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ICMI Newsletter - December 2023

Jean-Luc Dorier (ICMI Secretary-General)
Merrilyn Goos (ICMI Vice President)
Lena Koch (ICMI Administrative Manager)

Publishing dates:
March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15


Editorial – From the desk of Hiraku Nakajima, IMU President 2023-2026

IMG_8994.jpgI have been serving as the President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) since January 2023. In February, I attended the ICMI Executive Committee meeting and the subsequent Capacity and Network Project (CANP) Workshop in Bangkok. This marked my first official trip as President.
Both ICMI and IMU operate on a four-year cycle, holding international congresses every four years – the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) for ICMI and the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) for IMU. Critical decisions are made at the General Assembly preceding ICME and IMU. The ICMI cycle is shifted by two years from that of IMU, with the upcoming ICME scheduled for July 2024 and the next ICM set for 2026. Thus, my term began this year, whereas ICMI President Frederick Leung began his presidency in 2021.
The previous cycle posed challenges for both ICMI and IMU due to the pandemic starting in early 2020. Our activities were significantly impacted, with ICME-14 postponed for a year and held in hybrid format. The IMU Centennial Symposium was also delayed and conducted in a hybrid format in 2021. Numerous other activities were canceled or moved online. Although the pandemic was nearly over in 2022 thanks to dedicated efforts and effective vaccines, ICM 2022 was held online due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the fragile nature of international cooperation.
On a positive note, we gained proficiency in utilizing internet communication tools, facilitating online lectures, virtual meetings, and the streaming of seminar talks. Many individuals worldwide attended ICM 2022 and watched recorded videos of presentations on the IMU YouTube Channel.
These experiences provide valuable insights into the future of ICM. While we recognize the indispensability of face-to-face interactions in scientific communication, we anticipate further technological advancements. Discussions have arisen about the challenges of hosting ICM in its current format, given its venue at a large convention center. However, the landscape could change in 2030 or beyond. The ICM Structure Committee report suggests considering the inclusion of virtual components in future ICMs.
It was fortunate for me to start my activities as President at the ICMI EC meeting. It was a good opportunity to meet other EC fellows and learn various activities of ICMI, and also it was nice to talk with CANP representatives during the workshop. CANP is a central ICMI project focused on developing mathematical education in developing countries, and I believe the growth of mathematics in these regions is pivotal for the future of the mathematical community.
Not only those, but I also experienced to see how a committee meeting of an international association is organized. Agendas discussed at ICMI align with those at IMU. Therefore, these experiences were useful for me to prepare for the IMU EC meeting in March.
Although my visit to Thailand was brief, I found Bangkok to be a vibrant city with a fascinating culture. The people were kind and friendly. I look forward to returning – perhaps not for an EC meeting!

Obituary for Anna Sierpińska

In memoriam – Obituary for Anna Sierpińska (1947 – 2023)
A major figure of ICMI passed away: Anna Sierpińska
By Nadia Hardy, Associate Professor (Concordia University, Qc, Canada)

Anna S.jpgAnna Sierpińska, professor emerita, Concordia University, Montreal (Qc), Canada, passed away on October 19, 2023. She passed peacefully at her home in Montreal, which she shared with her husband, and where she was often visited by her sons and grandchildren. Anna was born in Wrocław, Poland, and spent time in Egypt and Syria in her youth. In 1970 she earned a master's degree in mathematics, specializing in commutative algebra, and then completed her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 1984 at the Higher School of Pedagogy, in Kraków. In 1990, Anna moved to Montreal to take a position in the department of mathematics and statistics at Concordia University.

Anna’s contributions to the domain of mathematics education cannot be put into words; a list to illustrate the quantity or praising the quality of her work will not do justice to the impact she had and will continue to have in the domain. She wrote hundreds of papers and book chapters – some of which altered the ways in which we do research and understand the teaching and learning of mathematics – and she edited numerous books and reports that are a must-read for students and researchers across the world. While understanding mathematics and epistemological obstacles were the foci of her work most of her life, she did research in the teaching and learning of algebra and linear algebra, on the sources of students’ frustrations when learning mathematics, and more. She was a versatile researcher with a deep understanding of educational theories and research methodologies. Anna was the Editor-in-Chief of Educational Studies in Mathematics from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, she received an honorary doctorate from Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.

As particularly regards ICMI, Anna Sierpińska was on the Executive Committee from 1991 until 1998, serving the last four years as Vice-President, and co-chaired (together with Jeremy Kilpatrick) the ICMI Study Mathematics Education as a Research Domain (the study volume of which was published in 1998). This ICMI Study was seminal in its contributions towards defining the identity of mathematics education as an independent research domain.

I have no doubt that her intellectual legacy will far survive those of us who met her, but I care more than anything to preserve her personal legacy – a glimpse for future generations of her humanity and the ways she made an impact on those she interacted with. It was in her classes, her mentoring of graduate students and junior colleagues, her conference presentations and plenaries, and her informal conversations with students and colleagues that she set her mark. She was generous with her time and her thoughts, open-minded and curious. And she was also humble and shy, as much as she was passionate and rigorous. And she expected – demanded! – that passion and rigor from us.

