How to Frame Understanding in Mathematics: A Case Study Using Extremal Proofs

Axiomathes 31 (5):649-676 (2021)

Abstract

The frame concept from linguistics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence is a theoretical tool to model how explicitly given information is combined with expectations deriving from background knowledge. In this paper, we show how the frame concept can be fruitfully applied to analyze the notion of mathematical understanding. Our analysis additionally integrates insights from the hermeneutic tradition of philosophy as well as Schmid’s ideal genetic model of narrative constitution. We illustrate the practical applicability of our theoretical analysis through a case study on extremal proofs. Based on this case study, we compare our analysis of proof understanding to Avigad’s ability-based analysis of proof understanding.

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Deniz Sarikaya
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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