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The Klein and Freudenthal Medals

As a tangible sign of recognition, each awardee receives a certificate and a medal.

On one face of the medals are shown the past two Presidents of ICMI, Felix Klein (1849-1925) and Hans Freudenthal (1905-1990), whose names were given to the awards. (See the ICMI Bulletin No. 51, December 2002, pp. 14-15, for brief information on these two eminent scholars, and also their cameos accessible on the ICMI history website.)

On the reverse side appears the logo of ICMI, surrounded by the name of the Commission, written in French and in the form of a circle, Commission internationale de l’enseignement mathématique.  This is a testimony to the intensive use of French in the early years of ICMI, as is reflected, for instance, in the issues from that period of the journal L’Enseignement Mathématique, the official organ of ICMI since its inception.

The design and production of the Felix Klein and Hans Freudenthal medals was done at École Boulle in Paris, a renowned French school of art and design.  Founded in 1886, École Boulle is named after a famous cabinet-maker of King Louis the 14th, André-Charles Boulle, after whom is also named a well-known curved chest of drawers.  The ICMI medals, produced as a project in a course for students completing their degree at  École Boulle, were conceived and made by Thomas Soufflard. The technique used by the student is that of modelled engraving, where a hollowed or relief motif is obtained by cast, strike, or ornamentation.  The engraving was made by hand and the first medals were stroke-pressed a few weeks before ICME-10 at the Monnaie de Paris, using a special 600-ton press. The 2005 and 2007 medals have been pressed at the École Boulle.

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