I feel deeply privileged for having known her, having been mentored by her, having had the chance to hear her stories – from the difficult time in Poland, where food was scarce, to her warm, joyful memories from Syria – seeing her eyes shine when talking about her grandchildren, and watching her genuinely care for everyone around her. Anna was my academic mother, as she used to say. When I became a mother myself, I received, as we all do, advice from family, friends and even strangers. After almost eighteen years of motherhood, there’s only one piece of advice I have retained and practice almost every day, and it came from her.

Obituary for Alan Bishop

In memoriam – Obituary for Alan Bishop (1937 – 2023)
By Prof. Wee Tiong SEAH (University of Melbourne)

2015-Bishop.jpgAlan Bishop passed away comfortably in Cambridge, UK in the Northern Hemisphere autumn, closing a chapter of an illustrious research and academic career spanning over a few decades in both Cambridge University, UK and Monash University, Australia.
Alan’s research in the earlier days of his academic career was on spatial abilities and visualization. Colleagues working with him then were already able to find out how his thinking was ahead of his time. However, it was his sabbatical trip to Papua New Guinea in 1977 that was a game-changer, for it stimulated his awareness of how mathematics and mathematics education are both culturally referenced. Alan then applied his brilliance and innovative thinking to this important aspect of the discipline and pedagogy of mathematics, which popularized the research thread now commonly known as the sociocultural aspects of mathematics, including ethnomathematics and values/valuing. In his role as the second Editor-in-Chief of Educational Studies in Mathematics from 1978 to 1989, Alan was also one of the early champions of supporting non-native English-speaking mathematics education researchers in their academic publishing.
Alan has been passionate about supporting and advancing the mathematics education of young people in so-called Third World countries. Indeed, there are many colleagues in Africa and Asia whose academic journeys had been enriched by Alan when their paths crossed. Alan’s passing will certainly prompt more of us to continue with this important work empowering as many young citizens as we can with mathematics and numeracy.
His lifetime contribution and achievement in mathematics education was recognized in the later part of his career in the form of the 2015 Felix Klein Medal, awarded by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. One of his nominators for this prestigious recognition could not have been more accurate when they wrote that Alan had not only shaped the mathematics education research field over his lifetime, but over its lifetime as well.
It is good to know that Alan left us peacefully and comfortably, and we are blessed that he left us with an understanding of mathematics education that is all the richer, one which acknowledges the role and contribution of cultures (broadly understood) and of values.
A family funeral was held on December 8, and an online public memorial service will be organized for the mathematics education research community in the new year. We will have the chance to celebrate Alan’s life then, when further details will be provided. Nevertheless, it is hoped that everyone who knew him – or will now get to know him – will be motivated to reflect on and even carry on with Alan’s mission, that is, to democratize mathematics learning through raising our awareness of the political and sociocultural aspects of mathematics pedagogy.

ICMI Study 26

Latest news about the 26th ICMI Study
by Angel Gutiérrez (University of Valencia, Spain) and Thomas Lowrie (University of Canberra, Australia)

The 26th ICMI Study “Advances in geometry education” is devoted to reporting the state of the field of geometry education. The Study will analyze the advances and current challenges in the teaching and learning of geometry, from both innovation and research perspectives. The Study pays particular attention to how the landscape has changed in the past three decades, since the release of the Study Volume for ICMI Study 9 “Perspectives on the teaching of geometry for the 21st Century”. The Study is organized around four main discussion topics (theoretical perspectives, curricular and methodological approaches, resources for teaching and learning geometry, and multidisciplinary perspectives) and a diversity of subtopics within each topic.
The International Program Committee (IPC) has been working on the organization of the Study Conference throughout the year, and the Conference will take place at the Institut National Supérieur du Professorat et de l’Éducation (INSPÉ) of the University of Reims (France) from April 23 - April 26, 2024.
The process of reviewing the proposals for presentations received will have been completed by the time this newsletter is released. The IPC is now working on the organization of the program of the Conference, which will be organized around two plenary talks, two panels, and sixty paper presentations. The plenary and panel discussions will be organized around the four Study themes, while paper presentations will be organized in parallel working group sessions, based on sets of subtopics. As is the usual practice for ICMI Studies, participation in the Study Conference is by invitation only, among authors of the accepted proposals. Invitations will be sent out in the coming weeks. We expect to receive acceptances from between 80 and 100 participants. The registration will open soon and close on March 1, 2024. The IPC is excited by the quality of the manuscripts submitted for the conference and is looking forward to a lively and productive conference. All bodes well for the Conference and the forthcoming ICMI Study Series volume that will be produced post conference.

ICMI Study 24

The European Mathematical Society published an article about Mathematics curriculum reforms around the world: Report on the 24th ICMI Study by Renuka Vithal, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa and Yoshinori Shimizu University of Tsukuba, Japan, in issue 130 of the EMS magazine.


Progress update
ICME-15 is just over 6 months away. We are delighted to have received more than 2000 TSG proposals, all of which have now been reviewed. Discussion Group and Workshop proposals are open and will remain so until December 31, 2023. Details of these activities and the submission portal are available on the website.

Registration is now open. Please check the website regularly for updates. Information about accommodation options is now available and there will soon be details of an exciting range of excursions from which you can choose. These will include opportunities to explore Sydney’s vibrant culture and rich history, and to meet some of the local wildlife.

Mark your calendar and make plans to be part of ICME-15 from July 7 to 14, 2024!

