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AISB event Bulletin Item

2nd CfP: Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition


Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition

29th - 30th March, 2010, De Montfort University, Leicester
Held on the first and second days of AISB 2010.

The belief that what mathematicians think and do is important to the
philosophy of mathematics is a relatively recent position, held by,
for example, Lakatos (1976, 1978), Davis and Hersh (1980), Kitcher
(1983), Tymoczko (1986) and Corfield (2003), and discussed in symposia
such as Two Streams in the Philosophy of Mathematics: Rival
Conceptions of Mathematical Proof (University of Hertfordshire,
2009). This focus on mathematical practice suggests that research into
how mathematical definitions or axioms are motivated, representations
changed, problems discovered and explained, analogies formed between
different mathematical fields, etc., and how these processes grow out
of biologically important competences in dealing effectively with rich
and complex environments, is relevant and necessary. This contrasts
the traditional focus in philosophy on how mathematics should be done,
or the epistemological status of mathematical theorems. The new
direction is complemented by recent work in cognitive science on the
origin and development of mathematical ideas, for example Lakoff and
Nez (2000). Researchers are now working at all levels to investigate
how people, from young babies up to professionals and geniuses are
able to perform different mathematical tasks.

With the new approach in the philosophy of mathematics, and
developments in cognitive science of mathematics and embodied
cognition, we feel that the time is ripe for interaction between the
fields. We hope to promote a sharing of ideas and enable an atmosphere
in which new connections and collaborations are forged.

We aim to bring together researchers in different fields, to promote
discussion between, for example, people working on the neurological
level and those building models of mathematical theory formation,
people thinking about aesthetics in mathematics and those focused on
visual and diagrammatic reasoning, psychologists of mathematics
education, sociologists of mathematics and researchers in embodied
cognition, or studying relevant aspects of animal cognition, and
biological evolution.

We welcome submissions from anyone interested in themes such as those
below, and especially encourage interdisciplinary submissions which
link previously unassociated fields.

- embodied cognition and mathematics

- computational models of axiom, entity, counterexample, concept,
conjecture, and proof generation and evaluation in mathematics

- visual and diagrammatic reasoning

- analogies and metaphors in mathematics

- mathematics on the neurological level

- philosophy of mathematics/informal mathematics

- sociology of mathematics

- anthropology of mathematics

- mathematics and language

- cognitive science of mathematics

- psychology of mathematics

- psychology of mathematics education

- a mathematician's perspective

- difficulties in the mathematical brain - studies of dyscalculia,
acalculia etc.

- how mathematical competences relate to abilities to deal creatively
with complex spatial environments

- implications for developmental robotics

- implications for biological studies of epigenesis

- why (and how) did biological evolution produce mathematicians?

- if humans require mathematics teachers to help them become
mathematicians, where did the first teachers come from?

We welcome full papers and short papers, where a full paper comprises
a completed piece of work and a short paper describes ongoing
work. Full papers should be between six and eight pages in length and
short papers two pages. Accepted papers will be published in the AISB
2010 proceedings.

We are very pleased to announce our invited speakers:

Dr. Brendan Larvor, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy, University of

Professor Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Emeritus Professor of the History of
Mathematics and Logic at Middlesex University, and a Visiting Research
Associate at the London School of Economics.

Professor Alexandre Borovik, School of Mathematics, University of

Key dates:

Submission - 20th December, 2009

Notification - 26th January, 2010

Camera-ready version - 26th February, 2010

Symposium - 29th - 30th March, 2010

Programme Committee:

Andrew Aberdein, Florida Institute of Technology

Brian Butterworth, University College London

John Charnley, Imperial College London

Simon Colton, Imperial College London

David Corfield, University of Kent

Martin Fischer, University of Dundee

Markus Guhe, University of Edinburgh

Brendan Larvor, University of Hertfordshire

Rafael Nez, University of California, San Diego

Alison Pease, University of Edinburgh

Aaron Sloman, University of Birmingham

Alan Smaill, University of Edinburgh

Pedro Torres, Imperial College London


Alan Smaill, School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

Markus Guhe, School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

Alison Pease, School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

Symposium details available at:

AISB website:

We would very much appreciate it if you could forward this email to
other interested parties.