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 career 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. In 2011, I started to work as a part time professor at University of Ottawa, where in 2013 I started my doctoral study, under the supervision of Dr. Barwell.

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 also am interested in environmental issues as they relate to learning of mathematics.


  1. Abtahi, Y. (2014) Who/what is the more knowledgeable other? For the Learning of Mathematic, 34 (3) 14-15.
  2. Abtahi, Y. (2015). The Zone of Proximal development and the affordances of the mathematical tools. Beswick, K., Muir, T., & Wells, J. (Eds.) (2015). Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 2, 1-9. Hobart, Australia: PME.
  3. Abtahi, Y. (2015). 2/5 + 1/6 = 9.8/24: Rulers, tapes, and Fractions. Adhoc presented at the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group (CMESG), Moncton, NB, June.
  4. Abtahi, Y. (2015). Recursive-ness: Using manipulatives to understand fractions and using fractions to understand manipulatives. Paper presented at Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Ottawa, Canada, May.
  5. Abtahi, Y. (2015). Which one is the 1/7? Paper will be presented at Fields Mathematics Education Forum (FIELD), presented, Toronto, ON, January.
  6. Abtahi, Y. (2014) Feedback from mathematical artefacts. Paper presented at the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME), Vancouver, BC, July.
  7. Abtahi, Y. (2014) Which Rod? Units & the Addition of Fractions. Paper presented at the Canadian Mathematics Education Forum (CMEF), Ottawa, ON, May.