IMU Bulletin no. 42, Special Issue, July 1998
International Commission On Mathematical Instruction
Mogens Niss, Secretary
1. Organization On the 1st January 1995, the new Executive Committee of ICMI, elected at the IMU General Assembly in Switzerland (in August 1994), took office. In 1995 the EC met in Madrid (Spain), 26-27 February. A sub-set of the EC met informally at the ICMI Study Conference on geometry (see below) held in Catania, Sicily (Italy) 28 September - 2 October 1996. The Executive Committee had its second meeting at the Eighth International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-8, in Sevilla (Spain), and its third meeting in Madrid (Spain) on 31st August - 1st September 1997. Beside in meetings, the work in the EC is conducted by correspondence and electronic communication under the direction of the President and the Secretary.
The General Assembly of ICMI held its quadriennial session on 17th July 1996 in conjunction with ICME-8, Sevilla (Spain). The minutes of the Assembly are published in the ICMI Bulletin No. 41, December 1996, pp 3-9.
In recent years, applications from a number of countries to be co-opted as non-IMU member states of ICMI have been received by the EC. At the end of 1996 ICMI decided, with the endorsement of the International Mathematical Union, to co-opt Thailand as a non-IMU member of ICMI. The Adhering Organisation is the Mathematical Association of Thailand under the Patronage of His Majesty the King. In 1997 it was decided, again with the endorsement of the International Mathematical Union, to co-opt Indonesia as a non-IMU member of ICMI. The Adhering Organisation is the Indonesian Mathematical Society. As of 1st January 1997, Latvia and Uruguay have been adopted as new members of IMU and hence of ICMI as well. Other applications were considered by the EC in 1997. Final decisions are expected to be made in 1998.
ICMI continues to have four affiliated study groups, HPM, IOWME, PME , and WFNMC, see section 5.
The latest of the quadriennial International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-8, was held at Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Reina Mercedes campus, 14-21 July, 1996, with Professor Claudi Alsina, Barcelona (Spain), as the Chair of the International Programme Committee. The congress had an attendance of about 3500 delegates from almost a hundred different countries. The programme was very rich and intensive. Proceedings of the Congress are expected to appear in the second half of 1998. A novel feature in the ICME series was instigated at ICME-8. A 10% solidarity tax was imposed on all registration fees in order to provide (partial) financial support of the attendance of about 250 delegates from about 55 different non-affluent countries. The amount thus generated was distributed by a specially appointed Grants Committee which worked incognito.
The next International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-9, will be held in Makuhari, Chiba, Japan, in 2000, 31 July to 6 August. An International Programme Committee was appointed in 1996. It is chaired by Professor Hiroshi Fujita, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan. The list of members was published in the ICMI Bulletin No. 42, June 1997, p. 17. The IPC had its first meeting, in Makuhari, 2 -3 March 1998.
No official bids have been received by the Executive Committee with respect to ICME-10 in 2004. However, Brazil has produced a declaration of intent to let ICMI know that it is preparing a bid to host this Congress.
3. ICMI Studies
The mounting and conducting of so-called ICMI studies on crucial themes and issues in mathematics education were continued in 1995-97. The ICMI studies are published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, under the general editorship of the President and the Secretary of ICMI.
The proceedings of the ICMI study conference on Gender and Mathematics Education, held in Höör (Sweden), 7-12 October 1993, were published in 1995 by Lund University Press. The proceedings are edited by Barbro Grevholm and Gila Hanna. The final outcome of the ICMI Study, the book Towards Gender Equity in Mathematics Education - An ICMI Study, edited by Gila Hanna, appeared in the ICMI Study Series in 1996.
The study Mathematics Education as a Research Domain: A Search for Identity. An ICMI Study, based mainly on the study conference What is Research in Mathematics Education, and What Are Its Results?, held at University of Maryland, College Park, USA, May 1994, appeared, in two volumes (576 pages), at the end of 1997. The study is edited by Anna Sierpinska and Jeremy Kilpatrick.
The study Perspectives on the Teaching of Geometry for the 21st Century, based mainly on the study conference held at Università di Catania, Sicily (Italy) 28 September - 2 October 1995 appeared in the beginning of 1998, edited by Carmelo Mammana and Vinicio Villani.
Reports on each of these studies were given at ICME-8 in Sevilla in 1996.
The next study in the series is devoted to the theme The Role of the History of Mathematics in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. An International Programme Committee was appointed in 1996 (a list of members' names was published in the ICMI Bulletin, No. 41, December 1996, p. 14) with John Fauvel, the Open University, UK, and Jan van Maanen, the University of Groningen, the Netherlands as co-chairs. The Discussion Document for this study was published in various journals and newsletters, including the ICMI Bulletin, No. 42, June 1997, pp. 9-16, and in an abbreviated version in L'Enseignement mathématique, 2e Série, t. 43, fasc 1-2, janvier-juin 1997, pp. 199-203. The study conference was held in France, at CIRM, Luminy (near Marseille), 20-25 April 1998, with Jean-Luc Dorier, Grenoble, France, in charge of the Local Organisation.
