New Book: Mathematics as a Modeling System: a Semiotic Approach by Marcel Danesi and Mariana Bockarova


Mathematics as a Modeling System

“Serendipity, inference, and abduction present opportunities for solutions to the puzzles appealing to humans, mathematicians included. When successful, these intuitive semiosic leaps find pattern, even when the pattern may not be explained beyond the frame of the puzzle. In foregrounding abduction, Danesi and Bockarova refresh ancient queries about any distinctions between discovery and invention. The abductive process cannot be taught in a prescriptive fashion, as it resists reduction to the simpler linear logics of our ordinary pedagogies. The authors’ semiotic perspective integrates recognized patterns of conceptual learning styles with the pervasive patterns in both living and inert realms, revealed through Fibonacci, Zipf, and fractals, and the cognitive power in diagrams, schemes, and graphs. The authors consider how it is that modeling seems to be tied to symbolism, metaphor, and optical processing. This volume will refresh practitioners from both pure and applied realms of mathematics, as well as other semioticians, pedagogues, and scholars generally.” — Myrdene Anderson

Marcel Danesi is professor of semiotics and linguistic anthropology at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory at Victoria College of the same university. He is also co-director of the Cognitive Science Network of the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences at the University of Toronto and Editor-in-Chief of “Semiotica”.

Mariana Bockarova holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Toronto. She has published in the fields of semiotics and the cognitive science of mathematics and is developing a model of expressive writing that blends ideas from psychology, applied linguistics, and semiotics, in order to understand the relation between discourse and emotions.

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