Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 131–136 | Cite as

Jonathan M Borwein (1951–2016): exploring, experiencing and experimenting in mathematics – an inspiring journey in mathematics

  • Ulrich Kortenkamp
  • John Monaghan
  • Luc Trouche

Jonathan M Borwein died on August 2nd (see He was a major figure in the field of experimental mathematics. His death, at 65, was an astonishment for his family and his colleagues. We three, as mathematics educators who have worked with Jon, have been asked to pay homage to his life and his work. But we three have only shared a part of Jon’s tremendous appetite for life and work, so we barely scratch the surface of the significance of his work. Ulli writes about Jon’s experimental mathematics, Luc writes about the implications of Jon’s work for mathematics education and John writes about Jon, culture and mathematics.

An incredible mathematician and a role model

When speaking about Jonathan M Borwein as a mathematician one has to acknowledge that he surpassed the mathematical abilities of ordinary mathematicians by far. When working with him, however, he was able to give the impression that everybody can contribute...


  1. Bailey, D. H., & Borwein, J. M. (2012). Ancient Indian square roots: An exercise in forensic paleo-mathematics. The American Mathematical Monthly, 119(8), 646–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, D. H., Borwein, P. B., & Plouffe, S. (1997). On the rapid computation of various polylogarithmic constants. Mathematics of Computation, 66(218), 903–913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borwein, J. M. (2016). The life of Modern Homo Habilis Mathematicus: Experimental computation and visual theorems. In J. Monaghan, L. Trouche, & J. M. Borwein (Eds.), Tools and mathematics: Instruments for learning (pp. 23–90). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borwein, J. M., Borwein, P., Girgensohn, R., & Parnes, S. (1996). Making sense of experimental mathematics. The Mathematical Intelligencer, 18(4), 12–17.Google Scholar
  5. Guin, D., Ruthven, K., & Trouche, L. (Eds.). (2005). The didactical challenge of symbolic calculators: Turning a computational device into a mathematical instrument. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Lagrange, J.-B. (2005). Transposing computer tools from the mathematical science into teaching. In D. Guin, K. Ruthven, & L. Trouche (Eds.), The didactical challenge of symbolic calculators. Turning a computational device into a mathematical instrument (pp. 67–82). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lin, F. L., Hsieh, F.-J., Hanna, G., & de Villiers, M. (2009). Proceedings of the ICMI Study 19 Conference: Proof and proving in mathematics education. Taipei: The Department of Mathematics, National Taiwan Normal University.Google Scholar
  8. Maschietto, M., & Trouche, L. (2010). Mathematics learning and tools from theoretical, historical and practical points of view: The productive notion of mathematics laboratories. ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 42(1), 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Monaghan, J., Trouche, L., & Borwein, J. M. (2016). Tools and mathematics: Instruments for learning. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.University of AgderKristiansandNorway
  3. 3.Ecole normale supérieure de LyonLyonFrance

Personalised recommendations