Researching Ask NRICH

Doing Mathematics in Different Places:
an Exploration of Young People’s Activities as they make
Independent Use of a Web-Based Discussion Board
Libby Jared
PhD Thesis

King’s College London
Supervisor Dr Mary Webb

This Thesis is a result of research carried out over some years whilst I was a staff member of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education and undertaking a PhD at King’s College London. The study centred on the University of Cambridge’s NRICH project, now part of its Mathematics Millenium Project, and focused primarily on the AskNRICH web-board and its users – the AskNRICHers. A hard copy of the Thesis has been deposited with the NRICH project. In addition I have produced edited extracts from eight chapters of my PhD Thesis for presentation here on the NRICH website.

The extracts are selected parts of selected chapters as detailed below:


Table of Contents 

Chapter One: Introduction to the Study 

Chapter Eight: Introduction to the AskNRICH Web-Board 

Chapter Nine: Common Practices of AskNRICH - Perspective One: Two Exemplar Threads 

Chapter Ten: Doing Mathematics in Local Isolation - Perspective Two: Case Study of an AskNRICHer 

Chapter Eleven: Playing the Game: Mathematicians’ Interactions and Conversations - Perspective Three: Three Threads on one problem 

Chapter Twelve: Taking Stock - A Reprise of Findings 

Chapter Fourteen: The AskNRICHers’ Virtual World: A Second Learning Place 

Chapter Fifteen: Conclusions and Reflections 


Each chapter has been edited to enable it, as far as is feasible, to ‘standalone’.

The chapter numbers and numbering of sub-headings has been left unchanged from the original Thesis.

However, each edited chapter has its own page numbering and any cross-references within the chapters and between chapters on the NRICH website use these (new) page numbers followed by specifying the page number(s) in the original Thesis chapters.

Where appropriate, references may be given to other chapters (not included on the website) within the full Thesis, either by specifying the Section or providing the Thesis page number(s).

If in a chapter reference is made to any appendices, then the relevant appendix is attached at the end of that chapter.

Each chapter has its own list of references.

The Full Thesis is available from King's College London Research Portal.

Dr Libby Jared
October 2014