Come and be counted with us! It is not too soon to register!

Early bird registration closes on February 15, 2024.

Register now.

News from CDC

News from CDC
by Ludovic Rifford, CDC Secretary for Policy

The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) is actively working to enhance funding solutions offered to fellow mathematicians in developing countries and is innovating in its communication.

Recently, the CDC has introduced a novel approach to engagement, hosting two webinars at different times to reach mathematician colleagues worldwide. These online meetings provided an opportunity to review our funding programs, introduce our new application management platform, and, most importantly, engage with our colleagues. Both of these events were highly successful, and we aim to hold them regularly in the future.

Below, you’ll find a list of all CDC funding programs. Mathematicians and mathematics educators based in developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply and check out the CDC website for further details.

Grants to Institutions

Grants for Conferences and Projects

Grants to Individuals

Graduate Scholarships

CDC grants website.jpg

News from CWM

News from the Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) of the IMU
by Carolina Araujo and Hélène Barcelo, Chair and Vice-chair of the IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics

CWM 2024 Call is now open

The CWM invites proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activities or initiatives to support women in mathematics taking place from February 2024 to February 2025.

Applications should be submitted by January 5, 2024, via the IMU dedicated webform.

They should aim at one of the following:
- Establishing or supporting networks for women in mathematics, preferably at the continental or regional level;
- Organizing research workshops geared towards establishing research networks for women in mathematics;
- Other ideas for researching and/or addressing issues encountered by women in mathematics.

This will be the only call for applications regarding activities in 2024. Successful applicants will be informed no later than February 16, 2024.

For more information, please read the call here.
Instructions on how to submit a proposal via the IMU dedicated webform can be found here.

CWM Newsletter Issue 10 - December 2023

The 10th issue of the CWM Newsletter has been released, with the following content:
- Interview with CWM member Matilde Lalín (who has just been named 2024 AWM Fellow!)
- News from CWM: CWM 2024 Call, SCGES Third Annual Report, and more.
- Other News and Announcements: 2024 AWM Awards and Prizes, and more.  
- Interview with the mathematician and illustrator Constanza Rojas-Molina about her work as cartoonist of mathematicians (by Marie-Françoise Roy).

Click here for the CWM Newsletter Issue 10 in PDF.
Subscribe to the CWM Newsletter here.

News of the IDM

News of the International Day of Mathematics (IDM)
by Christiane Rousseau, Chair of the IDM Governing Board


One of the aims of the IDM is to convey the love for mathematics to young people and the message that mathematics is everywhere and that it is useful and beautiful. Everyone is invited to celebrate, with a special invitation to teachers to celebrate in their classroom. Schools can also organize larger events.
The 2024 IDM theme is: Playing with Math

The theme is rich: it could invite participation in mathematical games, puzzles, enigmas and other entertaining activities, but also encourage “playing” with mathematics itself, exploring, experimenting, and discovering. Moreover, game theory is a subdiscipline of mathematics, with many important applications, especially in economics.
The dream is that the IDM is celebrated in every classroom around the world on a yearly basis.
A special feature of 2024 will be the school pairing program, inside the Global South Initiative founded by the Simons Foundation. The program is organized on a small scale with around 50-60 schools from Northern Latin America and the Caribbean, and from countries of North or West Africa.  Paired schools will interact in one of the four languages – Arabic, English, French or Spanish – for a period of 3-5 weeks around the IDM. Paired classes from two different countries will be proposed to explore a program of classical math games. They will also share their region's renowned games. Finally, each team of classes will be invited to create a new math game. Virtual workshops will be offered for teachers to prepare for the venture, as well as assistance during the pairing program. Feedback sessions will also be organized with the hope to extend the program in the coming years.
The recurrent features of the IDM are the following:

  • Resources (poster 2024, pins, logos in all languages, etc.) will be offered.
  • Activities to use either with the public or in the classroom are proposed in the Organize section. The new 2024 activities are:
    • An activity on tilings for kindergarden and primary school
    • An activity on the art gallery problem with two levels: one for advanced primary school and one for secondary school
    • A coming activity on mathematical games (game of Nim, Tic-Tac-Toe and generalizations,queens on chessboards)
  • A participation challenge will be announced at the beginning of 2024. And people are invited to visit the 2023 comic challenge.
  • A live coverage will take place on March 14, both on the IDM website and on social media.
  • Anyone interested is invited to subscribe to the IDM newsletter to receive all the information in the run-up to IDM 2024.

The IDM team needs your help to pass the invitation to celebrate to the local community of schoolteachers and/or to the networks of schools of your country. In particular, we are looking for IDM ambassadors in many countries: see here (Ambassadors)
Join us at!

  •  The IDM logo already exists in 40 languages and more will be added if requested.
  • Participate to the International Challenge announced beginning of January. Classroom participation is welcome.
  • Participate in the live coverage on March 14 (see the 2023 coverage as a reference) and watch the virtual ceremony.
  • Visit the IDM website and share photos or videos of your activities on social networks.
  • Subscribe to the IDM newsletter to receive all the information in the run-up to IDM 2024.

All schools around the world are invited to celebrate! Pass the word to the school networks around you!

