[ICMI-News] ICMI News 23: December 2012

Jaime Carvalho e Silva jaimecs at mat.uc.pt
Mon Dec 31 23:20:21 CET 2012

ICMI News 23: December 2012

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the ICMI-International Commission on Mathematical Instruction

Editor: Jaime Carvalho e Silva, Dep. Matematica, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

1. Editorial: Better mathematics education for children all over the world
2. The 19th ICMI Study: Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education
3. Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) 2013: MATHEMATICIANS TACKLE GLOBAL ISSUES
4. New Journal: AIEM.  Avances de Investigación en Educación Matemática
5. ICMI Database project
6. News from IMU
7. News from ICSU
8. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community
9. Subscribing to ICMI News


1.  Editorial: Better mathematics education for children all over the world

This is my last editorial as ICMI president, and I wish to use it as a means to thank all those who work towards better mathematics education for children all over the world.

This may seem like a simple statement, but it is not. We all know that effective mathematics education is as complex as it is important. It will not happen if we simply rely on education systems, no matter how good they are. Effective mathematics education relies primarily on people: parents who are the first teachers for any child; teachers and tutors at all levels who give extra time and attention to their students; those who work within and outside systems to improve the conditions, resources, and curricula; and, especially in the ICMI community, those who struggle to better understand how mathematical concepts are communicated, acquired, and used by learners of all kinds.

One of the wonderful features of the mathematics education community is that there are deeply significant contributions to be made by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Parents who never had the opportunity to understand mathematics well themselves, but who study alongside their children and foster the desire for mathematical understanding. Research mathematicians who can give us insight into the very depths of contemporary mathematical thought, using, if necessary, those with the necessary communication skills. Teachers who are privileged to have the opportunity to seize the moment when a child is ready to step up to the next level of understanding, and who have the power to give them the little lift that is needed. Resource producers who have the insight and entrepreneurship to design and distribute new tools for learning, be it print, diagrams, software, models, or those paradigmatic examples that seem to hold a magic key to understanding.

In our organisation we are fortunate to have two other categories of people who are also critical to the mathematics education enterprise, that is the mentors and the organisers. Mentoring new researchers or teachers is often an unpaid and unrecognized job. Our thanks must go to the hundreds of people who go out of their way to assist those new to the job, or those struggling under language, financial, social, geographical, or other handicaps. And to those who use their spare time in evenings and weekends to keep our organisations, conferences, networks, and societies going, we are in your debt.

Every occupation has people selflessly dedicated to its cause—but ours seems to bask in a richness of freely given effort. I am sure that part of the reason is that, like other organisations dedicated to children’s wellbeing, we are driven to cherish and support to the utmost those who will inherit the future. But another part of the equation is a widely shared love and fascination with our subject, mathematics. As a community we seem to be dedicated to abstract knowledge for itself as well as for the understanding and power that it imbues through its applications to the problems of our time. In this respect, it is the very pervasiveness and importance of the subject that invokes us to work endlessly in its cause.

So, to everyone in the wider ICMI community, and elsewhere, who give their efforts to children’s understanding of mathematics, thank you. And it has been my honour to have been your president for a time.

Bill Barton

27 December, 2012

Bill Barton, President of ICMI, barton at math.auckland.ac.nz


2. The 19th ICMI Study: Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education

The Volume 15 of the New ICMI Study Series has been published, including the 19th ICMI Study "Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education", edited by Gila Hanna and Michael de Villiers:


There is a special discount to members of the ICMI community purchasing the volumes for personal use.
Please read the details here:


The table of contents of this volume is:

1 Aspects of Proof in Mathematics Education, Gila Hanna and Michael de Villiers

Part I Proof and Cognition
2 Cognitive Development of Proof, David Tall, Oleksiy Yevdokimov, Boris Koichu, Walter Whiteley, Margo Kondratieva, and Ying-Hao Cheng
3 Theorems as Constructive Visions, Giuseppe Longo

Part II Experimentation: Challenges and Opportunities
4 Exploratory Experimentation: Digitally-Assisted Discovery and Proof, Jonathan Michael Borwein
5 Experimental Approaches to Theoretical Thinking:
Artefacts and Proofs, Ferdinando Arzarello, Maria Giuseppina Bartolini Bussi, Allen Yuk Lun Leung, Maria Alessandra Mariotti, and Ian Stevenson

