Projecto MathIS: Que Matemática para a Sociedade da Informação?


Alguns Marcos

16-20 Julho, 2012 — Terceira workshop Computação sem fronteiras ... Matemática em movimento para alunos do Ensino Secundário.

Junho 2012 — Defesa PhD Alexandra Mendes (Structured Editing of Handwritten Mathematics).

18-22 Julho, 2011 — Segunda workshop Computação sem fronteiras ... Matemática em movimento para alunos do Ensino Secundário.

18 Outubro 2011 — Alexandra Silva recebe o Prémio Científico IBM 2010.

Junho 2011 — Artigo com survey das Lab Training Workshops publicado na TICTTL 2011: Logic training through algorithmic problem solving. Detalhes aqui

Dezembro 2010 — Defesa PhD Alexandra Silva (Kleene Coalgebra).

Dezembro 2010 — Defesa PhD João F. Ferreira (Principles and Applications of Algorithmic Problem Solving).

19-23 Julho, 2010 — Primeira workshop Computação sem fronteiras ... Matemática em movimento para alunos do Ensino Secundário.

Novembro 2009 — Primeiro survey da experiência MathIS publicado na TFM 2009: Which mathematics for the information society?. Detalhes aqui

24 Abril, 2009 — Primeiro artigo do projecto aceite: Students' Feedback on Teaching Mathematics Through The Calculational Method aceite na Frontiers in Education 2009. Detalhes aqui

1 Janeiro, 2009 — Comunicação da homolgação e início oficial do MathIS

14 Abril, 2008 — Primeira versão da página do projecto disponível.

Project Summary

Modern IT-driven societies demand highly skilled professionals who can successfully design complex systems at ever-increasing levels of reliability and security. But is also requires from the general user a higher degree of "mathematical fluency", i.e., the ability to resort to mathematical language and method to build models of problems and situations and reasoning effectively within them. Such an ability is at the heart of what it means "to understand" and it may be considered a fundamental ingredient of democratic citizenship. That effective use of Mathematics has enormous economic potential in the IT society has already been acknowledged by the eminent computer scientist E.W. Dijkstra, who once put it that "high technology so celebrated today is essentially a mathematical technology".

There is little hope, however, that such expectations and demands be met by current standards in school maths education. Not only there is a disturbing gap between style and contents of middle school and high school maths, but also never have indicators and statistics been so appalling in what concerns the country's overall ranking in maths education. Worst of all, mathphobia - which seems to be spreading everywhere - has become a hot spot for the media.

This situation calls for emergency policies capable of reinvigorating maths education and its effective application at all problem-solving levels. This should include not only the uniform adoption of well-established calculation techniques which have proven to scale up from the school desk to the engineer's desk tackling complex, real-life problems, but also the design of innovative tools able to support such a technological challenge in a uniform and effective way.

In this context, MathIS aims to exploit the dynamics of algorithmic problem solving and calculational reasoning in both maths education and the practice of software engineering, in an integrated way, thus meeting the challenges of nowadays and future information society.

The project's overall approach stems from two decades of research on correct-by-construction program design which brought to scene a whole discipline of problem-solving and shed light on the underlying mathematical structures, modelling and reasoning principles. A most relevant consequence has been the systematization of a calculational style of reasoning which can greatly improve on the traditional verbose proofs in natural language, proceeding in a formal, essentially syntatic way.

At the educational level, MathIS will reframe a collection of themes in pre-university mathematics along these lines and assess its merits not only on the development of general calculational and algorithmic skills, but also as a tool for discovery. (Recall, for example, that it was the formal manipulation of Maxwell's equations that led to conjecturing the existence of electromagnetic waves, confirmed experimentally shortly afterwards.)

At the software engineering level, MathIS will push forward in the development of new algorithmic design calculi in the emerging area of global computating.

On the technology side, MathIS will capitalize on recent developments and increased flexibility in Human-computer interaction technology, which we believe is mature enough to provide an infra-structure for the envisaged methodological shift. In this context, a second axis in MathIS concerns the development of innovative computer-based tools exploiting Tablet PC technologies, as well as e-learning principles and platforms (in particular, associated to the semantic-driven automatic correction of algorithms). Such tools will provide learning environments oriented to calculational reasoning and algorithmic problem solving, which, although consistent with traditional blackboard-style teaching, will exploit enhanced facilities provided by computers.

r1 - 02 Mar 2009 - 19:30:17 - LuisSoaresBarbosa
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