Mathematical pathologies as pathways into creativity

Bharath Sriraman, Benjamin Dickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper, the role of mathematical pathologies as a means of fostering creativity in the classroom is discussed. In particular, it delves into what constitutes a mathematical pathology, examines historical mathematical pathologies as well as pathologies in contemporary classrooms, and indicates how the Lakatosian heuristic can be used to formulate problems that illustrate mathematical pathologies. We discuss the relationship between mathematical pathologies and their role in fostering creativity. The paper concludes with remarks on mathematical pathologies from the perspective of creativity studies at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Convergent thinking
  • Creativity
  • Divergent thinking
  • Heuristics
  • Lakatosian heuristics
  • Mathematical pathologies
  • Pathologies
  • Problem-posing


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