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