Enabling Mathematical Cultures

Three-day Workshop, University of Oxford, 5th-7th December 2017

Organisers: Joe Corneli, Lorenzo Lane, Ursula Martin, Fenner Tanswell

Location: Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG


This workshop celebrates the completion of the EPSRC-funded project “Social Machines of Mathematics”, led by Professor Ursula Martin at the University of Oxford. We will present research arising from the project, and bring together interested researchers who want to build upon and complement our work. We invite interested researchers from a broad range of fields, including: Computer Science, Philosophy, Sociology, History of Mathematics and Science, Argumentation theory, and Mathematics Education. Through such a diverse mix of disciplines we aim to foster new insights, perspectives and conversations around the theme of Enabling Mathematical Cultures.

Our intention is to build upon previous events in the “Mathematical Cultures” series.  These conferences explored diverse topics concerning the socio-cultural, historical and philosophical aspects of mathematics. Our workshop will, likewise, explore the social nature of mathematical knowledge production, through analysis of historical and contemporary examples of mathematical practice. Our specific focus will be around how social, technological and conceptual tools are developed and transmitted, so as to enable participation in mathematics, as well as the sharing and construction of group knowledge in mathematics. In particular, we are interested in the way online mathematics, such as exhibited by the Polymath Projects, MathOverflow and the ArXiv, enable and affect the mathematical interactions and cultures.

We hereby invite the submission of abstracts of up to 500 words for papers to be presented in approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes Q+A) . The Enabling Mathematical Cultures workshop will have space on Days 2 and 3 of the meeting for a number of accepted talks addressing the themes of social machines of mathematics, mathematical collaboration, mathematical practices, ethnographic or sociological studies of mathematics, computer-assisted proving and argumentation theory as applied in the mathematical realm. Please send your abstracts to Fenner.Tanswell@Gmail.com by the deadline of the 30th June 2017.

The event will take place in the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford on 5th, 6th and 7th December 2017, with a dinner on 5th December and an informal supper on 6th December.

The focus of Day 1 will be on success, failure and impact of foundational research with an emphasis on history and long term development. Days 2 and 3 will focus on studies of contemporary and prospective mathematical cultures from sociological, philosophical, educational and computational perspectives.

Confirmed speakers include: Andrew Aberdein, Michael Barany, Alan Bundy, Joe Corneli, Andrew Inglis, Lorenzo Lane, Ursula Martin, Dave Murray-Rust, Alison Pease, and Fenner Tanswell.


To register your interest in the workshop and to receive updates for the upcoming event please use the following link to our google form and fill in your contact details: https://goo.gl/forms/gAs2mufNmGKY6f1F3. (The general registration will open in May, 2017.)

Image Credit: The image at the top of the page is a photograph of “Oxford I”, 2011, by Alejandro Guijarro, part of the Momentum series.