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The ICMI Felix Klein and Hans Freudenthal Awards

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) has decided in 2000 to create two prizes recognizing outstanding achievement in mathematics education research:

  • The Felix Klein Award, named after the first president of ICMI (1908-1920), honours a lifetime achievement.
  • The Hans Freudenthal Award, named after the eighth president of ICMI (1967-1970), recognizes a major cumulative program of research.

These two awards pay tribute to outstanding scholarship in mathematics education.  They serve not only to encourage the efforts of others, but also to contribute to the development of high standards for the field through the public recognition of exemplars.  The awards consist of a medal and a certificate, accompanied by a citation.  They have a character similar to that of a university honorary degree and have been given in each of the odd numbered year since 2003.  At each International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME), the medals and certificates of the awards given since the previous ICME are presented at the Opening Ceremony.  Furthermore, the awardees are invited to present special lectures at the Congress.

An Awards Committee (AC) of six persons selects the awardees.  Members of the AC are appointed by the President of ICMI, after consultation with the Executive Committee and with other scholars in the field.  The active members of the AC, except for its chair, are not made known.  Only at the time when the terms of committee members expire are their names made public.  The term of appointment of the AC members is eight years and non-renewable, with three of the members being replaced each four years.  One of the three remaining members is then appointed as the committee chair by the President of ICMI.  Members of the ICMI Executive Committee are ineligible for membership in the AC.

The Awards Committee is completely autonomous once appointed.  Its work and records are kept internal and confidential, except for the obvious process of soliciting advice and information from the professional community, which is done by the committee chair.  The AC has full authority in selecting the awardees.  Its decision is final and is reported, in confidence, to the ICMI EC via the President of ICMI.

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