Saturday, July 21, 2007

ESU5 Day 2 continues...

After lunch on Friday, I was going to attend a workshop on "Histories on zeros", but as this talk suddenly switched its language into French (which I, sadly, do not master), I went instead to Maria Menghini's "The 'Elements de Geometrie' of A. M. Legendre: an analysis of some proofs from yesterday's and today's point of view". I always find Euclid a bit unsatisfying, as I always am presented with just parts of the work - which means I'm not aware of what is already proved. Not knowings which tools are available is frustrating. I guess the same phenomenon also explains part of Norwegian students' frustration with proofs in geometry - as Norwegian students never get the opportunity to follow the logical building from the foundations. Anyway, given these problems, I found this particular workshop enlightening, especially concerning the problems Legendre and his time had with what we call rational and irrational numbers.

Later in the evening, I heard Ferreira Eduardo Sebastiani's talk on "Ethnomathematic's use in Indian teacher's formation" - another talk suddenly switched to French. Here, however, the transparents were in English, and I got the general idea of the talk - how ethnomathematics is used in working with the Waimiri-Atroari Tribe.

Finally, I heard Robin Wilson's talk on "Lewis Carroll in Numberland". The talk has the same title as a book which is to be published by Penguin later, and which I definitely will want to read. The talk had several hilarious quotes from Lewis Carroll, but it also pointed me to the book "Suggestions as to the best method of taking votes", which I certainly will want to read as well.

Thus ended the second day of the conference - except that food and drink was consumed in the evening.

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