Part III Historical and Educational Perspectives of Proof
6 Why Proof? A Historian’s Perspective, Judith V. Grabiner
7 Conceptions of Proof – In Research and Teaching, Richard Cabassut, AnnaMarie Conner, Filyet Aslı İşçimen, Fulvia Furinghetti, Hans Niels Jahnke, and Francesca Morselli
8 Forms of Proof and Proving in the Classroom, Tommy Dreyfus, Elena Nardi, and Roza Leikin
9 The Need for Proof and Proving: Mathematical and Pedagogical Perspectives, Orit Zaslavsky, Susan D. Nickerson, Andreas J. Stylianides, Ivy Kidron, and Greisy Winicki-Landman
10 Contemporary Proofs for Mathematics Education, Frank Quinn

Part IV Proof in the School Curriculum
11 Proof, Proving, and Teacher-Student Interaction: Theories and Contexts, Keith Jones and Patricio Herbst
12 From Exploration to Proof Production, Feng-Jui Hsieh, Wang-Shian Horng, and Haw-Yaw Shy
13 Principles of Task Design for Conjecturing and Proving, Fou-Lai Lin, Kai-Lin Yang, Kyeong-Hwa Lee, Michal Tabach, and Gabriel Stylianides
14 Teachers’ Professional Learning of Teaching Proof and Proving, Fou-Lai Lin, Kai-Lin Yang, Jane-Jane Lo, Pessia Tsamir, Dina Tirosh, and Gabriel Stylianides

Part V Argumentation and Transition to Tertiary Level
15 Argumentation and Proof in the Mathematics Classroom, Viviane Durand-Guerrier, Paolo Boero, Nadia Douek, Susanna S. Epp, and Denis Tanguay
16 Examining the Role of Logic in Teaching Proof, Viviane Durand-Guerrier, Paolo Boero, Nadia Douek, Susanna Epp, and Denis Tanguay
17 Transitions and Proof and Proving at Tertiary Level, Annie Selden

Part VI Lessons from the Eastern Cultural Traditions
18 Using Documents from Ancient China to Teach Mathematical Proof, Karine Chemla
19 Proof in the Western and Eastern Traditions: Implications for Mathematics Education, Man Keung Siu

Appendix 1: ICMI Study 19: Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education: Discussion Document


3.  Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) 2013: MATHEMATICIANS TACKLE GLOBAL ISSUES

More than 100 academic institutions and scholarly societies have joined in a major world‐wide initiative: Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) 2013. This year‐long effort will highlight the contributions made by mathematics in tackling global problems, including natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis; climate change; sustainability; and pandemics. MPE2013 partners will sponsor workshops, research conferences, public lectures, outreach events, and educational opportunities for all ages. Each country from a partner institution will host a special launch to the year.

MPE2013 enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The Director‐General of UNESCO, Irena Bokova, said, “UNESCO strongly supports this extraordinary collaboration of mathematicians around the world to advance research on fundamental questions about planet Earth, to nurture a better understanding of global issues, to help inform the public, and to enrich the school curriculum about the essential role of mathematics in the challenges facing our planet.”
MPE2013 will bring public awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research and the unique role played by mathematics in facing global challenges. This broad initiative will involve top researchers in fields as diverse as medicine, engineering, and finance, as well as mathematics, to solve some of the world's most challenging problems. Mathematics will also play a role in the solution to long‐term issues including security for e‐finance, more accurate predictions of natural disasters, the adaptation of interacting ecosystems to change, and the spread of diseases.

“My dream is now shared by so many scientists around the world that MPE2013 is developing on its own. This unprecedented collaboration will last beyond 2013.” noted Christiane Rousseau, initiator of MPE2013 and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Montreal. “This broad initiative seeks to involve some of the world's finest minds to solve some of the world's toughest problems,” said Brian Conrey, leader of MPE2013 in the United States and Director of the American Institute of Mathematics.

Examples of recent applications of mathematics to MPE problems include: 
• improved strategies for recharging underground aquifers; 
• a better model for how government and industry can work together to decrease pollution; 
• successful modeling of the transmission of epidemic diseases allowing the design of strategies to control or eradicate them; and 
• developing a greater theoretical understanding of viruses and the drugs necessary to tackle them.

Long‐term problems in which mathematics will play a role include: 
• quantifying uncertainty in climate change; 
• more accurate predictions of natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis; 
• the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change; 
• sustainable economic models; and 
• the preservation of biodiversity.

According to Mary Lou Zeeman, co‐director of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, “Mathematical modeling has given us a better understanding of how to combat infectious diseases. We can evaluate the percentage of the population that must be vaccinated to eradicate a disease and we can measure the impact of education and other interventions on the spread of a disease.”