ICMI has also mounted a study on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics at University Level. The IPC, which was appointed in 1997 (a list of members' names is included in the ICMI Bulletin, No. 42, June 1997, p. 18), is chaired by Derek Holton, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. The Discussion Document for this study was published in numerous places, including the ICMI Bulletin, No. 43, December 1997, pp. 3-13, and L'Enseignement mathématique, 2e Série, t. 43, fasc. 3-4, juillet-décembre 1997, pp. 381-390. The corresponding study conference will take place in Singapore, 8-12 December 1998.
Reports on these studies will be given at ICME-9, Makuhari (Japan), in 2000.
Plans for further studies, on average one per year, are under development.
4. Regional Conferences
ICMI has decided to adopt the following (minimum) requirements for granting the status of ICMI Regional Meeting to a conference under planning:
- There has to be evidence of a broad national support of the meeting;
- There has to be evidence of a fair degree of regional support;
- The conference should have a theme which is of specific significance to the region at issue;
- An International Programme Committee has to be appointed. It should include at least one member representing the ICMI EC (not necessarily an EC member) who is prepared to produce a brief report of the organisation and proceedings of the conference;
- A conference report in English should be published;
- If ICMI is asked to provide financial support, a budget and a subsequent brief account, both in gross terms, should be made available to the ICMI EC. Normally, only regional conferences to be held in non-affluent countries will be eligible to financial support from ICMI.
In 1995, the Proceedings of the ICMI-China Regional Conference, Shanghai, 1994, was published by Shanghai Educational Publishing House.
In 1995, the conference Regional Collaboration in Mathematics Education: An ICMI Regional Conference was held at Monash University, Melbourne (Australia), 19-23 April 1995. As this conference took place in a developed country, ICMI's sponsorship did not involve financial support.
The ICMI EC supported (by a grant of US$ 2.000) The Seventh South East Asian Conference on Mathematics Education (SEACME 7), which was held at Hanoi University of Technology, Hanoi (Vietnam), 3-7 June 1996, with 135 participants from 17 countries. A brief report of the conference, which was sponsored by ICMI as an ICMI Regional Meeting, was published in the ICMI Bulletin, No. 41, December 1996. The proceedings of the conference, edited by Nguyen Dinh Tri et al., was published by the Vietnamese Mathematical Society in 1997.
No ICMI Regional Conferences were held in 1997. The next such meeting, The First ICMI East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (ICMI-EARCOME 1), will be held in Chungbuk, The Republic of Korea, 17-21 August 1998.
5. Affiliated Study Groups
ICMI continues to have four affiliated study groups, HPM (The International Study Group for the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics), IOWME (The International Organisation of Women and Mathematics Education), and PME (The International Group for the Psychology of Learning Mathematics), and WFNMC (The World Federation of National Mathematical Competitions). Separate reports of their activities were published in the ICMI Bulletin Nos. 40 (HPM, PME, and WFNMC) and 41 (IOWME), 1996.
6. The Solidarity Programme
In 1992 ICMI established a Solidarity Programme to help the development of mathematics education in countries in which there is a need for it that justifies international assistance. The first stage in this programme was the mounting of a Solidarity Fund based on private contributions by individuals, associations, etc. The Fund is to be activated to support concrete initiatives and activities that may foster solidarity in mathematics education between well-defined quarters in developed and less developed countries. The Solidarity Fund has received donations from various organisations and individuals in mathematics education for which it is most grateful. Thus, in 1995 the Fund received a generous donation of Australian Dollars 2.000 from the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australiasia (MERGA), and in 1997 a generous donation of French Francs 5.000 from the French National Sub-Commission of ICMI, C.F.E.M.
7. ICMI WMY 2000 Committee
In order to consider, plan and prepare the main aspects of ICMI's involvement in the World Mathematical Year 2000, an ad hoc committee, ICMI WMY 2000 Committee, was formed in 1997 under the chairmanship of ICMI's President, Professor Miguel de Guzmán. The other members are listed in the ICMI Bulletin No. 42, June 1997, pp. 18-19.
8. ICMI Bulletins
In 1995-97, ICMI Bulletin Nos. 38-43 were published under the editorship of the Secretary of ICMI. In 1995, an ISSN-number (1024-3127: Bulletin - ICMI) was attached to the Bulletin. As of 1995 the ICMI Bulletin is available in the following electronic forms: In ASCII-format on direct request to the editor. On the World Wide Web, where it can be found under the following coordinates on the IMU-server, through URL:
9. ICMI on WWW
Since the end of 1995, information concerning ICMI can be found on the ICMI-pages of the IMU-server on the World Wide Web. The pages are located through URL: