“I have been doing research on how wikis can be used to teach students
how to do mathematical proofs…. I would like to know if you have any thoughts on if you think we this is a realistic effort and, so, how we can achieve this goal.”
Great question! I personally believe that a wiki can succeed on any topic. A wiki is merely a tool for collaborative document authoring by a group. The more important factor that determines the success of a project is the vested interest of the team members (or community) working on it.
So to ensure success in a project like collaborative authoring of mathematical proofs, efforts should be placed into:
- defining the output (deliverable) and the timelines of the project
- defining your community (i.e. team members) that will work on the project
- selecting the right tools to enable the community to produce the desired product in the timeline specified (a wiki is one example of a good document collaboration tool)
- providing a convincing argument to members of the community to educate them about the value of the tool(s) that were selected for the project
- providing training on these tool(s) for those members of the community who need it
- overseeing the completion of the deliverables folloowing the agreed upon timeline
On the subject of wikis that concern themselves with mathematical proofs, there are two that I know of Proofwiki and PlanetMath. Does anyone else know of any? if so, leave a comment below.