“Achieving sustainability requires understanding the complex interactions between a vast number of systems including climate, economics, technological progress, geology, ecology, space science, population control, security, global politics, and mass psychology,” says Doyne Farmer, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Complexity at the University of Oxford. “Sustainability forces us to think clearly about our vision of the future, putting philosophy into direct contact with science. As scientists our job is to try to understand causes and effects, both by making predictions and by quantifying the vast uncertainties in these predictions as best we can. But we need mathematicians to work with physicists, ecologists, economists, etc., to ensure that we are using the right model.”

MPE2013 can impact health care through a better understanding of how to control pandemics, and it can contribute to the green economy by aiding in the design of high‐performance materials for batteries and solar cells.

Mathematics is becoming an increasingly popular career path for people who want to be part of the solution to the problems of our planet. High school and college students can share in the excitement of MPE2013 through new educational materials being developed for core mathematics courses. Activities, readings, and seminar lesson plans will be freely available to any teacher who wants to engage students in discovering how the mathematical sciences can have a global impact.

More about MPE2013
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (mpe2013.org) is an initiative of over 100 scientific societies, research institutes, universities, and organizations all over the world. The mission of the project is to encourage research in identifying and solving fundamental questions about planet Earth, encourage educators at all levels to communicate the issues related to planet Earth, inform the public about the essential role of the mathematical sciences in facing the challenges to our planet, and encourage young people interested in sustainability and global issues to consider mathematics as an exciting career choice. MPE2013 enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

For more information, please see http://www.mpe2013.org/newsroom
or contact:

Christiane Rousseau 
Vice‐President of the International Mathematical Union 
+1 (514) 915‐6081 
rousseac at dms.umontreal.ca 

John Toland Director, 
Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK 
+44 1223 335999 
director at newton.ac.uk 

Brian Conrey Director, American Institute of Mathematics 
+1 (650) 307‐2736 
+1 (650) 845‐2071 
conrey at aimath.org 

Mary Lou Zeeman 
Wells Johnson Professor of Mathematics, Bowdoin College 
+1 (207) 725‐3575


4. New Journal: AIEM.  Avances de Investigación en Educación Matemática

The electronic journal Avances de Investigación en Educación Matemática
(AIEM, www.aiem.es) was first launched on May 4th as an official
publication by the Spanish Society for Research in Mathematics Education
(SEIEM, Sociedad Española de Investigación Matemática, www.seiem.es)

The intended audience include researchers involved in mathematics
education or professionals that could use research results to improve any
aspect of mathematics education or contribute to the scientific
development of this area; in particular in Spain, Portugal and Latin-
America. It aims to contribute to advancing knowledge on teaching,
learning and understanding of mathematics at the different educational
levels, through the promotion and diffusion of research. Two issues will
be published each year (May and November).

As a quality research journal, the goal is that AIEM becomes a referent
for research carried out in our scientific community, as well as a meeting
point for other research communities that perform research in mathematics
education from other geographical areas or disciplines. Consequently we
invite all potential contributors to the advance of mathematics education
knowledge to send us their papers.

The journal encourages the submission of quality theoretical and empirical
papers (quantitative, qualitative or mixed), case studies, ethnographical
work, critical reviews of research literature, and analyses of theoretical
or methodological frameworks. Contributions in either Spanish or
Portuguese are recommended. Contributions in French or English will also
be considered. All papers received in the journal will be blind-reviewed.

We intend to collaborate with other journals and associations that share
our aims, so that all together could contribute to improve the quality of
mathematics education research. For this reason we would be grateful that
the journal information is diffused via web-pages, email-lists and
publications. We in turn will include a link to your journal/association
from the AIEM web page, since diffusion is an important activity to make
research results widely known.

Thanks in advance for your collaboration.

AIEM Editorial Team

Lorenzo J. Blanco Nieto, Editor
Carmen Azcárate Giménez
Carmen Batanero Benabeu
Ángel Gutiérrez Rodríguez
Modesto Sierra Vázquez


5. ICMI Database project

The ICMI Executive Committee launched the Database Project in order to build and update a database of the mathematics curricula all over the world.
For the moment we have information about 27 countries, which transformed the Database page


into a major resource to get information about the mathematics curricula in different parts of the world.
We now have available information about the following countries:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, United States of America, United Kingdom.

