Austrian Center for Didactics of Computer Algebra

The influence of technology in several roles of mathematics

ACDCA conference - Montreal, 2004

Helmut Heugl Hinweise
Download PDF-File: montreal04.pdf (646 KB)



Studying the history of mathematics you can recognize that tools have always fundamentally influenced the development of mathematics. The computer, a child of mathematical thinking, has changed the several roles of mathematics as well as the ways of teaching and learning mathematics.

In my lecture I will formulate my thesis concerning the influence of technology by using three roles which mathematics can have:

  • Mathematics – a “two phase” process: the abstract phase and the concrete phase
  • Mathematics – a language
  • Mathematics – a thinking technology

Using these three roles of mathematics I will give concrete examples for some of the changes caused by the use of technology:

  • A more pupil centred, experimental way of learning with a shift of emphasis from operating to modelling and interpreting.
  • Technology supports both phases of mathematical activity – the abstract and the concrete phase.
  • The use of technology allows the students to create new language elements.
  • The use of technology not only supports cognition – it becomes part of cognition.

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