Ethnomathematics

 Debbora Battaglia, Anthropology

 Margaret Robinson, Mathematics


Adds a mathematics component to an introductory anthropology course through a comparison of Melanesian and Western mathematics. Students acquire a new appreciation of mathematics and its significance in their culture by studying elements of the mathematical system used by Iqwaye people of Papua New Guinea: their different counting system and different concepts of number, notation, and infinity. For the Iqwaye, counting and numbers are associated with their bodies so the link between human form and mathematical thinking is close and distinctive.

Links:

How do Anthropologists think About Math, Debbora Battaglia

Dartmouth's Math Across the Curriculum Lecture Series

 

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Copyright © 1999 Mount Holyoke College. This page created by Math Across the Curriculum and maintained by Jennifer Adams. Last modified on August 8, 1999.