Yasmine Abtahi


I did my BSc in Electrical Engineering, in Iran. In 1999, I moved to Canada, worked at Nortel Networks for six years, then switch careers to become a teacher, and did my BEd at University of Windsor. In 2006, I did my MEd at the University of Ottawa, then taught mathematics and physics at a school designed for students with dyslexia. Since 2011, I have been working  as a part time professor at University of Ottawa, where I started (2013) and finished (2016), my doctoral studies. I further did a post doctoral study in UQAM.

Research Interest 

I am interested in “things kids think with”; that is tools that kids interact with to learn mathematics. My research looks at tools, both ones that are designed in such a way that carry mathematical meanings, such as an abacus, and ones that are not necessary designed that way, such as an apple or a piece of paper. To analyse children’s interactions with these tools, I look at both children’s perception and the physical properties of the tools. I am also interested in environmental issues as they relate to learning of mathematics. Recently, I am thinking about mathematics that is more rooted in cultures and societies.


  1. Abtahi. Y., (2017). Children, Tools and the Zone of Proximal Development. Research in Mathematics education. DOI-10.1080/14794802.2017.1390691
  2. Abtahi, Y., Graven, M., Lerman, S. (2017). Conceptualising the more knowledgeable other within a multi-directional ZPD? Educational Studies in Mathematics. 96(3), p 275–287. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-017-9768-1
  3. Abtahi.Y. (2017). The ‘More Knowledgeable Other’: A Necessity in the Zone of Proximal Development? For the learning of mathematics. 37 (1) p. 20-24.
  4. Abtahi. Y., (2017). Gradual perceptual change: Signs, tools, and meaning-making. In Presmeg, N., Radford, L., Roth, W.-M., Kadunz, G., & Puig, L. (Eds.). (in preparation). Signs of signification: Semiotics in mathematics education research. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
  5. Abtahi, Y., Wagner, D. (2016). Violence in un-rooted mathematics. For the Learning of Mathematic, 36 (3) p. 38-40.
  6. Abtahi, Y. (2014). Who/what is the more knowledgeable other? For the Learning of Mathematic, 34 (3) p. 14-15.