We are here to help.
Contact: Christiane Rousseau

News from ICMI CR and and AO's

News from Venezuela

Venezuela is preparing its IDM
by Douglas Jimenez, ICMI Representative for Venezuela

Douglas Jimenez, ICMI representative of Venezuela (standing in the photo), together with Ana C. Rojas held the first organizational meeting of the IDM, in Barquisimeto, Lara State, Venezuela. Last year (as in 2020) the IDM activities radiated from Barquisimeto to the rest of the country; this year it seems that the situation is repeating itself.

Our IDM events have been scheduled for three days (in 2020, interrupted by the pandemic) and two days (last year), with the idea of involving as many people as possible. We have been the driving force of motivation towards other regions of the country.

Last year our cartoonist Freddy Jiménez (who appears seated in the photo) achieved four of the five mentions of Venezuela in the Comic Challenge. This year he made an allusive comic on our work board, see the photo.


News from South Africa (AMESA)

News from the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA)
by Dr VG Govender, ICMI Representative for South Africa

South Africa CR.jpgThe Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa was formed in June 1993, just less than a year before the first democratic elections of South Africa in April 1994. Since 1994, AMESA has had 28 National Congresses. Only in 1995, when AMESA collaborated with Physical Sciences and Biology teachers in a combined conference and 2020 during Covid-19 has there been no AMESA Congress.

In South Africa there are 9 provinces. Each province is an AMESA region. This year, regional conferences were held in 6 regions in April and May 2023. These were in the Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West regions. These regional conferences encourage teachers and academics at a local level to discuss various key mathematics teaching and learning issues and to seek solutions where possible. These regional conferences also help regions prepare for the National AMESA congress.

AMESA Congress
This year the AMESA National Congress took place at the University of Cape Town from June 26 to 30, 2023. The theme was “Mathematics for hope”. There were 1328 delegates at the Congress. Congress 2023 comprised 6 plenary sessions, regional meetings, AMESA AGM and 12 parallel sessions. There were also evening activities in the form of social functions and an afternoon excursion on June 28. The 12 parallel sessions consisted of 6 follow-up discussions with plenary speakers, 36 long papers, 11 short papers, 40 workshops, 37 “How I teach” sessions, 25 Mathematics markets and an activity center with a total of 12 activities (one activity per  parallel session).

South Africa congress.jpg

A brief look at teaching and learning across the phases of schooling in South Africa
As a follow-up to the AMESA Congress, delegates were surveyed on mathematics teaching and learning across the phases of schooling, and mathematics teacher education. Some of the teachers’ responses were:

  • In all schools teaching and learning backlogs caused by COVID-19 have been addressed. Teaching and learning are back to normal.
  • Learner performance for the first 6 months was satisfactory to good. However, some learners required extra help at schools due to lack of parental support and other social issues faced within communities.
  • Some teachers became adept at using a range of ICTs and digital resources during COVID-19 and have continued to use these resources.
  • Teachers identified a range of content areas, across the grades, where additional support is needed. This includes Fractions and Space in the primary school grades and Algebra and Euclidean Geometry in the high school grades. Teachers also requested training in ICTs and digital technologies (as applied to Mathematics teaching and learning).

Mathematics Teacher Education in South Africa 
Mathematics education academics and others are always examining ways of improving the pre-service and in-service experience of teachers. In this regard, some of the new developments in teacher education and development in South Africa are: 

  • Teaching in a post COVID classroom.
  • Teachers are being trained on 4IR-friendly ways of teaching, like the use of technology teaching tools together with accessing free online open education resources to use in teaching mathematics at all levels.
  • The impact of AI on teaching and learning.
  • The methodology in the foundation phase remains the same; teachers are encouraged to use ICTs and digital technologies.
  • Mathematical modelling is getting attention in the STEM approach.
  • More emphasis is now being placed on conceptual understanding.
  • The PrimTEd (Primary Teacher Education) project provides for the wholistic development of primary school teachers; and their materials should be used in more higher education institutions. A modified version of these materials should be used for in-service mathematics teachers.

AMESA Review of Grade 12 Mathematics related Examinations
The final school year exit level Grade 12 mathematics aligned examinations (Mathematics/Mathematical Literacy/Technical Mathematics) took place on November 3 and 6, 2023. Learners in South Africa choose Mathematics/Technical Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy from grade 10 onwards. AMESA is currently busy with a review of these grade 12 papers and has been doing so since 2009. The key issues discussed in the review include the following:
Technical aspects; Language used; Syllabus coverage; Standard of the paper; Compliance with levels of thinking (cognitive levels); Comparison to the previous year’s paper; Learners’ views on the papers, Unfair questions and Overall verdict.
Once completed, the review is included in a report which provides constructive feedback on the grade 12 papers to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa. AMESA does this in the spirit of promoting mathematics education and enhancing the quality of the teaching and learning of Mathematics related subjects in South Africa. AMESA hopes that the report and the question-by-question analyses will be useful to the examiners, moderators, and markers in its attempt to promote a high standard of mathematics education in South Africa. 

AMESA firmly believes that the DBE, School teachers, Subject Advisors, University academics and others will find the contents of this report thought-provoking and useful.

