Dr Snezana Lawrence

Senior Lecturer and Course leader for BA Education and Childhood Studies

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Snezana is interested in the creativity, identity, and engagement in education and more specifically in mathematics education, and is a mathematical historian. She has been most recently working on the history of beliefs about and in mathematics, from early modern period to contemporary contexts.

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Involved in the national and international initiatives to promote the use of the history of mathematics in mathematics education since 2002, Snezana contributed to the redesigning of the National Curriculum in Mathematics in 2013. Snezana was a Professeur Invité at the University of Lorraine in 2014 and is on the Advisory Board of History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Group (affiliated to the International Mathematics Union).

Snezana is editorial board member of Mathematics Today (Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications) and is the Associate Editor of the BSHM Bulletin (British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin, published by Taylor & Francis). She is the Council member of the same society, and regularly consults Prince’s Teaching Institute on mathematics education issues, leading the Mathematics strand of Schools’ Programme.

Spoken Languages

  • Serbo-Croatian

Research interests

  • Identity building in the learning of mathematics and its links with creativity.
  • STEM subjects and their development in educational and professional contexts (for example engineering and architecture).
  • Geometry, the subject content knowledge, and its history, its role in professional education, and its role and application in architecture and engineering.
  • Epistemology of mathematics and the relationship between justified belief and mathematical practice as can be identified through historical examples.
  • Links between mathematics and history
  • History of dimensionality and the image of Geometry in popular culture and art.

Snezana’s main area of research is the history of mathematics and mathematics education, geometry, and the beliefs in, and about, mathematics. She is working on the epistemology of mathematics and the uses of the discourses about the nature of mathematics in education, in contemporary and historical contexts. She has researched and written about the links and interrelationships between mathematics, architecture, and art, and the interplay between mathematics and theology. 

Most recently, Snezana's interests have been the place of mathematics education in developing national intellectual landscapes, and international networks, from the early modern times to the end of the 20th century

Areas of research supervision

Snezana would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral subjects with the following research interests/topics:

  • History of mathematics and mathematics education
  • Mathematics in professional setting (education, architecture, engineering, social care) 
  • Epistemology of knowledge and in particular mathematics
  • Gender and identity in the learning of mathematics
  • Perceptions about mathematics and mathematicians in history and in contemporary contexts

Recent and current doctoral supervision as first supervisor:

  • Personal learning environments and the learning of mathematics (current)


  • BA (Hons) Education and Childhood Studies


  • QTS Secondary Mathematics, Canterbury Christ Church University College, 2003
  • PhD History of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics, Open University UK, 2002
  • BSc Architecture and Engineering, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia 1989

Memberships, editorial boards

  • British Society for the History of Mathematics – Council members and Assistant Editor of the BSHM Bulletin (published by Taylor and Francis)
  • Institute of Mathematics and its Applications – Fellow, Editorial Board member of Mathematics Today, and regular contributor, writing and coordinating contributions for the Historical Notes category
  • History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Group, associate of the International Mathematics Union – country representative (UK) and co-editor of the Newsletter
  • London Mathematical Society - member

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

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  • NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) small grants: 2004/5, 2005/6
  • Consultancy on the redesign of the National Curriculum in Secondary Mathematics
  • Consultancy for the Prince’s Teaching Institute – leading Schools’ Programme (2009-ongoing) and leading NQT Subject Days (2011-13)

Consultancies to establish and develop mathematics content for two online startups: MangaHigh.com (https://www.mangahigh.com/en-gb/) and Figr (http://figrhq.com/).

Selected recent publications

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Lawrence, S. 2016. What are we like? In Larvor, B, ed. Mathematical cultures: the London meetings 2012-2014. Trends in the history of science . Birkhauser/Springer.

Lawrence, S. 2016. The Old Teacher Euclid and his Art after Bath. ICME13, Hamburg, July 2016.

Lawrence, S. and McCartney, M. (eds). 2015. Mathematicians and their gods: interactions between mathematics and religious beliefs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lawrence, S. 2015. Capital G for Geometry: Masonic lore and the history of geometry. In: Lawrence, Sand McCartney, M, eds. Mathematicians and their gods: interactions between mathematics and religious beliefs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp167-190.

Lawrence, S. 2015. Life, architecture, mathematics, and the Fourth Dimension, in Nexus 15, Kim Williams (ed), Springer, Basel.

Lawrence, S. (2015) The history of the fourth dimension – a way of engaging pupils in secondary classrooms. CERME9, Prague, February 2015.

Lawrence, S (2014) History in Mathematics Education and History of Mathematics Education – Cultures of Mathematics Education, in Special Issue of Journal: Teaching Innovations (University of Belgrade), guest editor, co-editing with O. Djokic. University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Lawrence, S., 2014. Mathematics education in the Balkan societies up to the WWI. Teaching Innovations, 27(3), pp46-57. ISSN 0353-2334.

Lawrence, S. 2012. Enquiry led learning and the history of mathematics. In The usage of technology in the learning of history of science and mathematics. Thomas de Vittori (ed), Frank & Time, Berlin.

Lawrence, S. 2011. Developable surfaces: Their History and Application. In Nexus 2010: Relationships between Architecture and Mathematics, III. Kim Williams (ed), Springer, Basel.

Lawrence, S. 2011. Dee and his books: lesson from the history of mathematics for primary and middle school teachers. BSHM Bulletin, 26(3), pp160-166.

Recent presentations and conferences

Gresham College London, 27 October 2016. Curves in Honour of Leibniz Tercentenary Lectures: Hold on to your chairs – Archimedes’ spiral and Leibniz

Barcelona, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, 6 October 2016. Grand Tour and the European Science: The spoils from the Grand Tour – learning and culture in 18th century Wiltshire.

Mathematical Institute, Oxford, 8 July 2016. Mathematical Communication in the Cold War: What to teach? Mathematics Education during the Cold War