Pointing in an undergraduate abstract algebra lecture: Interface between speaking and writing

Speaker: Nathalie Sinclair
Affiliation: Simon Fraser University a Vancouver
When: Thursday 19th March 2015
Time: 11:00:00
Abstract: The typical teaching format of undergraduate mathematics classrooms is the lecture, which commonly involves a large amount of talking and writing on the board. In addition to speaking and writing, professors use their hands to communicate. In this talk, I focus specifically on the use of the hand (and fingers) to point. In particular, I will examine the acts of pointing made by a a professor in a third-year group theory lecture and discuss their function. I will show how they form a central component in communication, particularly in terms of (1) bringing mathematical objects into being, (2) relating these objects to each other and (3) connecting the spoken with the written and drawn.