Teachers involved in the Evaluation.jpg

News from Cabo Verde

News from Cabo Verde
by João Felisberto Semedo, ICMI Representative for Cabo Verde

The Cape Verdean educational system has experienced many challenges in recent years, but there have also been many gains, especially in teacher training, with a special focus on secondary school teacher training. As in other spheres, the teaching of mathematics has been given special attention, trying to absorb modern guidelines for its improvement. The Cape Verdean educational system has a large number of secondary school teachers with various levels of training in mathematics and other areas, scattered throughout the nine inhabited islands. Several factors have hampered the professional development of these teachers. Access to continuous training has conditioned this professional development. The specific problems of the Cape Verdean reality, such as geographical dispersion, have made this difficult. Our insularity severely limits math teachers' access to training of various kinds. This difficulty is not only the result of geographical conditions and the great relative distance between the islands. The lack of a clear policy on continuous training and the consequent career progression of teachers has contributed decisively to the lack of acquiescence on their part in seeking out training courses, in some cases only for teachers who do not have adequate training or even without qualifications, as required by the system. The few initiatives that do take place are occasional and individual. The size of the country (small and dispersed) makes it obvious that the consequences of not valuing in-service training are exacerbated.

The University of Cape Verde has taken an important step by setting up a modern mathematics laboratory (LabMat). The aim is to contribute to consolidation and innovation in the initial and ongoing training of mathematics teachers, observing the basic aspects of mathematics and mathematics didactics, to the extent that the main principles of the new curriculum guidelines can be present in the professional practice of these teachers with unequivocal gains for the system.

Capo Verde.jpg

LabMat is a space for training and mathematical research, aimed at developing scientific, pedagogical and technological projects, divided into two sections: Mathematics Education and Mathematical Modeling. The Mathematics Education section provides for the diversification of mathematics teaching and learning processes, focusing on active pedagogy, based on interactive studies (with the aid of graphing calculators, computers and manipulable teaching materials) and experimental studies, through the resolution of everyday problems, which explore the applicability of mathematics (namely geometry, algebra, analysis, programming, statistics, probability and trigonometry). The Mathematical Modeling section is dedicated to scientific research projects in pure mathematics (algebraic and computational geometry, computational algebra, algebraic and computational topology, effective methods, complexity theory, demonstration assistants, etc.).

Any support in financing projects will be very important to us.


News from Iran

News from the mathematics decade in every corner of Iran
by Abolfazl Rafiepour, ICMI Representative for Iran

To popularize mathematics and make society more familiar with the application of mathematics in real life, the Iranian Mathematical Society has named the first ten days of the eighth month ("Aban") of the Iranian calendar (October 23 to November 1) every year as "Mathematics Decade". The history of this name goes back to 2003. In that year, at the suggestion of Dr Mehdi Behzad, the president of the Iranian Mathematical Society, the first ten days of "Aban" (Name of the eighth month in Iran) every year were named as the decade of mathematics. In these ten days, all institutions related to mathematics throughout the country implement various programs. Some of these programs in 2023 are mentioned below.

  • Iranian Teacher of Mathematics Association organized a national webinar for teachers of mathematics entitled "Trilogy of school mathematics, university mathematics and useful mathematics!". In that webinar Professor Zahra Gooya, a mathematics educator (former member of the ICMI and PME Executive Committees) presented useful idea about future mathematics education. The number of participants at this webinar was 200 teachers from all over the country.

Bildschirmfoto 2023-12-11 um 14.50.16.jpg

  • Isfahan Mathematics House prepared several events for the 2023 mathematics decade. Isfahan Mathematics House, which is in the center of the country (geographically), was established in 1998 with the aim of popularizing mathematics as the first center of this type at Iran. One of the events that was planned for the mathematics decade in 2023 was happy math day, where students, teachers and families were introduced to mathematical activities, games, and experiments at Isfahan Mathematics House.
    Iran 2.jpg

  • Mahani Mathematics Research Institute (Afzalipour Research Institute) with cooperation of Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman (southeast of Iran) planned a roundtable entitled "What we should know about basic sciences" on the mathematics decade. In that roundtable, professors and students of Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman shared their ideas about the need to pay more attention to basic sciences and especially the important role of mathematics in STEM education.

Iran 3.jpg

  • Persian Gulf University, at Bushehr (south of the country) on the mathematics decade, organized a one-day conference and ceremony. At that afternoon ceremony, which was held virtually, Dr Yahya Tabesh spoke about "Mathematics, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence: Future, Opportunities and Challenges".
    Iran 4.jpg

  • Dr Rahim Zare Nahandi's (emeritus professor) speech was held at University of Tehran (capital city of Iran) and titled "Surprises of several mathematical constants: pi, e and Euler's constant".


News from Serbia

DMS – the Serbian Mathematical Society
by Prof. Aleksandar Lipkovski, ICMI Representative for Serbia

Although the organized Serbian state in the Balkan peninsula dates from the early middle ages (7th-10th century) with the rise of the medieval Serbian Empire in the 11th-14th century, it fell under Ottoman rule after the battle at Kosovo polje (Blackbird field) in 1389, and the history of modern higher education, including the teaching of mathematics, began in Serbia only in 1804, after the First Serbian uprising in the Ottoman Empire. Inevitably, with it the teaching of mathematics started.

