    Course module   NWIFFIL300C  Category   MA (Master)  Language of instruction   English  Offered by   Radboud University; Faculty of Science; Institute for Science, Innovation and Society;  Lecturer(s)     Academic year   2020   Period   KW4  (05/04/2021 to 31/08/2021) 
 Starting block   KW4  
 Course mode   fulltime  
 Remarks     Registration using OSIRIS   Yes  Course open to students from other faculties   Yes  Preregistration   No  Waiting list   No  Placement procedure    
     
 After the course, you are able to explain several important issues from the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.
 After the course, you are able to explain the main schools of thought from the Philosophy of Mathematics.
 After the course, you are able to critically reflect on mathematical practices.
 After the course, you are able to formulate and motivate questions and your opinion on topics from the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.
 After the course, you are able to write a philosophical essay on a topic from the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.


Philosophy of Mathematics at the start of the 20^{th} century focused on questions like ‘What is a mathematical object?’ and ‘How can we know mathematical truth?’. Even though they are interesting in their own right, these questions were not directly relevant for those conducting actual mathematical research. Algebraic topology flourishes regardless of whether numbers are mental constructs or formal entities devoid of meaning or objects in a realm independent of space and time.
As a response to this foundational tradition, several Mathematicians and Philosophers of Mathematics started zooming in to what working mathematicians (and mathematics students) were actually doing. This resulted in the field Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.
In this course we will discuss several topics from the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice (PMP) and we will relate this to the students’ experience with mathematics. Basically, the goal is that students focus in this course on the why of mathematics and reflect on their activities as mathematicians and on the accepted methods in mathematics in general. This also involves discussing the material with peers.
The course starts with an introductory lecture in which we also give a rough overview of main schools of thought from the foundational Philosophy of Mathematics. Then we will treat a different topic from the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice each week.
The list of topics includes, but is not limited to:
 The role of visualization in mathematics
 The role of informal proofs in mathematics
 Mathematical beauty
 Mathematical explanation
 Mathematical definitions
In addition to the afore mentioned material, we will also devote some time to the question on how to write a proper essay. This will give you clear handles for the final assignment.


  Bachelor or minor in Mathematics. 

Group paper and assignments

 


   Required materialsLearning Management System (Brigthspace)Will be announced via Brightspace. 


Instructional modesCourseAttendance Mandatory   Yes 

 TestsFInal ResultTest weight   1 
Opportunities   Block KW4, Block KW4 


  
 
 