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January 2021


Milos Savic
      New Mexico State University

An Examination of the Logic in Student-Constructed Proofs

Often university mathematics departments teach some formal logic early in a transition-to-proof course.  This study of forty-two student-constructed proofs of theorems about sets, functions, real analysis, abstract algebra, and topology, found that only a very small part of those proofs involved logic beyond common sense reasoning.  

Where is the logic? How much of it is just common sense?  Can the needed logic be taught in context while teaching proof-construction?

 Through a theoretical framework emerging from a chunk-by-chunk analysis of student-constructed proofs and from task-based interviews with students, I try to shed light on these questions.

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