There were not many learned Serbs at that time, and the first math teachers were people who came to the independent Serbian state from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The first mathematical book written in modern Serbian language was “Čislenica“ – “Arithmetic” by Jovan Došenović in 1809, printed in Buda (Fig.1). It was used as textbook in the first Great School in Serbia, founded in 1807. The school reopened in 1839 as the Lyceum, and the first math professors were Atanasije Nikolić (1803-1882, who studied in Győr and Vienna and was the author of the first high school textbooks in Serbian language “Algebra” and “Elementary Geometry”), and Emilijan Josimović (1823-1897, who studied in Vienna). The Lyceum was transformed into the Great School in 1863.


The founder of mathematics as a scientific subject in Serbia was Dimitrije Nešić (1836-1904, who studied at Polytechnics in Vienna and in Karlsruhe), professor of mathematics at the Great School (Fig.2). The second generation of mathematicians, Nešić's successors, were Bogdan Gavrilović (1864-1947, who obtained a doctoral degree in mathematics in Budapest) and Mihailo Petrović Alas (1868- 1943, who obtained a doctoral degree in mathematics in Paris). Both were professors at the Great School and after its transformation into a University in 1905, both became university professors. Under their guidance between the two wars (1918-1941) Belgrade mathematical school started to grow and flourish.

After the Second World War, in 1948, Tadija Pejović (1892-1982), professor of mathematics at the University of Belgrade, a former PhD student of Petrović (Fig.3), founded a society of all mathematicians in Serbia, including not only the university and scientific staff, but also all school math teachers. It was meant to be a supporting society to all mathematicians, wherever they had worked. Pejović was its first president, from 1948 until 1952. The official founding date of „Društvo matematičara Srbije“ (DMS for short) or Serbian Mathematical Society is March 1, 1948.

Within the first years of its existence, the Society achieved many of its primary goals: spreading the organization through the whole of Serbia; supporting and guiding the foundation of Union of similar societies from other Yugoslavian republics; editing three permanent journals „Vesnik“ (scientific journal), „Nastava“ (supporting journal for school teachers) and „List“ (popular journal for school pupils) and other editorial activities; organizing Yugoslavian Congresses of Mathematicians; regularly organizing scientific and professional meetings; starting regular work with talented pupils at the elementary and high school levels. Most of these goals are pursued without interruption until today. Unlike most other mathematical societies in many countries, the Serbian Mathematical Society gathers together school math teachers, university math professors and math scientists.

The DMS is a member of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) where it participates also in the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), the European Mathematical Union (EMU), and the Mathematical Society of South-East Europe (MASSEE).

The first Yugoslav Mathematical Congress was organized in 1949 by the DMS in cooperation with other republic’s math societies. The last congress organized in such way was the 11th Congress (1995, Petrovac, Montenegro). Since then, as its successor, the Serbian Mathematical Congresses are organized by DMS, following the same numbering scheme: from 12th (2008, Novi Sad) to the upcoming 15th (2024, Belgrade, see here).

The Society started to organize mathematical competitions for high school students in 1958, and the first Serbian Olympiad in 1959. The first State Olympiad was organized in 1960. The Yugoslavian team (from 2006 the Serbian team as its successor) took part in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) continuously from 1963 to 1992 and from 1995 until the present. The IMO took place in Yugoslavia twice: the IX IMO in Cetinje in 1967, and the XIX IMO in Belgrade in 1977. Both times, the number of contestants increased greatly. For the first time, Western European countries (Great Britain, France, Italy and Sweden) participated in the IX IMO, and in the XIX IMO there were the first non-European participants: Algeria and Brazil. The Yugoslavian team (from 2006 the Serbian team as its successor) has also taken part in the Balkan Mathematical Olympiad from 1987 until today. The DMS has been the organizer of BMOs in Novi Sad in 1994 and in Belgrade in 2001.
The Society started with mathematical competitions for elementary school pupils in 1967. The first Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (JBMO) was organized in Belgrade in 1997. The competitions in informatics started in 1988. The Yugoslavian team (from 2006 the Serbian team as its successor) takes part in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), the Balkan Olympiad in Informatics (BOI) and the Central European Olympiad in Informatics (CEOI). The DMS organized BOI in 2002 in Belgrade.

In January each year, the DMS organizes the State Seminar on the Teaching of Mathematics in the elementary school, high school and university levels. It is an event of utmost importance for school math teachers in the whole country.


News from Israel

News from Israel: Mathematics Education in the Shadow of War
By Boris Koichu, ICMI Representative for Israel

The goal of this communication is to suggest a brief look into the current realities of mathematics education in Israel, a look that can hopefully serve as a point of reference for deepening our reflections as an international community on the role and purpose of mathematics education in times of deep crises, and on how practitioners and researchers can resort to their expertise in order to contribute to overcoming them.

Mathematics education in Israel operates in the following context. On October 7, the terrorist organization Hamas launched a brutal attack on Israel. This act has led to a war against Hamas and to escalation on the Lebanon-Israel border. In a small country of 470 km at its longest and 135 km at its widest, there is not a single Israeli citizen – Jew, Arab or other – who has not been terribly affected by the situation. Many people regard it as the most severe challenge to the existence of Israel since its establishment in 1948. In addition, Israelis of all ethnicities are deeply distressed by the cost in life, health, and property to the civilian population in Gaza caused by the war. Within Israel, more than two hundred thousand Israelis who live in proximity to the Gaza-Israel and the Lebanon-Israel borders have been displaced from their homes and resettled in the safer parts of the country. More than three hundred thousand men and women have been drafted. Schools and universities are partially open, and missile-alert sirens send people to bomb shelters at least once or twice a day in many municipalities. Almost every Israeli citizen is mourning the abduction or death of a family member, friend, friend of a friend, colleague, or former student.
Testimony of how the war has affected scientists and science in Israel, in Gaza and in the West Bank has already been published in Nature News (Nature news team and freelance reporters, November 16, 2023). We now focus on mathematics education in Israel, while realizing, with sadness, that mathematics education in Gaza has stopped operating entirely due to the severity of the humanitarian situation.

Overall, the war has drastically increased the gaps between municipalities and schools. Accordingly, mathematics curricula are being revisited so that many topics that traditionally have been compulsory in the national exams, are now optional. All professional development programs funded by the Ministry of Education have been suspended, and the Ministry issues weekly guidelines for teachers. Testimony of Menucha Farber, a mathematics teacher at Himmelfarb High School in Jerusalem and a Ph.D. student at Weizmann Institute of Science, enables us to zoom in to the realities of schools. Three of Menucha’s family members (her husband and two of her sons) have been drafted to serve in the army, as well as 17 fellow teachers from her school. She has recently attended five funerals of the school’s graduates and constantly worries about a former student who is among the hostages. However, she feels a strong need to remain positive and to create some sort of stabilizing learning routine for her students. The school has taken in 25 students who were relocated from the south and the north of the country. Due to various wartime constraints, the overall number of teaching hours in the school has been reduced by about 20%, and Menucha feels compelled to forfeit teaching what she likes most – “special mathematical activities” – while attempting to attend to the diverse learning and emotional needs of her students.

Conversations with many colleagues and teachers suggest that years of experience have provided mathematics educators with tools, resourcefulness, and insights to undertake actions, such us:
-       Working hard to maintain “normal” teaching (either face to face or online) with an atmosphere of emotional support.
-       Volunteering to teach in improvised settings for displaced students.
-       Widely disseminating digital mathematics education resources at no cost.
-       Providing online professional development encounters that are supported by internal funding from the universities and philanthropic foundations.
-       Creating forums for discussion among colleagues and graduate students who have come to question the importance of their research, which seems insignificant compared to what is happening around them, and considering possible ways to redirect the work towards what feels more vital under the circumstances.
In these difficult times, Israeli mathematics educators of different ethnicities are committed to promoting education as a vessel for compassion and empathy rather than intolerance and hatred.

Nature news team and freelance reporters (2023). The Israel–Hamas conflict: Voices from scientists on the front lines. Nature News (Nov 16). 

Report from the ICTMA21

Report from the ICTMA21 Conference in Awaji, Japan
by Toshikazu Ikeda, Akihiko Saeki, Chair and co-chair of ICTMA21 and Gabriele Kaiser, Vince Geiger, past and current president of ICTMA

The 21st International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematical Modelling and Applications (ICTMA21) was successfully organized by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Japan. It was chaired by Prof. Toshikazu Ikeda and vice-chaired by Prof. Akihiko Saeki and Prof. Keiichi Nishimura. The conference took place in person from September 10 to 15, 2023. It adhered to the theme 'Collaboration in Mathematical Modelling Education,' emphasizing the significance of collaboration among students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals.

Based on the feedback received from the participants, the organizers confidently conclude that the conference was a resounding success. For the first time, an Early Career Researcher Day was incorporated into the ICTMA meeting. It featured lectures by Prof. Gabriele Kaiser, Assoc. Prof. Şerife Sevinç, and Assoc. Prof. Gloria Stillman. The scientific program included a joint keynote speech by Prof. Merrilyn Goos and Prof. Susana Carreira titled 'Conceptualising the Relationship Between Mathematical Modelling and Interdisciplinary STEM Education,' three plenary lectures: Prof. Gilbert Greefrath's 'Teacher Education and Mathematical Modelling: Pre-service Teachers’ Professional Competence for the Teaching of Mathematical Modelling,' Prof. Jennifer A. Czocher's 'In Their Own Words: Explanations of STEM Students’ Reasoning During Mathematical Modelling,' and Prof. Yoshinori Shimizu's 'Lesson Study and Its Relations to Mathematical Modelling.' A plenary panel discussion took place led by Prof. Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck (Chair), Prof. Jinfa Cai, Prof. Gabriele Kaiser, and Prof. Roza Leikin on the topic of 'Relations Among Problem Solving/Posing, Creativity, and Mathematical Modelling.' Additionally, a special lecture on the international modelling competition titled ‘IMMC: Celebrating 10 Years of Influencing Educational Change’ was delivered by Prof. Benjamin Galluzzo and Alfred Cheung.

Group Photo of all ICTMA21 Participants.jpg
The opening ceremony took place on September 10. Prof. Toshikazu Ikeda, the Chair of the Local Committee, along with Prof. Gabriele Kaiser, President of ICTMA, and Prof. Yoshinori Shimizu, President of the Japan Society for Mathematics Education (JSME), delivered welcoming remarks. The ceremony concluded with a performance of the traditional Japanese musical art form, known as the Koto. During the evenings of Monday and Tuesday, participants gathered for a happy hour. This provided an opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures to share their experiences and strengthen their relationships. On Thursday, two types of excursions to Kyoto and Himeji Castle were organized.

