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Investigating the Social Dimensions of Mathematics

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  • Full or part time
    Dr F S Tanswell
    Dr M Inglis
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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The Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University is a world-class research centre with a thriving graduate community. The Centre hosts research groups on Mathematical Cognition and Mathematical Pedagogy. There is an active programme of workshops incorporating seminars by external and internal researchers (including PhD students) and reading group sessions.

Full Project Detail

In recent years, the philosophy of mathematics has seen a growing interest in the day-to-day practices of doing mathematics, giving rise to a new set of philosophical questions. For example, from this perspective mathematics can be seen as a collective and social discipline exploring interesting, deep and creative mathematical ideas. However, this gives rise to a tension with the objective and rigorous status of mathematics, for that seems incompatible with the fallibility of individuals and groups of people. In this project, the student will choose from questions within this area, such as how the social structuring of mathematics as a discipline affects the mathematics that we produce; what role is played by the judgments of what sort of maths is good, bad, interesting, deep, rigorous or worth pursuing; what the social role of proofs is in communicating, convincing and explaining mathematical concepts and techniques; how we should induct students into these practices; and how maths is used in society more widely. The project can draw on the recent advances in epistemology, such as social epistemology, epistemic injustice and virtue epistemology. Furthermore, the research may build on existing approaches to the empirical investigation of mathematical practices developed at the MEC in Loughborough, to design and carry out studies of direct relevance to the major philosophical questions.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in philosophy, mathematics, education, sociology or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: philosophy, mathematics, education, sociology or a related subject.

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Mathematics.

Please quote reference number: FT/MEC/2019.

Funding Notes

This studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or any of the advertised projects prioritised for funding by the School of Science.

The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 (2018 rate) per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Related Subjects

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