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The role of feelings and intuition in mathematics – podcast

Feelings. It’s probably not a word that many of us would associate with mathematics. But according to Dr Carol Aldous from Flinders University, feelings and intuition play a critical role in solving novel maths problems – problems that require students to tap into the subconscious or “fringe conscious” parts of their brain.

She came to the conclusion after observing 405 students solving novel maths problems at the Australian Mathematics Challenge and recently published a book on the topic, entitled Unlocking Creativity in Solving Novel Mathematics Problems: Cognitive and non-cognitive perspectives and approaches.

Aldous spoke to Education Review about her research and what she witnessed at the Australian Mathematics Challenge, including the way students used phrases like “I feel” when solving truly novel maths problems.

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