The award lecture:

Moving mathematics: Gesturo-haptic encounters with multiplication


Professor Nathalie Sinclair


Learning mathematics has always involved certain ways of moving the body, often with pencils on paper. Recent technologies engages the body in new ways, enabling learners and teacher to express and mathematics through actions and gestures. In this talk, I will explore how theories of embodiment are changing the way we think about mathematics learning and even mathematics itself. I will then show how these theories can explain the potential for multitouch digital tools to re-configure students’ and teachers’ experiences with mathematical concepts—and in particular, with the concept of multiplication, which represents a turning point in the curriculum in terms of access to topics such as ratio, proportion and algebra.


The appointment of Professor Nathalie Sinclair in 2019 is as follows:

Nathalie Sinclair is professor at the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and Canada Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning. Her research is currently at the forefront of the mathematics education because it brings together a new philosophical stance on mathematics as bodily human activity, new views on learning based on the significance of the body and materiality for sense-making, and knowledge about how the visual and tactile affordances of digital technologies promote corporeal mathematical activity.

Her sustained work is leading directions for how pedagogical work in school mathematics with digital technologies can increase children’s mathematical sophistication and interaction with potent mathematical concepts at different ages. Her overall research has been of inspiration for many scholars and teachers in the world and at MND, and the establishment of future collaboration will be of benefit to current efforts in Sweden to increase digitalization in school mathematics.