Changing the Culture 2002

Changing the Culture 2002:
Rigour and Intuition in Mathematics

April 24, 2002
SFU at Harbour Centre
515 Hastings Street, Vancouver

The 5th Annual Changing the Culture Conference, organized and sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, will again bring together mathematicians, mathematics educators and school teachers from all levels to work together towards narrowing the gap between mathematicians and teachers of mathematics, and between those who do and enjoy mathematics and those who don't believe they could.

Conference Programme

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8:45 Registration

9:15 Welcoming Remarks TBA

9:30-10:30 Keynote Lecture Symbiosis: Intuition and Rigour
Ed Barbeau, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto
Abstract: How do we reason about and understand mathematics? Somehow we need to apprehend its structure, and simile and metaphor play an important role. But we also need to express concepts and relationships with precision, so that our images are informed and productive. Intuition is needed to direct rigour and rigour needed to strengthen our intuition.

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Workshops and Discussions

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:00 Panel Discussion: Rigour and Intuition in Teaching Mathematics
Lin Hammill, Kwantlen University College
Klaus Hoechsmann (chair), PIMS - UBC
Christine Stewart, Simon Fraser University
Günter Törner, German Mathematical Society (DMV)
Kirsten Urdahl-Serr, School District 42 (Maple Ridge)

15:00-16:30 Workshops and Discussions

16:30-17:00 Coffee break

17:00-18:00 Public Lecture Rigour : Mathematics : : Intuition : Teaching ... And Vice Versa
Brent Davis, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
Abstract: In their efforts to develop effective teaching methods, educators have often drawn on mathematical images and assumptions -- and not always appropriately. In this session, I highlight a few misappropriations as I develop the suggestion that rigour and intuition have nearly opposite roles in formal math and formal education.


"The Moment of Proof". Methods and tricks to make students appreciate the need for rigour. Given by Sue Haberger of Centennial Secondary School.
" `Proofs' of Fallacies". How you can get bamboozled by apparently flawless reasoning. Given by Natasha Sirotich of Collingwood School.
"Intuition in Problem Solving". When groping through the fog of a new problem, your intuition will help you find your way. Given by David Lidstone of Langara College.
Each 90 minute workshop will take place in the morning and again in the afternoon - except Haberger's which will be limited to the morning. All workshops will involve some group work.

Previous Changing the Culture Conferences


For more information, contact conference organizer, Malgorzata Dubiel, dubiel at