UC research: Are we all intuitive maths geniuses?

21 February 2017

Are all of us essentially geniuses at maths, even if we didn't do well at maths in school? University of Canterbury psychologists plan to find out.


Is there mathematical knowledge built in to how we perceive the world? Are all of us essentially geniuses at maths, even if we didn’t do well at maths in school? University of Canterbury psychologists have a Marsden Grant of $705,000 to conduct research to find out.

UC Psychology Professors Randolph Grace and Simon Kemp are investigating the link between our intuitive sense of numbers and formal mathematical ability.

They’ve developed a procedure to teach people to perform algebraic calculations without using numbers. Their aim is to develop better teaching techniques for children struggling with maths.

“They can learn to add subtract, multiply, divide – without knowing what they’re doing … it’s intuitive,” Prof Grace says.

Professor Randolph Grace, Psychology, University of Canterbury, discusses the research project, An Artificial Algebra for Implicit Learning of Mathematical Structure in the above video.

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
Tweet UC @UCNZ and follow UC on Facebook