[ICMI-News] ICMI News 12: October 2009

J Carvalho e Silva jaimecs at mat.uc.pt
Sat Jan 2 04:20:28 CET 2010

ICMI News 12: October 2009

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the 
ICMI-International Commission on Mathematical 
Editor: Jaime Carvalho e Silva, Dep. Matematica, 
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal


1. Editorial: ICMI Reflected in Russian Mathematical education
2. International Congress of Mathematicians - 2010
3. New and recent NISS volumes
4. MILLENNIUM YOUTH CAMP - International science camp for the young people
5. Proceedings of the Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI
6. New international journal
7. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community
8. ICMI encounters: Heinrich Bauersfeld by Paul Cobb
9. Subscribing to ICMI News


1.  Editorial: ICMI Reflected in Russian Mathematical education

Education is a relatively slow changing system, 
experiments over it are costly and the results 
are usually controversial. So, observations, 
first-hand evaluations and open discussion of the 
decisions and outcomes in other countries are the 
way, effective and reliable enough, to make our 
own decisions. In this way we can see (and 
foresee) that there are many choices and not only 
one being right. I believe that this more then 
justifies the international cooperation in the 
field of mathematical education and explains why 
the International Commission on Mathematical 
Instruction lives energetic and productive life 
in its eleventh decade.
We had more evidence for this in Sankt Petersburg 
this September. Besides a meeting of our EC there 
we had an international seminar at the Euler 
Institute where the issues of Russian national 
math education at pre-university level were 
discussed in the international perspective.
Over the last decade Russian education, and, even 
more specifically, mathematical education is in 
the process of radical transformations. The 
transformations are induced by the authorities of 
the country and generated from inside.
The mostly discussed change in general education 
is the so called Single (or Unified) State 
Examination. Before XXI century the math exam 
(after 11-th grade) was organized as a set of 5 
to 8 problems from simple to medium difficulty. 
These problems were traditionally of pure 
mathematical matter (solving equations, 
calculating of geometrical values of a 
configuration, etc.). At the same time entrance 
examinations were conducted also by every 
university with engineering or science programs. 
So, high school graduates were obliged to pass 
two exams, the second one was pretty tough at 
some universities. One of the negative trends in 
the examinations was the "narrowing" in the sense 
that the examination problems were becoming more 
and more specially designed 'exam-problems'. In 
the Single State Examination this trend was 
negatively combined with the exam structure: up 
to 30 problems, most of which were 
multiple-choice. The implementation was far from 
perfect and suffered from corruption of different 
kinds. The essential cause of it was the common 
interest of all participants to produce better 
examination marks. So, we started a 
'counter-reform' of the Single Examination and 
succeeded! The President of Russia established an 
ad hoc commission (where different groups 
participated). My position in the Commission was 
supported by the Rector of Moscow State 
University Prof. Sadovnichy. Eventually the 
changes were supported by President Medvedev and 
by the Ministry of Education and Science. Now, 
the exam of 2010 will be broader its basic part 
is understandable for everybody, it includes 
applications, etc. And the international context 
was important for us.
Another novelty in our country is the new Federal 
Standard for primary school. We included more 
visual discrete math, more counting, 
manipulation, and mathematical games, more 
connections and investigations. This is a result 
of our more then 20 years work in hundreds of 
schools in the country. I shared this vision in 
the ICMI events and the reaction was productive 
for us.
We believe that our experience can be valuable 
for other educational communities and appreciate 
any reaction and sharing experience from our 
colleagues in other countries.