Thursday featured the general meeting, during which Prof. Vince Geiger was nominated and confirmed as the new President of ICTMA following Prof. Gabriele Kaiser. Additionally, Prof. Gilbert Greefrath and Prof. Milton Rosa were appointed as international executive members. Prof. Gabriele Kaiser was confirmed as co-opted member as well as Dr. Rina Durandt and Prof. Angeles Dominguez. The revised constitution of ICTMA was discussed and approved through a vote.
The conference dinner featured a captivating performance of the traditional Japanese Taiko drumming, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the attendees.

ICTMA EC.jpgPresident and members of the international executive committee:
Toshikazu Ikeda, Angeles Dominguez, Vince Geiger (President), Gabriele Kaiser, Gilbert Greefrath, Jennifer Czocher, Milton Rosa
(not on the photo: Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck, Rina Durandt, Hans-Stefan Siller)

The ICTMA Career Research medal named The Henry Pollak Award established at ICTMA18 in 2017 in Stellenbosch has been awarded for the second time in 2023. The award of this medal reflects ICTMA's pride in an ICTMA member's outstanding research in mathematical modelling education. The ceremony took place at the closing ceremony at the ICTMA21 conference in Japan. The Henry Pollak Award has been awarded to Prof. Dr. Gloria Ann Stillman on the grounds of her impressive contribution and engagement to mathematical modelling and the ICTMA community.

ICTMA Awardee Gloria Stillman.jpgHenry Pollak Award Ceremony
Left: Gabriele Kaiser (Previous President)
Right: Gloria Stillman (Henry Pollak Awardee)


During the closing ceremony, Professor Toshikazu Ikeda, the Local Committee Chair, and Prof. Gabriele Kaiser, President of ICTMA, expressed their gratitude to all participants. Prof. Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck and Prof. Peter Frejd announced that the next ICTMA22 will be held in Sweden. The ceremony concluded with another enchanting performance of the traditional Japanese musical art form, the Koto.

The conference featured a total of 107 accepted long/short presentations and poster sessions, with a total of 216 registered participants, making it one of the largest ICTMA conferences ever held.

Submissions by country/area
Submissions by country_area.jpg

Participants by country/area

Participants by country_area.jpg

Invitation to ICHME-8

The Eighth International Conference on the History of Mathematics Education" (ICHME-8), September 16-20, 2024
by Karolina Karpińska, ICHME-8 Organizing Committee

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Eighth International Conference on the History of Mathematics Education, which will be held in-person at L.&A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw (Poland).
The thematic scope of ICHME-8 includes, among others:
• Methodology of research in the History of Mathematics Education
• Transmission and reception of new educational ideas in Mathematics Education
• The History of Mathematics Education and the History of Mathematics: Connections and mutual influences
• Actors and Contributors in Mathematics Education
• Development of Mathematics Education in specific countries
• Development and changes in mathematical content within a curriculum and in the form of its presentation
• Mathematics Education of groups historically underserved in education
• Mathematics teacher education
• Mathematics textbooks and other educational resources
• Reforms in Mathematics Education
Abstract Submission Guidelines
* only one submission per participant is allowed,
* the submission must include the title of the presentation and abstract with selected bibliography,
* the abstract with the selected bibliography should contain a total of max. 500 words,
* the abstract must include an explanation of why the proposed presentation constitutes a significant contribution to research on the history of mathematics education,
* the submission (in English) should be sent as a Microsoft Word document to the following e-mail address:
There will be three forms of active participation in the conference: long presentations (40 min.), short presentations (20 min.) and posters. The review process will determine in which activity a given submission will be presented. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2024.
Abstract Submission: February15, 2024
Early Bird Registration: April 1 – May 15, 2024
Standard Registration: May 16 – July 31, 2024
Conference Dates: September 16-20, 2024
Final Paper Submission: December 31, 2024
Proceedings Publication (peer-reviewed): third quarter 2025
Registration should be completed between April 1 and July 31, 2024 via the ICHME-8 website (under construction).
The conference fee will be announced later.


Conferences to come

13th International Mathematical Creativity and Giftedness Conference (MCG13)
organized by the International Group for Mathematical Creativity and Giftedness (MCG), an ICMI affiliate thematic organization
Dates: February 20 to 23, 2024
Location: Central University of Technology – Free State SOUTH AFRICA

4th Conference of the Association of African Didacticians of Mathematics (ADiMA-4)
Dates: May 20 to 24, 2024.
Location: Mohammed 6 Polytechnic University - University Ben Guérir (Morocco)
Theme: Teaching mathematics for/through STEM education: challenges and opportunities.

PME 47
Annual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 
Dates: July 17 to July 21, 2024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Theme: “Rethinking mathematics education together.”

HPM Satellite ICME meeting
Dates: July 1-5, 2024
Location: Kensington campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney

Dates: July 7 to July 14, 2024
Location: Sydney, Australia


Happy 2024

As this year comes to an end, we would like to wish you and your families a joyous new year full of happiness and peace.
We hope that 2024 will bring you success and satisfaction in your professional lives.
We are looking forward meeting many of you at ICME-15 or one of the many other mathematics education activities around the world in 2024!