Skip to main content

The ICMI Awards

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) 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.

In order to reflect the ICMI principles to “development of mathematical education at all levels” and “to promote the reflection, collaboration, exchange and dissemination of ideas on the teaching and learning of mathematics, from primary to university level" the ICMI EC decided in 2013 to create a third ICMI award to recognize outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education.

  • The Emma Castelnuovo Award, named after the Italian mathematics educator born in 1913 to celebrate her 100th birthday and honour her pioneering work, to recognize outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education.

These three 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.

The Felix Klein Award and the Hans Freudenthal are given in each of the odd numbered year (since 2003). The Emma Castelnuovo Award is given at the year an ICME is held (since 2016).

At each International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME), the medals and certificates of the awards are presented at the Opening Ceremony. Furthermore, the awardees are invited to present special lectures (ICMI Award Lectures) at the Congress.

Two Awards Committees (AC) of each six persons select the awardees. 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 Awards Committees 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 and then made public. 

More information about the Award Committees

Call for Nominations for the ICMI Awards 2019/2020


A letter to the Member of Community of Research in Mathematics Education from ICMI Awards Committee

Dear Colleague,

This is to urge you to consider nominating a candidate for any of the following ICMI Awards: Klein Award, to be granted for a lifetime achievement in mathematics education; Freudenthal Award for major cumulative program of research; and Castelnuovo Award to be given in recognition of outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education.

To make it possible, we hereby declare extension of the deadline: all the nominations are to be submitted by 31 May 2019. We now urge you to use this opportunity for honoring those of your colleagues who, in your opinion, deserve any of these Awards, which constitute the highest form of recognition this community can give to its members.

When you acknowledge in this way some central contribution to our collective attempts to understand and improve mathematics education, you do much more than rewarding those who deserve the recognition. Nominating a candidate is also, perhaps above all, an act of building our collective identity and, as such, it contributes to the professional identities of its members. You may wonder how many deserving candidates are left unawarded after the past rounds.

As chairs of the Awards Committees we may assure you: many highly deserving colleagues are still waiting to be recognized. Indeed, numerous impressive nominations were made in the past, but only a few nominees could be actually awarded. We expect past nominees to reappear among the 2019/2020 Awards candidates. In this context, let us alert you to the fact that resubmission is not automatic. No name will be considered without being accompanied by a fresh nomination, made specifically for the 2019/2020 round of awards. We hope to see many of the past candidates nominated again. True, preparing the necessary documents does require some work, but in the case of re-submission, an update of the file from a previous rounds (and mainly of the nominee’s CV) is all that needs to be done.

Hoping to be in touch with you soon again,
Anna Sfard, on behalf of Klein and Freudenthal Awards Committee
Konrad Krainer, on behalf of Castelnuovo Award Committee

The detailed Call for Nomination for the Klein and Freudenthal Awards can be found here.

The detailed Call for Nomination for the Castelnuovo Award can be found here.