In this article I would like to thank all the 
members of EC for activities so important for my 
country, for the pleasure of human communication 
and understanding, and also for the support of EC 
and our President Michèle Artigue. This resulted 
in the decision of UNESCO Director General Irina 
Bokova to designate me as a laureate of the 2009 
UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for 
the Use of Information and Communication 
Technologies in Education 

Alexei Semenov, Rector of Moscow Institute of 
Open Education, Member-at-large, ICMI-EC, 
alsemenov at umail.ru


2. International Congress of Mathematicians - 2010

India is to host the International Congress 
(ICM-2010) of the IMU-International Mathematical 
Union for the year 2010. The congress will take 
place in the city of Hyderabad during August 

Mathematics is the language of science and India 
is proud to have coined one of the most important 
words of its lexicon - "zero" - in the distant 
past; and we have a long tradition of pursuit of 
mathematics. India joined the IMU soon after it 
was revived after the second world war. The 
Indian mathematical community feels greatly 
honoured that the IMU has accepted our bid to 
hold the ICM 2010 in India, thereby extending 
recognition to our efforts at promoting 
mathematics. We look forward to welcoming our 
colleagues from all over the world in Hyderabad, 
the venue of the Congress and expect to learn a 
great deal that is new. The Congress will be of 
great help to us to raise the level of public 
awareness about mathematics in our country.

India has been a professional destination for 
many mathematicians over the last 75 years and 
more. Many British academics had come to India to 
teach mathematics in our colleges during the 
colonial period. W H Young, the British analyst 
accepted a part-time chair, the Hardinge 
Professorship of Pure Mathematics in Calcutta 
University which he held from 1913 to 1917. Andre 
Weil spent two years at an Indian university as a 
professor during 1930 - 32.

R A Fisher spent several extended periods of time 
at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata 
(ISI), his first visit dating back to 1937.  ISI 
also hosted visits by Norber Wiener and A N 
Kolmogorov. Many other distinguished 
mathematicians, mainly probabilists from the 
erstwhile Soviet block visited ISI during the 
cold war years. In later years, after that 
institution set up branches in Delhi and 
Bangalore, also at the same time broadening its 
areas of research, it has had a string of 
visitors, many of them big names in mathematics.

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research 
(TIFR), Mumbai, too had a regular stream of 
visitors almost from its inception in 1945, many 
of them  spending extended periods of time in 
Mumbai. Carl Ludwig Siegel and Laurent Schwartz 
made several visits each of a duration of two 
months and more during the fifties and sixties. 
Armand  Borel and David Mumford made several 
visits to TIFR during the sixties and seventies 
(and later). The visitors' list to TIFR includes 
several Fields Medalists and other renowned 
mathematicians. The International Colloquiua held 
once in every four years by TIFR have been an 
important forum for international exchange at the 
highest level.

To mention a few more distinguished visitors who 
spent extended periods of time in TIFR during the 
fifties and sixties: H Rademacher, H Mass, 
Eichler, J L Lions,  K Yosida, B Malgrange, F 
Bruhat, J P Kahane, M Deuring, G de Rham, K Ito, 
G D Mostow, R Bott, R Langlands....... Many 
others have come on shorter visits mainly to 
participate in conferences: A Selberg, H Grauert, 
R Thom, A Grothendieck,  M F Atiyah, L Hormander, 
J Milnor, I Pjatetskii-Shapiro, J P Serre, H 
Furstenberg, G A Margulis, D Kazdan .....These 
visits were of course of great help to us in 
building mathematics in the country.

Hyderabad the venue of the Congress is home to 
several IT companies and rivals Bangalore as an 
IT hub in the country. The city is well 
connected, with many airlines flying to and from 
it. It was founded in the 15th century and is 
steeped in history. It is also famous for its 
cuisine. India of course has a lot to offer by 
way of tourism catering to a wide range of 
interests: wild life, scenic splendour, 
historical monuments, art and music, great food 
and sports as well.

On behalf of the Indian mathematical community I 
would like to urge mathematicians from all over 
the world to participate in ICM 2010 and help us 
make it a great success.
For more information: http://www.icm2010.org.in/

M.S. Raghunathan, Chairman of the organizing committee


3. New and recent NISS volumes

I am pleased to inform you that the Study Volume 
resulting from the 17th ICMI Study has just 
appeared in the New ICMI Study Series (NISS) 
published by Springer:

Celia Hoyles and Jean-Baptiste Lagrange (Eds.)
"Mathematics Education and Technology - 
Rethinking the Terrain: The 17th ICMI Study."
New ICMI Study Series, Vol. 13
Springer, 2010, XIV, 494 p., 50 illus., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4419-0145-3

