Workshop on Beauty and Explanation in Mathematics (WBEM)
Umeå University, Umeå Sweden
March 10-12, 2014

The workshop is now over. Please contact the organizers if you would like more information. The workshop turned out to get pretty good coverage in the press, including Dagens Nyheter (national newspaper) and Västerbottens Kurriren (local newspaper). Unfortunately these articles can be read only by subscribers, but the following interview on the local neighborhood has open access:

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together philosophers, mathematicians, and mathematics educators to study a question which is both relevant and timely for all three groups, namely whether mathematical beauty and mathematical explanation are related. Our approach is largely empirical– we will develop a set of examples that will help us make necessary distinctions and connections. The central questions of the workshop fall into three classes. One class concerns relations between beauty and visualization in mathematics; the other class concerns relations between explanation and visualization in mathematics. The third, perhaps most intriguing, class deals with the question whether visualization is an essential link between explanation and beauty and mathematics, that is: When some mathematics is both beautiful and explanatory, does the conjunction depend on the presence of a visual element? In addition to the scientific aims of the workshop, an important goal is to reach across normally rigid disciplinary domains to work on an area of common interest.  We have invited top people from respective fields, some of whom know each other, but others (even within the same field) have never read each other s work.

Confirmed speakers:

The titles of talks can be found on the workshop schedule.


  • Manya Raman Sundström, manya.sundstrom(at)
  • Lars-Daniel Öhman, lars-daniel.ohman(at)

Additional information…

Generously supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ).  Co-hosted by Department of Science and Mathematics Education, and the Mathematics Department at Umeå University.

3 Responses to Workshop

  1. Pingback: Workshop to be held in Umeå!!! | mathbeauty

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: Beauty, even in the teaching of mathematics | mathbabe

  3. Pingback: Beauty and explanation in mathematics | Matt Baker's Math Blog

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