Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 4–26 | Cite as

Cognition in the formal modes: Research mathematics and the SOLO taxonomy

  • Helen Chick


Mathematics researchers put considerable cognitive effort into trying to expand the body of mathematical knowledge. In so doing, is their cognitive behaviour different from those who work on more standard mathematical problems? This paper attempts to examine some aspects of mathematical cognition at the highest level of formal functioning. It illustrates how the structure of a mathematician’s output—and, to a certain extent, its cognitive complexity—can be characterised by the SOLO taxonomy. A number of cognitive and philosophical issues concerning mathematical functioning at the research level will also be discussed.


Formal Level Cognitive Complexity Semigroup Ring Finite Ring Algebraic Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Chick
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Early Childhood and Primary EducationUniversity of TasmaniaHobart

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