Information about the book can be found on the 
NISS webpage, inside Springer website:

You are reminded that the Study Volumes resulting 
from the 15th and 16th ICMI Studies have appeared 
by the end of 2008, also in the NISS series:

-- Ruhama Even and Deborah Loewenberg Ball (Eds.)
"The Professional Education and Development of 
Teachers of Mathematics: The 15th ICMI Study."
New ICMI Study Series, Vol. 11
Springer, 2009, XII, 280 p., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-387-09600-1

-- Edward J. Barbeau and Peter J. Taylor (Eds.)
"Challenging Mathematics In and Beyond the Classroom: The 16th ICMI Study."
New ICMI Study Series, Vol. 12
Springer, 2009, XIII, 337 p., 5 illus., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-387-09602-5


In order to obtain the society discount granted 
to ICMI, the appropriate "SpringerToken" must be 
entered during the online ordering process 
through the Springer NISS website.

Please visit the ICMI website  http://www.mathunion.org/ICMI/  under

                                       Useful Links  >  NISS Volumes Discount

for instructions on how to obtain the ICMI discount.

Bernard R. Hodgson, Secretary-General of ICMI, bhodgson at mat.ulaval.ca


4.  MILLENNIUM YOUTH CAMP - International science camp for the young people

MILLENNIUM YOUTH CAMP - International science 
camp for the young people, HELSINKI, FINLAND

The targets of the Camp are to network young 
people from all over the world together and with 
top Finnish scientists and Finnish business life 
and to increase the awareness of the Millennium 
Technology Prize.

The participants will be 30 young students, 16 to 
19-year-old, keen on natural sciences, 
mathematics and technology.
The participants will be selected and thus 
invited on the grounds of their application. 
Please, find the application form on the 
websites. The Camp is free of charge, including 
also travelling, accommodation and dining.

Themes of the camp
Environmental science and technology (climate 
change, renewable natural resources, renewable 
energy, water), information and communication 
technology, and digitalization, applied 

National LUMA Centre, Technology Academy 
Foundation, Ministry of Education and The Centre 
for School Clubs, in cooperation with e.g. 
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, National 
Board of Education, University of Helsinki, 
Helsinki University of Technology, Finnish 
Industry and many other organizations.

More information and the application form on the 
webpage of Technology Academy Foundation:

Juha Oikkonen, Juha.Oikkonen at helsinki.fi


5. Proceedings of the Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI


The First Century of the International Commission 
on Mathematical Instruction (1908-2008).
Reflecting and Shaping the World of Mathematics Education

Edited by
M. Menghini, F. Furinghetti, L. Giacardi, F. Arzarello

HYMAN BASS, Moments of the life of ICMI
JEREMY KILPATRICK, The development of mathematics 
education as an academic field - Reaction by JEAN 
rigor in mathematics education - Reaction by ALDO 
MOGENS NISS, Perspectives on the balance between 
application & modelling and "pure" mathematics in 
the teaching and learning of mathematics - 
Reaction by TOSHI IKEDA
JO BOALER, The relationship between research and 
practice in mathematics education: International 
examples of good practice - Reaction by JOAO DA 
GERT SCHUBRING, The origins and early incarnations of ICMI
emergence of new issues in mathematics education
BIENVENIDO NEBRES, Centres and peripheries in 
mathematics education - Reaction by GELSA KNIJNIK
Panel on ICMI's challenges and future: MORTEN BLOMHØJ; MAMOKGETHI SETATI
MICHÈLE ARTIGUE, ICMI: One century at the 
interface between mathematics and mathematics 
education - Reflections and perspectives
BERNARD R. HODGSON, Some views on ICMI at the dawn of its second century

