Which Mathematics for the Information Society?

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Abstract

MathIS is a new project that aims to reinvigorate secondary-school mathematics by exploiting insights of the dynamics of algorithmic problem solving. This paper describes the main ideas that underpin the project. In summary, we propose a central role for formal logic, the development of a calculational style of reasoning, the emphasis on the algorithmic nature of mathematics, and the promotion of self-discovery by the students. These ideas are discussed and the case is made, through a number of examples that show the teaching style that we want to introduce, for their relevance in shaping mathematics training for the years to come. In our opinion, the education of software engineers that work effectively with formal methods and mathematical abstractions should start before university and would benefit from the ideas discussed here.