Creativity in Mathematics and Beyond

  • Punya Mishra
  • Danah Henriksen
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Educational Communications and Technology book series (BRIEFSECT)


In this chapter, we profile the four winners of the 2014 Fields Medals, examining ways that transdisciplinary creativity and thinking play out in their work and achievement. Fields Medals are given to mathematicians under 40 years of age for sustained creative effort and achievement in mathematics. Our profiles show that despite how these individuals differ in their approaches to mathematics, there are certain key similarities between them. First, these individuals rarely perceived a difference between their personal and professional creativity, i.e., they saw mathematics everywhere. Second, their mathematical lives were infused with a strong sense of the esthetic, i.e., viewing “beauty” and “truth” as important to their work. Finally, this interplay between the personal and professional led to unique and creative personal styles in mathematics. As implied by this discussion, we suggest that inculcating such perspectives is essential for better, more creative mathematics instruction.


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Copyright information

© AECT 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Punya Mishra
    • 1
  • Danah Henriksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Mary Lou Fulton Teachers CollegeArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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