Short Talks (Coordinators Alan Bishop and Lee Peng Yee)
EILEEN F. DONOGHUE - The inception of ICMI: David 
Eugene Smith and the founding of ICTM; ALAN 
BISHOP - The past four decades: consolidation and 
diversification; DEREK HOLTON -  The process of 
an ICMI Study: The teaching and learning of 
mathematics at university level; FREDERICK K.S. 
LEUNG - The significance of the ICMI Study on 
mathematics education in East Asia and the West; 
UBIRATAN D'AMBROSIO - ICMI and its influence in 
Latin America; JILL ADLER - The development of 
AFRICME; CLAUDI ALSINA - What is the impact of 
hosting an ICME for the organizing country? - The 
case of ICME8 in Spain; LIM-TEO SUAT KHOH - ICMI 
Activities in East and Southeast Asia:  Thirty 
years of academic discourse and deliberations

Working Groups - Reports
mathematics and school mathematics; DEBORAH BALL 
& BARBRO GREVHOLM: The professional formation of 
Mathematics education and society; MARCELO BORBA 
technology throughout the history of ICMI; GILAH 
LEDER & LUIS RADFORD: Mathematics education: An 
ICMI perspective.

The proceedings of the Symposium held on the 
occasion of the Centennial of ICMI in Rome, from 
March 5th to March 8th, 2008, are now being 
The price of the volume comes to 60 Euros (about 
90 USD) shipping fees included.

Participants of ICME's and of conferences of the 
affiliated groups of ICMI, in the period 2004 - 
2008, may enjoy a special 33 % reduction.

To receive the volume, we ask that you send in the following request:

#  I would like to receive a copy of the volume:
#  The First Century of the International 
Commission on Mathematical Instruction 
#  Reflecting and Shaping the World of Mathematics Education
#  *	at the price of 40 Euros, shipping and 
handling included; I was a participant of
the period 2004 - 2008
#  *	at the price of 60 Euros, shipping and handling included
#  Please send the volume to the following address:
#  I will be paying by:
#  *	Credit Card
#  Amount to Charge:			           Type of Card: __
#  Name on Card: __				Card Number:  __
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Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana
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The request may be sent to
By Mail:		Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana
			Ufficio Vendita Diretta
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By Email:  		venditadiretta at treccani.it

By fax:		+39 06 68982294

For all other information, please use the above addresses.
The request form is also available at the Symposium's website:


6. New international journal

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 
first issue of the International Journal for 
Studies in Mathematics Education.

The International Journal for Studies in 
Mathematics Education (JIEEM) aims to stimulate 
reflection on mathematics education at all 
levels: to generate productive discussion; to 
encourage enquiry and research; to promote 
criticism and evaluation of ideas and procedures 
current in the field.
It is intended for the mathematics educator who 
is aware that the learning and teaching of 
mathematics are complex enterprises about which 
much remains to be revealed and understood.
It reflects both the variety of research concerns 
within the field and the range of methods used to 
study them. We accept for submission articles in 
Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.

The journal emphasizes high-level articles that 
go beyond local or national interest.
This journal is a semi-annual and peer-reviewed 
professional academic research journal.
The first number is on line at 

Janete Bolite Frant jfrant at uniban.br
Alessandro Ribeiro alessandro.ribeiro at uniban.br


7. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community

The 15th International Seminar of Mathematics Education on
Talented Children and Creativity Development
Woosuk Univ., Samrye, Korea, February 19-20, 2010
foreign participants, contact Prof. Young H. Choe <ksme_ser_d at yahoo.co.kr>

Thirteenth Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education
Marriott Raleigh City Center - Raleigh, North 
Carolina, USA, February 25-28, 2010

International Consortium for Research in Science 
and Mathematics Education - 2010 Consultation
BlueBay Los Angeles Locos Hotel, La Manzanilla, Mexico, March 9-12, 2010

Educational Interfaces between Mathematics and Industry (EIMI)
Lisboa, Portugal, April 19-23, 2010

ICOTS8: 8th International Conference on Teaching Statistics
Data and context in statistics education: towards an evidence-based society
Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 11-16, 2010

5th International Conference on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education
Singapore Management University, Singapore, July 13-17, 2010
org: Eileen Tan (origamiwolf at gmail.com), Patsy 
Wang-Iverson (pwangiverson at gmail.com)

Vienna, Austria, July 19-23, 2010

EARCOME5 - The Fifth East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education
Tokyo, Japan, August 18-22, 2010

