The Tower of Hanoi and the Experience of Lived Number

Here’s a phenomenological study I wrote together with Krista Francis Poscente. It focuses on the nature and history of a particular kind of learning experience, namely young students’ engagement with the famous “Tower of Hanoi” puzzle. Considered a classical problem in both programming and artificial intelligence, this powerful “brain teaser” is widely available on the Web as a simulation, and is occasionally used in this and other forms for mathematics education. The study focuses on how “felt life” interpenetrates mathematical understanding and finds confirmation in brief experiential accounts of mathematicians themselves.

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