2011-2016

Our perceptual system permanently encodes numerical and geometric information from the surrounding world. These intuitions, present from an early age, may serve as a basis for the acquisition of mathematical knowledge. However, primitive intuitions remain limited, and therefore do not entirely explain how we learn the simplest mathematical concepts, such as natural integers and Euclidean geometry.

The aim of the European project “MathConstruction”, led by Véronique Izard, was to understand mathematical knowledge acquisition mechanisms by focusing on two specific case studies: numbers and angles in a plane. In both cases, we sought to characterize children’s primitive intuitions– in particular, the limits of these intuitions– and to understand which factors are involved in more elaborate concepts of mathematical knowledge acquisition.