Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 16th, 2013


Ethnomathematics is the study of mathematical ideas and practices situated in their cultural context. Culturally Situated Design Tools (CSDTs) are web-based software applications that allow students to create simulations of cultural arts—Native American beadwork, African American cornrow hairstyles, urban graffiti, and so forth—using these underlying mathematical principles. This article is a review of the anthropological issues raised in the CSDT project: negotiating the representations of cultural knowledge during the design process with community members, negotiating pedagogical features with math teachers and their students, and reflecting on the software development itself as a cultural construction. The move from ethnomathematics to ethnocomputing results in an expressive computational medium that affords new opportunities to explore the relationships between youth identity and culture, the cultural construction of mathematics and computing, and the formation of cultural and technological hybridity.

Keywords: mathematics, computing, youth subculture, indigenous knowledge, identity

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