Developing Mathematical Creativity
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 9 / 2013
- August 31 / 2016
Core Funding Area
Character Virtue Development
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

John D. Barrow
Institution University of Cambridge

How we can recognize, support, and inspire outstanding creativity in mathematics from an early age? This innovative project aims to nurture, inspire, and support the development of mathematical genius by encouraging and fostering creativity.

Creativity is often overlooked when teaching mathematics. What characterizes the most outstanding mathematicians, however, is their creative flair. They ask new questions, pose new problems, apply familiar techniques in creative ways and make connections between apparently disparate ideas.

The project will create a distinct, new program of innovative educational resources, including a substantial collection of resources aimed at students of all ages from 7 to 16. The principal resources we are creating are rich and engaging open tasks, published online on a dedicated project portal, the new Wild Maths website. These rich tasks are presented in thematically-linked pathways supporting progression towards increasingly sophisticated thinking, independence, and creativity. The online resources are designed to encourage students to explore and make connections. They include inspirational, explanatory articles and videos, as well as opportunities for students to share and discuss ideas. Hands-on workshops provide further opportunities to develop and explore mathematical creativity, and a public lecture program provides stimulus and inspiration.

In addition, we hope to contribute to a shift in classroom culture towards more creative and collaborative learning by working with teachers and providing rich resources for educators. Further project resources are therefore published on our established NRICH website, adapted for classroom use, and accompanied by teacher guidance.

Mathematical creativity is an exciting, emerging field of study and research. This project is one of the first attempts to create a substantial, coherent body of resources specifically focused on fostering genius through developing creativity, and should therefore have a significant enduring impact

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