# Mathematics Definitions

## Albert Einstein

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain,

and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

## Hans Freudenthal

Mathematics should be thought of as a human activity of mathematizing - not as a discipline of structures to be transmitted, discovered, or even constructed- buts as schematizing, structuring, and modeling the world mathematically.

## Alain Connes

Mathematics is the backbone of modern science and a remarkably efficient source of new concepts and tools to understand the "reality" in which we participate. It plays a basic role in the great new theories of physics of the twentyith century such as general relativity, and quantum mechanics.

The nature and inner workings of this mental activity are often misunderstood or simply ignored even among scientists of other disciplines. They usually only make use of rudimentary mathematical tools that were already known in the nineteenth century and miss completely the strength and depth of the constant evolution of our mathematical concepts and tools.

## Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Mathematical literacy is an individual's capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgments, and to engage in mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual's current and future life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen.

* Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development* (OECD )

1999 Report with 32 member countries.

## Adult Literacy Definition

The knowledge and skills required in applying arithmetic operations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed material (e.g., balancing a checkbook, completing an order form).

### Focus questions: To consider the value of different definitions

- What definitions of mathematics best relates to the characteristics of what math is?
- What definitions of mathematics best help with attaining mathematical literacy? Relates to the subquestion: What are the characteristic of mathematics as they relate to mathematical literacy?
- How should mathematics be related to children for their development of mathematical literacy?