The Klein Project is an IMU/ICMI project that began in 2008, with the aim of producing mathematics resources for secondary teachers on contemporary mathematics. It was inspired by Felix Klein’s book Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint, first published 100 years earlier. It is intended as a stimulus for mathematics teachers, so to help them to make connections between the mathematics they teach, or can be asked to teach, and the field of mathematics, while taking into account the evolution of this field over the last century. A Design Group of 8 people was established, and plans formed to produce “vignettes”. A vignette is a short, readable piece on a topic of contemporary mathematics. At its meeting in Hamburg in 2016, the Klein group changed its coordinator from Bill Barton (New Zealand) to Hans-Georg Weigand (Germany). It also decided to abandon the original task of writing a Klein Project book, and just focus on the blog and/or webpage.
The Blog features a “Book of the Month” and “Site of the Month”, the former featuring books of general mathematical interest for teachers first published more than ten years ago. An active “Klein community” of translators, who are mathematicians or mathematics educators or teachers who give their time to creating translations in their own language. By December 2017, a total of 24 Vignettes, all available in English, and many translated into Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Khmer and Mandarin, have been published on the blog. In 2017 the Klein Blog received an average of 100-200 hits per day and is growing, with an all-time total of over 118000 hits. While this is small by web standards, it represents at least 50 vignettes being read by teachers somewhere every day, after accounting for accidental and non-teacher hits.
The project is was managed 2008-2016 by an international Design Team consisting of seven members:
- Michèle Artigue, Université Paris Diderot, France
- Ferdinando Arzarello, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
- Bill Barton, The University of Auckland, New Zealand (chair)
- William (Bill) McCallum, University of Arizona, USA
- Tomas Recio, Universidad de Cantabria, Spain
- Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal, Canada
- Hans-Georg Weigand, Universität Würzburg, Germany
- Yuriko Yamamoto Baldin, Universidade Federal de São Carlo, Brazil
Graeme Cohen, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia was a member of the group until 2014.
Seven meetings of the Design Group have taken place, in Paris in May, 2009, in Auckland in April 2010, in the US in 2011, in Paris in 2012, in 2013 in Berlin, Germany, in 2014 in Rio de Janairo in Brazil and 2016 in Hamburg, Germany.
The Klein Project has developed conferences and workshops. Initially, members of the Design Team initiated Klein Seminars in their countries. These were held in UK, Spain, Portugal, France, USA, Brazil, and Australia. The first "Klein Conference" was held in Madeira in October, 2009.The second was held in Castro-Urdales, Spain, in June 2010. Other conferences were held in Oxford (England), 18th June, 2010, Belo Horizonte (Brazil), July 2010, Pittsburg (USA), 6-7 August 2010, Palo Alto (USA), 7-11 November 2011 as well as Paris (France), 30 May 2012. More information about these past conferences and workshops go here. From 17th until 20th of September 2013 a meeting of the design team and a Klein Workshop took place in Berlin (see below), Germany. From 14th - 16th April a Klein conference and meeting of the Design group took place at IMPA, Rio de Janairo, Brazil.
Such seminars are now replaced by workshops or sessions at conferences, most recently at EARCOME 7 in Philippines in May, 2015. Two countries, Brazil and Sweden, have established regular (annual or bi-annual) Klein Meetings of teachers and mathematicians. In both cases significant national funding was obtained.