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The 2007 Felix Klein Award


It is with great pleasure that the ICMI Awards Committee hereby announces that the Felix Klein Medal for 2007 is given to Professor Jeremy Kilpatrick, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA, in recognition of his more than forty years of sustained and distinguished lifetime achievement in mathematics education research and development. Jeremy Kilpatrick's numerous contributions and services to mathematics education as a field of theory and practice, as he prefers to call it, are centred around his extraordinary ability to reflect on, critically analyse, and unify essential aspects of our field as it has developed since the early 20th century, while always insisting on the need for reconciliation and balance among the points of view taken, the approaches undertaken, and the methodologies adopted for research. It is a characteristic feature of Jeremy Kilpatrick that he has always embraced a very cosmopolitan perspective on mathematics education. Thus he has worked in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand, in addition to being, of course, extraordinarily knowledgeable about the international literature.

Throughout his academic career, Jeremy Kilpatrick has published groundbreaking papers, book chapters and books - many of which are now standard references in the literature - on problem solving, on the history of research in mathematics education, on teachers' proficiency, on curriculum change and its history, and on assessment.

Jeremy Kilpatrick graduated in 1954 with an A.A. from a two-year college (Chaffey) in California before transferring to the University of California at Berkeley where he earned an A.B degree (1956) in mathematics and then an M.A degree (1960) in education, while teaching mathematics in a junior high school. He then went to Stanford University to work with Ed Begle and George Pólya - during the years 1962-1967 as a Research Assistant in the School Mathematics Study Group. At Stanford he earned first an M.S. in mathematics (1962) and then a PhD degree in mathematics education (1967). His dissertation, which was supervised by Begle, was on eight graders' problem-solving heuristics, and problem solving was the focus of his research during the first several years of his career.

After having taught for a number of years (1967-1975) at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, as an Assistant and - later - as an Associate Professor, Jeremy Kilpatrick joined the University of Georgia, in Athens, as a Professor of Mathematics Education, in 1975, where he has remained ever since. In 1993 he was appointed a Regents Professor at Georgia. He also holds an honorary doctorate (1995) from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Over the years he has taught courses at several European and Latin American universities. He is currently a principal investigator in the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, a collaborative research centre organised jointly by the University of Georgia and the University of Michigan and funded by the National Science Foundation.

A significant aspect of Jeremy Kilpatrick's achievements is the immense amount of service that he has done for the international mathematics education community. Among his numerous accomplishments as an editor, he co-edited the very influential series of translations Soviet Studies in the Psychology and Teaching of Mathematics, 1969-1975, and was the editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 1982-1988. He was a co-editor of the Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress on Mathematical Education (1983), the International Handbook of Mathematics Education (1996) and the Second International Handbook of Mathematics Education (2003), the ICMI Study Mathematics Education as a Research Domain (1998), Adding It Up (2001), A Research Companion to Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2003), A History of School Mathematics (2003), and Meaning in Mathematics Education (2005).

Jeremy Kilpatrick served three terms on the Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction, ICMI (1987-1998), 1991-1998 as one of its two Vice Presidents. He was a charter member of the US Mathematical Sciences Education Board 1985-1986, and 2004-present. He also served on a large number of commissions, committees, boards, and panels in the US: AERA, the College Board, Educational Testing Service, MAA, NCTM, NAEP, National Academy of Education, National Research Council, National Science Foundation, to mention just a few.

Jeremy Kilpatrick's lists of publications and presentations at national and international meetings are equally impressive. Both have to be counted in the hundreds. He has supervised a large number of Master's and PhD students, quite a few of whom have gained international renown. Throughout his entire career, he has won a large number of awards and honours, including the NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education in 2003.

In summary, Jeremy Kilpatrick is an eminently worthy recipient of the Felix Klein Medal for 2007.