Mathematics is a struggle for many. To make it more accessible, behavioral and educational scientists are redesigning how it is taught. To a similar end, a few rogue mathematicians and computer scientists are doing something more radical: they are redesigning mathematics itself, improving its ergonomic features. Charles Peirce, an important contributor to ordinary symbolic logic, also introduced a rigorous but non-symbolic, graphical alternative to it that is easier to picture. In the spirit of this iconic logic, George Spencer-Brown founded iconic mathematics. Performing iconic arithmetic, algebra, and even trigonometry, resembles doing calculations on an abacus, which is still popular in education today, has aided humanity for millennia, helps even when it is merely imagined, and ameliorates severe disability in basic computation. Interestingly, whereas some intellectually disabled individuals excel in very complex numerical tasks, others of normal intelligence fail even in very simple ones. A comparison of their wider psychological profiles suggests that iconic mathematics ought to suit the very people traditional mathematics leaves behind.

Iconic Mathematics: Math Designed to Suit the Mind

Kramer, Peter
2022

Abstract

Mathematics is a struggle for many. To make it more accessible, behavioral and educational scientists are redesigning how it is taught. To a similar end, a few rogue mathematicians and computer scientists are doing something more radical: they are redesigning mathematics itself, improving its ergonomic features. Charles Peirce, an important contributor to ordinary symbolic logic, also introduced a rigorous but non-symbolic, graphical alternative to it that is easier to picture. In the spirit of this iconic logic, George Spencer-Brown founded iconic mathematics. Performing iconic arithmetic, algebra, and even trigonometry, resembles doing calculations on an abacus, which is still popular in education today, has aided humanity for millennia, helps even when it is merely imagined, and ameliorates severe disability in basic computation. Interestingly, whereas some intellectually disabled individuals excel in very complex numerical tasks, others of normal intelligence fail even in very simple ones. A comparison of their wider psychological profiles suggests that iconic mathematics ought to suit the very people traditional mathematics leaves behind.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3455317
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