The role of sequence in the experience of mathematical beauty
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CitationDietiker, L. "The Role of Sequence in the Experience of Mathematical Beauty," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 6 Issue 1 (January 2016), pages 152-173. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201601.10
In this article, I analyze the aesthetic dimensions of a sequence of mathematical events found in an unusual first grade lesson in order to demonstrate how sequencing may affect an individual’s experience of mathematical beauty. By approaching aesthetic as a sense or felt quality of an experience in context (Sinclair, 2001, 2011), this analysis explains how sequence can affect the way mathematical objects or actions are experienced by an individual. Thus, rather than questioning whether or in what ways a set of mathematical objects are beautiful or not, this paper addresses under what conditions is the mathematics in play beautiful. It is argued that with a better understanding of the temporal dimension of mathematical beauty, educational experiences with mathematics can be designed to captivate attention and nurture interest and positive disposition by students toward mathematics.