Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics


     Welcome to the CCMS front page of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, an online-only, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. You can find the actual Journal at

       Please feel free to look through the archives of our precursor, The Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal, at

       Journal of Humanistic Mathematics builds on the tradition of HMNJ; however as one might expect, there are many major and minor differences between the two. In particular, for our purposes humanistic mathematics is a coin phrase for “the human face of mathematics”. Thus our emphasis is on the aesthetic, cultural, historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects as we look at mathematics as a human endeavor. More broadly, we aim to provide a platform for both academic and informal discussions about matters mathematical. We publish articles that focus mainly on the doing of mathematics, the teaching of mathematics, and the living of mathematics. However we also welcome contributions about the state of the mathematical profession (both in research and in education), underrepresentation issues within the world of mathematics, mathematics across national and cultural boundaries, mathematical fiction and poetry, personal reflections that provide insight to the inner workings of the mathematical mind, and other types of writing which may stimulate discussion among our readers. Overall we are aiming for a journal where many different kinds of conversations about mathematics are welcome.

More specifically we seek three types of contributions:

  • peer reviewed articles presenting research in education, philosophy, sociology, or history of mathematics, with the intent to reach a broader audience than that of a typical disciplinary journal.
  • reflective essays, opinion pieces, and more informal works, with the intent of sparking discussion about mathematics. These could overlap with the disciplines above, or focus on more contemporary issues facing the profession.
  • explorations of the interface between mathematics and the wider humanities. Poems, short stories, or other expressive outlets, along with works about the relationship between mathematics and the arts will fall in this category.

For more information or to discuss possible submissions, please contact one of the editors.

Mark Huber (Claremont McKenna College) Gizem Karaali (Pomona College)


January 2017: Our thirteenth issue is now available. Enjoy!

Upcoming: The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics will be sponsoring a poetry reading at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2012. The reading will be held on Friday January 6, 5-7 PM in Boston’s Hynes Convention CenterOrganizers are JoAnne Growney, Mark Huber and Gizem Karaali.  Although the reading is an open one, without pre-selected readers, we will be preparing a written program of poets panning to attend (with bios and titles of their poems), so please do contact the organizers ahead of time if you would like to be on this written program. In any case ALL MATHEMATICAL POETS AND THOSE INTERESTED IN MATHEMATICAL POETRY ARE INVITED!

July 2011: Our second issue is now available. Enjoy!

January 2011: Our first issue is now available. Enjoy!

January 2011: The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics sponsored a Contributed Paper Session on Humanistic Mathematics at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2011 held in New Orleans. Due to the large number of abstracts we received, we requested and were granted a second time slot. Hre are the links to the Saturday talks and to the Sunday talks. We also had a poetry reading on Saturday evening at 5pm which turned out to be a beautiful and intimate event. We hope and plan to continue this activity in future years.


The Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal Archives:

Issue #17
Issue #18
 Issue #19
 Issue #20
Issue #21
Issue #22
Issue #23
Issue #24
Issue #25
Issue #26



Issue #27

submitted spring-winter 2004
The editor, Alvin White, discusses
Teaching and Learning Mathematics 

(pdf format).


Frances Kuwahara (Lang) Chinn, of California State University (Charter School of Education) asks, Is Mathematics Education Taking a Step Backwards? The paper considers the recent history of mathematics teaching. For MS Word doc, here.  Pdf file,here. Contact Roger Haglund, Concordia College (MN) discusses how Humanistic Mathematics Teaching Can Make a Difference.  Assessment measures for a humanistically taught course are provided.  For MS word doc, click here. Contact 
Neil Greenspan, Case Western Reserve University (Biomedical Research).  In Taxicab Geometry as a Vehicle for the Journey Toward Enlightenment, the author uses a mathematical model (taxicab geometry) to demonstrate  the need for careful, explicit definitions in other fields ("closeness", "distance").  For MS Word doc, please click here.   Pdf file,here.  Contact  Martin Glover, Milligan College, tells an illustrated  story in Tesselland. In the author's words,  this is a "Sci-Fi short story retelling of a vision about an ecentric old professor's quest to produce life and how a few of his bright students are drawn into his pursuit-turned-dilemma. "  For MS word doc, click here. Email
How are mathematicians perceived? Carmen Latterell and Janelle Wilson  (left and right) of the University of Minnesota, Duluth offer a combined mathematics-sociology perspective on Popular Cultural Portrayals of Those who Do Mathematics . For MS word doc, click here: For Pdf file, here.  Email Mike Pinter, Belmont University,  reminisces  on how Calculus changed his life by allowing him ways of thinking about the infinite in Bridging to Infinity.  For MS word doc, click here. For Pdf file, here. Email
Elie Feder of Kingsborough Community College uses a student's question to probe the meaning of probability in  (MS word doc):  Man’s Cards and God’s Dice.

For MS word doc, click
here. Pdf file, click here.  Contact
Sarah Littler discussesA Linear Perspective in Art. Pdf file, click here. Sarah wrote this as a distinction honor paper at Point Loma Nazarene University.

submitted spring-winter 2003 

J.D. Phillips , Wabash College, Indiana, from (pdf file)  a talk given at the Second International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics, Chersoniso, Crete, July, 2002. For details, email
For MS Word document, please click
Emam Hoosain : (pdf file)  What are Mathematical Problems?   This article diagnoses the understanding of teachers and students regarding problems and problem-solving.  For more details, email He maintains a web page on Middle Grade Mathematics ; click here. For MS Word document, please click here. 
Stephen Brown: (pdf file)Humanistic Mathematics: Personal Evolution and Excavations.  One of the original guiding forces of the HMN and HMNJ, Stephen Brown reconsiders humanistic mathematics now and as it influenced him.  For an interesting web site and more Stephen Brown readings, check here.  For MS Word document, please click here. Philip Davis:  Mathematician/author Davis, from Brown University, takes (pdf file) A Brief Look at Mathematics and Theology  , offering historical attitudes and some 20th century opinions.  For Philip Davis' web page, please click here.  For  MS Word document, please click here. 
Michael Fried: (pdf file)Humanistic Mathematics as Mathematics for All. Michael Fried, of Ben Gurion University, considers what is meant by Mathematics-for-All--as subject matter and as a concern. This article probes issues with  historical focus.  Contact
For MS Word document, please click
Ramakrishnan Menon: (pdf file)  Innumeracy and its Perils, Numeracy and its Promises.  Ramakrishnan Menon, of California State University at Los Angeles, discusses some applied practical examples and demonstrates the advantages of numeracy. Contact
For MS Word document, please click
Matt Becker, St. Cloud State University student, reviews (pdf file)  Fermat'sEnigma, by Simon Singh, with observations about the world in which mathematicians produce. Contact Walter Sizer (with friend) of Minnesota State University at Moorhead discusses (pdf file) Base and Subbase in a Number System. Please email
For MS Word document, please click

John Pottage, professor emeritus from University of Melbourne: (pdf file)
From Art and Architecture to Mathematics/  From Intuition to Insight/From Decoration to Demonstration.
For MS word document, please click
Shelly Keats Harkness, in Mathematics Education at Miami University, Ohio, discusses the quantitative and qualitative pleasures of running : (pdf file) Are You a Quantitative or Qualitative Runner? 5.13 Miles and Rosemary-Lilac Shampoo.
Please email
For MS Word document, please click

Marion Cohen's poems have been published in a variety of math journals.  She teaches at University of the Sciences, PA.
For more poetry by Mario Cohen,  please click (pdf)
here, and (MS Word document), here. . Her web page is