, and at Rutgers University, USA. Since 1992 he works at UMIST and University of Manchester. His research interests are focused on group theory, model theory and combinatorics. He has published over 80 research papers and 3 research monographs in mathematics and a post-graduate level textbook. He is a member of the Council of the London Mathematical Society (and served on its Programme, Research Meetings, and Education Committees) and of the Council of the British Logic Colloquium. Professor Borovik is also well-known for his interest in the philosophy of mathematics and mathematical education, on which he published the book Mathematics under the Microscope (AMS, 2010).

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