Workshop on Beauty and Explanation in Mathematics (WBEM)

March 10-12, 2014

See the Workshop Webpage for the most recent information.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together philosophers, mathematicians, and mathematics educators to study a question which is both relevant and timely for all three groups, namely whether mathematical beauty and mathematical explanation are related. Our approach is largely empirical– we will develop a set of examples that will help us make necessary distinctions and connections. The central questions of the workshop fall into three classes. One class concerns relations between beauty and visualization in mathematics; the other class concerns relations between explanation and visualization in mathematics. The third, perhaps most intriguing, class deals with the question whether visualization is an essential link between explanation and beauty and mathematics, that is: When some mathematics is both beautiful and explanatory, does the conjunction depend on the presence of a visual element? In addition to the scientific aims of the workshop, an important goal is to reach across normally rigid disciplinary domains to work on an area of common interest. We have invited top people from respective fields, some of whom know each other, but others (even within the same field) have never read each other s work.

Confirmed speakers:

Open Call for Contributions. Deadline December 1, 2013.

If you are interested to contribute a paper to the workshop please submit an abstract, no more than 2 pages, describing with some detail what you would like to present. Limited funding is available. Please indicate if you would like to present a short (20 minute) or long (40 minute) presentation. Mail your submissions to Manya and Lars-Daniel (both), emails given below.

Registration will open in early January, and be limited to approximately 30 participants.

See the Workshop Webpage for updated information.


Manya Raman Sundström, manya.sundstrom(at)
Lars-Daniel Öhman, lars-daniel.ohman(at)

Additional information

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Generously supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ). Co-hosted by Department of Science and Mathematics Education, and the Mathematics Department at Umeå University.

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