What Does the Non-Mathematics Intensive Major Think Mathematics Is?

Janelle Wilson, Carmen M. Latterell


This study explores the myriad definitions and conceptualizations of mathematics, with a particular focus on how undergraduate students in a mathematics course designed for non-mathematics intensive majors define the term.  Students enrolled in this particular course at a regional university in the Midwest were asked the open-ended question:  “What is math?”  The  researchers employed content analysis in their analysis and interpretation of the data.  A number of categories emerged, with the modal category beingthe conception of mathematics as problem solving that occurs in mathematics classes.


Keywords: mathematics, problem-solving, definitions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1234/mr.v8i2.247