The meeting

Mathematicians and Mathematics Educationalists: Can we collaborate?

took place at the Mathematics Institute, Warwick University, on Friday January 26th 2007

About forty people attended. In the hope of eventually publishing some form of Proceedings, and to stimulate more exchange of ideas meanwhile, we are posting contributions here on this web page. Further contributions (from non-participants as well as participants in the meeting) would be very welcome, and should be sent (in .doc or .pdf format) to David Mond,

Written contributions : Peter Saunders   A mathematician's wish-list,    Bill Cox   Practical, theory-based principles for teaching in H.E.,    Paola Iannone and Elena Nardi   Yes we can collaborate,     Hugh Burkhardt   Mathematics and Math Education: how can they work together?,     Trevor Hawkes    Me and my mate the mathematician,     Niall Mackay     On becoming a good maths lecturer  and   some suggestions for research

Links Where will the next generation of UK mathematicians come from? (report from 2005 Manchester meeting, by Alexandre Borovik and Tony Gardiner);     Improving Educational Research (article by Hugh Burkhardt and Alan Schoenfeld);     Engineering Educational Research (chapter from a book by Hugh Burkhardt)


(E=Maths Educator, M=Mathematician, D=Staff Development (approximate descriptions))

Talks will last 25 minutes

10.00-10.30 Arrival, coffee in Maths Institute Common Room

10:30-10:40 Opening: welcome by one of the organisers

10.40-11.40 Session 1: Adrian Simpson (E), Bill Cox (D)

11.40-12.00 Coffee (in conference room)

12.00-1.00 Session 2: Lara Alcock (E), Martin Greenhow (M)

1.00-2.00 Buffet lunch in Maths Institute Common Room

2.00-3.00 Session 3: Keith Weber (E), Tony Gardiner (M)

3.00-3.20 Tea in conference room

3.20-4.20 Session 4: Elene Nardi/Paola Iannone (E), Peter Saunders (M)

4.20-4.30 Short break

4.30-5.30 (flexible end time) Plenary discussion/ summing up

Sessions were chaired by Joe Kyle (Maths Stats and Operations Research Network, University of Birmingham)


This meeting was organised on the dual premise that

(i) the work of Mathematics Educationalists researching university-level mathematics has not yet had a significant influence on the practice of university mathematics teaching, and that

(ii) mathematicians themselves have not successfully communicated their concerns about teaching and learning to Mathematics Educationalists.

It aimed to address three questions:

1. Are there structural factors preventing communication?

2. Are there areas in which mathematicians would like Maths Educationalists to carry out research? Are there Maths Education research outcomes which should be conveyed to mathematicians?

3. How can the two communities inform one another of problems and progress towards solutions?

The organisers hoped that the meeting would be an opportunity for forthright and constructive debate on these and other issues. We invited speakers from three communities:

1. Mathematics Educationalists researching the teaching, learning and assessment of university-level mathematics

2. Mathematicians working and teaching in universities

3. Mathematicians and others concerned with "staff development", and in particular with the training of new academic members of staff.

Speakers: Lara Alcock (University of Essex), Bill Cox (Aston and MSOR Network), Tony Gardiner (Birmingham), Paola Iannone (University of East Anglia), Martin Greenhow (Brunel), Elena Nardi (University of East Anglia), Peter Saunders (Kings College London), Adrian Simpson (University of Durham) Keith Weber (Rutgers University) (Niall Mackay, initially scheduled as a speaker, was unable to attend.)

Other participants include Shafia Abdul-Rahman (Open University), Mojtaba Ammari-Allahyari (Warwick), Hugh Burkhardt (Nottingham), Eligio Cerval-Pena (Birmingham), Zsolt Lavicza (Cambridge), Douglas Quinney (Keele), Chris Sangwin (Birmingham), Colin Steele (Manchester), Andreas Stylianides (Oxford), Ian Stewart FRS (Warwick), Tim Swift (Univ. of West of England), Zsolt Lavicza (Cambridge), Mojtaba Ammari-Allahyari (Warwick), Natasha Nakariakova (Warwick), Jenny Ingram (Warwick), Peter Samuels (Coventry), Matthew Inglis (Nottingham), Clive Kanes (Kings College London), Inna Korchagina (Warwick) Ruth Ayres (CAPD, Warwick), Peter Johnston-Wilder (Warwick), Ayshea Craig (Warwick), Edward Ellis (Brunel), Trevor Hawkes (Warwick)

Organisers: David Tall and Juan Pablo Mejia, Institute of Education, University of Warwick

David Mond, Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick

Michael Grove and Bill Cox, Maths, Stats and OR Network University of Birmingham

The workshop is sponsored by the MSOR Network and by the Mathematics Institute and Institute of Education of the University of Warwick.