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ERIC Number: EJ848493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1062-9017
The Characteristics of Mathematical Creativity
Sriraman, Bharath
Mathematics Educator, v14 n1 p19-34 2004
Mathematical creativity ensures the growth of mathematics as a whole. However, the source of this growth, the creativity of the mathematician, is a relatively unexplored area in mathematics and mathematics education. In order to investigate how mathematicians create mathematics, a qualitative study involving five creative mathematicians was conducted. The mathematicians in this study verbally reflected on the thought processes involved in creating mathematics. Analytic induction was used to analyze the qualitative data in the interview transcripts and to verify the theory driven hypotheses. The results indicate that, in general, the mathematicians' creative processes followed the four-stage Gestalt model of preparation-incubation-illumination-verification. It was found that social interaction, imagery, heuristics, intuition, and proof were the common characteristics of mathematical creativity. Additionally, contemporary models of creativity from psychology were reviewed and used to interpret the characteristics of mathematical creativity.
Mathematics Education Student Association, University of Georgia. 105 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-4194; Fax: 706-542-4551; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A