The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #35/2008

Aesthetics and Creativity:
An exploration of the relationships between the constructs


Astrid Brinkmann
University of Muenster, Germany

Bharath Sriraman
The University of Montana, USA


Abstract

In this contribution, we report on an ongoing study that examines the relationship between aesthetics and creativity among working mathematicians. Writings of eminent individuals indicate that aesthetics is an important component of mathematical creativity, however we were interested in researching this relationship among the normal working mathematician. Anecdotally speaking, many working mathematicians often convey a reciprocal relationship between aesthetics and creativity, particularly when mathematical results and proofs are arrived at with considerable strain and stamina. We report on the findings of our ongoing study among working mathematicians in the U.S.A and Germany, and make a case for emphasizing the aesthetic dimension in mathematics education.

Keywords: affect; beliefs; aesthetics; creativity; mathematicians; aesthetics in mathematics education

AMS Subject Classification: 97

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