Individual and the Culture Term Paper

Pages: 2 (651 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Mathematics


How Mathematics Grows: The Role of the Individual and the Culture

Influences the Course of Mathematical Discovery

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There are many influences on the course of mathematical discovery. The dominant forces influencing mathematical discovery are individual and culture, as pointed out by the reading. There is as much subjectivity in mathematical computation as there is science, which is part of the reason so much of mathematics is ill understood and often misinterpreted. As the reading points out those not well versed in mathematics or those with little training often have an imperfect notion of how it operates and how solutions or mathematical proofs must be derived. Often what seems correct is later found incorrect, and vice versa. This is evidenced by the example in the reading, whereby professor Hans Rademacher of the University of Pennsylvania, a leading theoretician at the time, mistakenly believed he solved Riemann's Hypothesis (p. 60) only to be disproved later. The individual and culture directly influence mathematical discovery. There isn't really a dichotomy between the individual and culture; they simply influence mathematics differently. For example, an individual who is brilliant and capable of great mathematical feats may at the same time think outside of the scope of what the culture he or she lives within may consider "ordinary." Thus this person's brilliance or folly will either be embraced or rejected depending on the fit with the culture at the time the solution or hypothesis is presented. The reading for example, points out the case of Hermann Grassman, whose work is today considered genius, however during his time was consider obscure and mystical because the work was not in line with the culture Grassman grew up in.

Term Paper on Individual and the Culture Assignment

The creating and practice of mathematics are not the same. The practice of mathematics is more aligned with cultural norms and what is considered acceptable practice during the time mathematics is accomplished. Creation however, may involve the extremes of an individual, or an individual's ability… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Individual and the Culture" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Individual and the Culture.  (2006, July 25).  Retrieved November 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Individual and the Culture."  25 July 2006.  Web.  29 November 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Individual and the Culture."  July 25, 2006.  Accessed November 29, 2020.