# Events

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# Upcoming Events

Reaching the Plane of Immanence Through Proof: An Introduction to Deleuze and Guattari

Virtual Seminar

Joshua Case

West Virginia University

Friday, November 3, 2023

3:00-4:00pm (US Eastern Daylight Time)

Seminar is free of charge and will be held virtually over Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided to registrants upon registering.

In this presentation, I provide an introduction to the philosophy and concepts of French post-structural philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari within the context of a dissertation project on the topics of proof and expert proof experiences. Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy of immanence will be discussed as well as associated ideas such as the body without organs (or BwO), intensity, event, and others. I utilize these concepts to make sense of story excerpts from an entry in the book Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey (2019) published by the American Mathematical Society. The short, autobiographical story, written by mathematician Dr. David Neel, demonstrates that proof, at its genesis on the plane of immanence, does not resemble the traditional notion of axiomatic proof. Rather, proof at its genesis is an intensity with the capability of producing a desire that goes beyond the mathematical.

# Past Events

Rage, Rebellion, and Revolution in Mathematics Education: Pursuing Change with Sincerity

Virtual Seminar

David M. Bowers

University of Tennessee–Knoxville

Friday, March 18, 2022

11am–12:30pm New York Time (Eastern Daylight Time)

Registration for this event has ended.

Seminar is free of charge and will be held virtually over Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided to registrants upon registering.

“My fear of anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will teach you nothing, also.” (Lorde, 1981)

In a socially constructed lived reality built upon a foundation of interrelated supremacies of race, gender/sexuality, dis/ability, class, and so forth, anger is a reasonable and deeply moral emotional response. How could any with kind eyes look upon the omnipresent violence and not feel their heart quake? Indeed, one need spend little time working amongst researchers or communities pursuing social justice before noticing such anger, either openly expressed or bubbling just beneath the surface. Yet, despite this, the norms of our field express deep anxiety towards anger, an anxiety further embodied and reified in many aspects of our institutions and their constituent creators. Anger is consistently perceived and responded to as a threat to objectivity, as a threat to our culture of mathematics education, or even as a threat to particular (generally intersectional privileged) individuals therein, and is thus largely confined to a furtive existence along the margins. In this talk, which I frame primarily through an etic lens of queer and dis/abled activism, I recontextualize anger not as a threat to ourselves or our practice, but instead as a threat to privilege and fragility which we might use as a tool in rebuilding our practice into something better. Anger is a spotlight, and one we must acknowledge and even embrace in moving our field forward. “Guilt and fragility are bricks in a wall against which we all flounder,” (Lorde, 1981) and anger is the spotlight by which we might perform corrective surgery and excise those bricks.

Lorde, A. (1981, June). The uses of anger: Women responding to racism [Keynote Address]. National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Storrs, CT.

Ethics in Mathematics and Society: Problems and Perspectives

Virtual Seminar

Paul Ernest

University of Exeter (Emeritus)

Friday, February 18, 2022

11am–12:30pm New York Time (Eastern Standard Time)

(4pm–5:30pm UK Time)

Registration for this event has ended.

Seminar is free of charge and will be held virtually over Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided to registrants upon registering.

The Problem of Ethics for Mathematics: A traditional problem of ethics in mathematics is the denial of social responsibility. Pure mathematics is viewed as neutral and value free, and therefore free of ethical responsibility. Applications of mathematics are seen as employing a neutral set of tools which, of themselves, are free from social responsibility. Mathematicians are convinced they know what constitutes good mathematics. In addition, many pure mathematicians are committed to purism, the ideology that values purity above applications in mathematics. MacIntyre’s virtue ethics accommodates both the good mathematician (and good pure mathematics) and the ethics of the social practice of mathematics. It demonstrates that purism is compatible with acknowledging the social responsibility of mathematics.

Ethical Problems of Mathematics in Society: Mathematics has huge positive impact, through extending the powers of the human mind, making big contributions to science and its many thousands of useful applications. But we are witnessing an increasing number of harmful of uses of mathematics. Four types are:

(1) Mathwashing – using maths deceptively as a rhetorical device for persuasion

(2) Directly harmful applications of maths (Cambridge Analytica theft of personal data and its use for illegal political influence)

(3) Performative applications of maths that directly change aspects of social functioning without oversight let alone ethical safeguards (e.g., the formula that killed Wall Street)

(4) Amoral instrumental thinking cultivated through the mathematical way of seeing applied socially (reducing persons to numbers, taking ethics out of social calculations)

Introduction to Critical Mathematics: The Sound of Time

Virtual Seminar

Theodore M. Savich

Indiana University

Friday, January 14, 2022

11am–12:30pm New York Time (Eastern Standard Time)

Registration for this event has ended.

Critical mathematics is a new gesture in an old field. To do mathematics, we must use concepts like “form” and “number,” but to do mathematics critically we must also understand the enabling conditions for our use of those concepts. The mathematical story I tell begins with intersubjectivity (the movement between subject positions) and dyadic recognition as the enabling conditions for our talk of form and number. We then construct a metaphor for internally divided consciousness (the “I/me”). The “me” is finite and synthetic. It involves recollection which temporally compresses the experience of error into form. This contrasts with the infinite “I” which we express through the bursting of form in non-acts of deconstruction or the letting-go of distinctions in temporal decompression. Physical sound is composed of regions of compressed air and decompressed air, so internally divided consciousness, as ‘regions’ of compressed time and decompressed time, is the sound of time. Once we articulate this metaphor, we drop it to express something more fundamental which is the unrepresentability of internally divided consciousness. We represent this unrepresentable with the null-representation (∅), which mathematicians may recognize as the empty set. This shall allow for the articulation that numbers are first-person recollective pronouns that inherit the inferential proprieties of von Neumann ordinals. We answer the questions “what is form” (temporal compressions of the experience of error) and “what are numbers” (first person recollective pronouns).

Que veut l'Autre?: Mathematicians' mathematics as a psychosis; Contradictions and enjoyment in mathematics education.

Virtual Seminar

Alexander S. Moore

Virginia Tech

Friday, November 19, 2021

11am–12:30pm New York Time (Eastern Standard Time)

Registration for this event has ended.

Que veut l'Autre? What does the Big Other want? Who (Qui) wants the Big Other?

Mathematicians approach this question through the practice of mathematics—formal mathematics—that exists as something separate, special, and just beyond the integrative grasp of subjectivity. In this way, mathematics education is unique amongst content areas because it evades (or, perhaps, subverts) reflexive arguments posed by the Subject. "Why is mathematics so effective in the natural sciences?" This question haunts our understanding of industrialization, consumption, sustainability, expansion into space, existence itself, and the list goes on. What exactly is mathematics and what is it doing for us? This seminar will be a brief attempt to answer this question from a Lacanian point of view, characterizing mathematicians' mathematics as a psychosis, as well as elucidating the contradictions and enjoyment in mathematics education that are produced as a result.

Invited Lecture: A Call for Queerness in Mathematics Education: A reflection on "Queer Identity and Theory Intersections in Mathematics Education"

Alexander S. Moore

Click here for more information

43rd Annual Conference of the Psychology of Mathematics Education–North America

Invited by the Gender and Sexuality Working Group

Philadelphia, October 16, 2021

Invited Lecture: Equity, Identity, and Ideology in Mathematics (3 week seminar)

The College of William and Mary

Alexander S. Moore

Invited by Dr. Pierre Clare

Williamsburg, VA, April 2021

Invited Lecture: Democracy and Duty in the Labor of the Mathematics Teacher

Radford University

Alexander S. Moore

Invited by Dr. Jean Mistele

Radford, VA, March 2021