The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction
Bulletin No. 47 
December 1999


The International Study Group on the Relations Between the
History and Pedagogy of Mathematics  (HPM)


The International Study Group on the Relations between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM) was established in 1976 at ICME-3 in Karlsruhe and has been recognized as an ICMI Affiliated Study Group since then.  The aims of the group are described quite succinctly in its title.  These aims were explicitly presented as follows in the first report about the group, which appeared in the ICMI Bulletin No. 10 (March 1978), pp. 26-27:

  1. To promote international contacts and exchange information concerning:
    1. Courses in History of Mathematics in Universities, Colleges and Schools.
    2. The use and relevance of History of Mathematics in mathematics teaching.
    3. Views on the relation between History of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at all levels.

  2. To promote and stimulate interdisciplinary investigation by bringing together all those interested, particularly mathematicians, historians of mathematics, teachers, social scientists and other users of mathematics.
  3. To further a deeper understanding of the way mathematics evolves, and the forces which contribute to this evolution.
  4. To relate the teaching of mathematics and the history of mathematics teaching to the development of mathematics in ways which assist the improvement of instruction and the development of curricula.
  5. To produce materials which can be used by teachers of mathematics to provide perspectives and to further the critical discussion of the teaching of mathematics.
  6. To facilitate access to materials in the history of mathematics and related areas.
  7. To promote awareness of the relevance of the history of mathematics for mathematics teaching in mathematicians and teachers.
  8. To promote awareness of the history of mathematics as a significant part of the development of cultures.


Interests of members span all levels of education, and cover all levels of pedagogical and historical training.

The group works rather informally. Its main binding element is the HPM Newsletter, which is circulated by regional distributors. The Newsletter fulfills a crucial role of informing and keeping in touch people throughout the world.  For very many readers, the Newsletter is the main source of information about the activities of others in this field.  The role of its Editor is therefore pivotal. (The position of Editor of the HPM Newsletter is currently vacant.)

From a structural point of view, HPM is under the responsibility of an Advisory Board.  A new Chair of the Board is invited by the current Chair, after consultation within the Advisory Board.  Some of the members of the Board are members ex officio (the former Chairs, the Chair of  the USA section), some of them were invited by the chair while some others have solicited for the membership themselves and were accepted by the chair.

Conferences of HPM are organized in the same informal manner, either at the initiative of one of HPM members who offers to host a meeting, or at the initiative of the chair, who invites one of the members to host a conference.


Advisory  Board of HPM  1996-2000

                  Jan van Maanen  (Chair)
                          University of Groningen
                          Department of Mathematics
                          P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen,  THE NETHERLANDS
                  Vacancy  (Editor of the HPM Newsletter)
                  George Booker  (Australia)
                  Jacques Borowczyk  (France)
                  Ubiratan D'Ambrosio  (Brazil, former Chair)
                  John Fauvel  (United Kingdom, former Chair)
                  Florence Fasanelli  (USA, former Chair)
                  Gail Fitzsimons  (Australia)
                  Lucia Grugnetti  (Italy)
                  Abdulcarimo Ismael  (Mozambique)
                  Hans Niels Jahnke (Germany)
                  Victor J. Katz  (USA, Americas Section Chair)
                  Maasouma Kazim  (Egypt)
                  Israel Kleiner  (Canada)
                  Osamu Kota  (Japan)
                  Mohini Mohamed  (Malaysia)
                  Charles V. Jones  (USA, former Americas Section Chair)
                  Eduardo Veloso  (Portugal)
                  Greisy Winicki Landman  (Israel)