What happens when CAS procedures are objectified?—the case of “solve” and “desolve”

Uffe Thomas Jankvist*, Morten Misfeldt, Mario Sánchez Aguilar

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Inspired by the entering of computer algebra systems (CAS) in the Danish upper secondary school mathematics program, this article addresses, from a theoretical stance, what may happen when traditional procedures are outsourced to CAS. Looking at the commands “solve” and “desolve,” it is asked what happens when such CAS procedures are objectified in the students’ minds, and what the nature might be of the resulting “objects.” The theoretical analyses draw on a selection of classical mathematics education frameworks on conceptualization and are related to the research literature on technology in mathematics education. The article suggests the following characteristics as elements of negative effects: loss of distinctive features of concept formation, a consequential reclassification of mathematical objects, instability of CAS solutions as objects, and prevailing a posteriori reasoning on students’ behalf when relying solely on CAS in their mathematical work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • APOS
  • CAS
  • Conceptualization
  • Desolve
  • Pseudo-objects
  • Solve

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'What happens when CAS procedures are objectified?—the case of “solve” and “desolve”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this