# Mathematics, Professional Knowledge and Technology

The Role of Mathematics in Society
• Jan Unenge
Part of the Artificial Intelligence and Society book series (HCS)

## Abstract

Mathematics was “born” of the need to be able to state numbers and carry out some arithmetical operations with these numbers. The ability to “count” then became part of man’s essential basic knowledge. For thousands of years mathematics has developed along two lines. The first, and initially entirely dominant, was mathematics as a tool in economics and trade, in astronomy, to calculate areas and the like. The second was the science of mathematics, whose great names include Euclid, Pythagoras and Archimedes. With scientists like Descartes, Newton and Leibniz in the 1600s came the first great steps towards the modern science of mathematics. Descartes introduced the system of co-ordinates and replaced the universally known circle with the equation x2 + y2 = 25, and was then able to solve all manner of geometrical problems without needing to draw any figures. This mathematics became abstract, and accessible to only a few.

Metaphor

## Preview

### Notes

1. 1.
Thompson, J. (1986) Historiens roll i matematikundervisning eller retorikens citerkomst. In: Marton, F (ed) Fackdidaktik I II Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
2. 2.
Alexandersson, C. (1985) Stabilitet och fdriindring. En empirisk studie av fdrhallandet mellan skolkunskap och vardagsvetande. Goteborg Studies in Educational Sciences, 53.Google Scholar
3. 3.
Skovsmose, O. (1988). Mathematics as a Part of Technology. Educational Studies in Mathematics, no. 19, pp. 23–41.
4. 4.
Goranzon, B. 1990 ). The Practical Intellect. London, Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
5. 5.
Perby, M-L. (1988). Den inre vaderbilden. In: Goranzon, B. (ed) Den inre bilden. Stockholm: Carlssons forlag.Google Scholar
6. 6.
Sandahl, A & Unenge, J. (1990). Med miniraknare fran borjan. Erfarenheter fran ett forsok pa lagstadiet. ALM-rapport nr. 5. Hogskolan i Jonkoping.Google Scholar
7. 7.
Kapborg I. (1991). Utvardering av sjukskoterskestuderandes kunskaper i matematik. UHA, FOU- rapport 1991: 2.Google Scholar
8. 8.
Unenge, J. (1992) Jakten pS svaret. Dialoger no. 22-23, pp. 61–63.Google Scholar