Palermo, Italy, August 18-25, 2010

International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)
Hyderabad, India, August 19-27, 2010

epiSTEME - 4:  Fourth international conference to 
review research on Science, TEchnology and 
Mathematics Education
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), 
Mumbai, India, January 5-9, 2011

CERME 2011 - Conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics
Rzeszow, Poland, February 9-13, 2011

ICTMT10 - 10th International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching
University of Portsmouth, July 5-8, 2011


8. ICMI encounters: Heinrich Bauersfeld by Paul Cobb

Heinrich Bauersfeld

In 1986, I was invited to attend and make a 
presentation at the Gordon Research Conference on 
Cybernetics.  The Conference was held at a small 
college in New Hampshire during the summer when 
the students were absent.  All participants were 
required to share a room and to eat together in a 
common dinning room in order to foster sustained 
dialogue.  As a beginning researcher who had 
completed his doctorate three years previously, I 
was both surprised and intimidated to find that I 
was assigned to share a room with Heinrich 
Bauersfeld.  I knew Bauersfeld by reputation as a 
primary intellectual leader of mathematics 
education as an emerging field of research.  I 
had also read several of his papers and had been 
impressed by the depth of his thinking, 
particularly the distinction he drew between the 
intended curriculum, the implemented curriculum, 
and the attained curriculum.

Heinrich exercised his considerable natural charm 
to put my initial concerns to rest.  In doing so, 
he engaged me in discussions of a wide range of 
topics that included baroque music and fourteenth 
century European art as well as issues in 
mathematics education.  I was appreciative of his 
generosity of spirit and fascinated by the scope 
of his knowledge about a seemingly endless range 
of issues.  During these conversations, I first 
learned about the analyses that Heinrich and his 
colleagues Gotz Krummheuer and Jorg Voigt were 
conducting of mathematics classrooms from a 
strong social perspective.  At that time, 
mathematics education research in the US 
typically drew almost exclusively on cognitive 
and developmental psychology as a source of 
theoretical ideas.  Viewed against this 
background, the work that Heinrich and his 
associates were conducting was path breaking.

This encounter played an important role in my 
development as a mathematics education 
researcher.  Shortly after the Conference, 
Heinrich sent me one of his papers that had been 
published in Educational Studies in Mathematics 
in 1980 titled "Hidden Dimensions in the 
So-called Reality of a Mathematics Classroom". 
In this paper, he described and illustrated an 
approach for analyzing classroom interaction 
patterns in terms of the largely implicit 
obligations that the teacher and students attempt 
to fulfill in particular situations, and the 
expectations that they have for each other's 
activity.  It was readily apparent this approach 
had (and continues to have) considerable 
explanatory power.  As a consequence, my 
colleagues Erna Yackel, Terry Wood, and I worked 
to develop a social perspective on the classrooms 
in which we were conducting teaching experiments 
by building directly on the theoretical 
constructs that Heinrich had developed.

The ongoing exchange between our two research 
groups eventually led to a three-year 
collaboration that was funded by the Spencer 
Foundation.  The explicit goal of this 
collaboration was to formulate an approach for 
integrating social and cognitive perspectives on 
mathematical learning.  To this end, we met for a 
week approximately every nine months to try and 
hammer out theoretical constructs.  The 
discussions during these meetings typically 
continued for several hours and proved to be both 
provocative and stimulating.  We eventually 
concluded that it was not possible to develop a 
single, overarching set of constructs and instead 
attempted to achieve the more modest goal of 
developing a way of coordinating social and 
cognitive perspectives on mathematical learning. 
This collaboration resulted in a book that 
Heinrich and I co-edited that was published in 
1995 and was titled "Emergence of Mathematical 
Meaning: Interaction in Classroom Cultures."  The 
collaboration was particularly valuable to my 
colleagues and I as it gave us access to ideas of 
symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology. 
These ideas proved to be foundational in 
orienting the studies we subsequently conducted.

Paul Cobb, paul.cobb at vanderbilt.edu



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