Some of this information has already been updated since the first time it was included in ICMI website.
It would be nice, and it would constitute a major service to the mathematics education community,
to have information about the mathematics curricula in other countries.
Why don't you contribute also? We definitely would appreciate hearing from you!

Jaime Carvalho e Silva, Secretary-General of ICMI, jaimecs at mat.uc.pt


6. News from IMU

a) FOME (Friends of Mathematics Education) Conference

The Committee on Education of the European Mathematical Society is
organizing a Conference on March 14-15, 2013 in Berlin "Friends of
Mathematics Education - A European Initiative -" to which all European
foundations, NGOs and institutions which are engaged in mathematics
education, are invited.  Contact: Prof. Dr. Guenter Toerner, Chair of
EMS Committee on Education) guenter.toerner at uni-due.de


The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place in
Seoul, Korea, from Wednesday August 13, through Thursday August 21,
2014 and the Korean mathematical community is delighted to host the
congress for the first time in its history. As the premier conference
for mathematics, the ICM 2014 will be a major scientific event,
bringing together mathematicians from all over the globe and
demonstrating the vital role that mathematics plays in science and

We are thrilled to announce that the pre-registration process for the
ICM 2014 is on the way, and you are welcome to pre-register for the
congress. If you have not yet pre-registered, please do so by
following the simple instructions at our homepage:
http://www.icm2014.org/ ICM e-News with information about
pre-registration, scientific program, satellite conferences, financial
support program, family-friendly aspects of cultural program, and
practical information about visiting Korea etc. will be circulated to
the people who pre-registered for the congress. We strongly recommend
that you visit the homepage regularly for updated information on the
scientific program and ICM related activities.

To make the congress a true world-wide gathering, the Organizing
Committee places special emphasis on attracting mathematicians from
developing countries. Members of the Korean Mathematical Society fully
acknowledge the gracious support received from IMU and the
international mathematical community in the 70’s and 80’s, and hope
more countries can share the benefits. This has motivated the theme of
“Solidarity in Mathematics”, and the 1,000 mathematicians from
developing countries to be invited to Korea during ICM 2014, many of
whom would not have been able to visit an ICM otherwise, stand to
bring the ICM excitements and new knowledge back to their home
countries. The potential positive impacts their experiences will have
on future generations in their respective countries will be huge and
will surely linger for many years to come. Within the IMU, the level
of participation and activity of traditionally passive member
countries is expected to increase, and a closer collaborative and
harmonious mathematical community is likely to ensue.


Hyungju Park
Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee


7. News from ICSU

The Report of the Workshop on Mathematics Education: “Matemáticos en la Educación Matemática Escolar” is now available online.
The Workshop on Mathematics Education took place in Santiago de Chile in January, 2012 in the context of the implementation of the ICSU ROLAC Science Plan: “Mathematics Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Reality to be Transformed”.
Click here to download the workshop report:

Further information (in Spanish) can be found at:


text taken from ICSU Insight December 2012: http://www.icsu.org/news-centre/insight/newsletters-2012/insight-december-2012


8. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community

ISMTEC 2013 - International Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Conference
Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre
Bangkok, Thailand, 17-20 January 2013

EARCOME6 - The Sixth East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education,
Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, Phuket, Thailand, 17-22 March 2013

CERME 8 - Eighth Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME 8), 
Manavgat-Side, Antalya - Turkey, 6-10 February 2013.

MES 7 - Mathematics Education and Society - 7th International Conference, 
Cape Town, South Africa, 2-7 April  2013.

AFRICME 4, Lesotho, 11-14 June 2013.

7th Annual International Conference on Mathematics Education & Statistics Education, 
Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece, 17-20 June 2013, 

Mathematics Education and Contemporary Theory, Manchester Metropolitan University, 
Friday pm 21 June - Monday 24 June 2013.

University of Melbourne, 7-11 July 2013.

ICTMT11, 11th International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching
Department of Mathematics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari (Italy), July 9-12, 2013

ICTMA16, 16th International Conference on Mathematical Modelling and Applications
Universidade Regional de Blumenau - FURB, Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil, July 14-19, 2013

Turin (Italy), July 22-26, 2013.

PME 37, PME Annual Conference
Kiel, Germany, July 28-August 2, 2013.

SEMT '13, International Symposium on Elementary Mathematics Teaching, 
Charles University, Faculty of Education, Prague, Czech Republic, August 18-23, 2013.

CoSMEd  2013, Fifth International Conference on Science and Mathematics Education
Penang, Malaysia, 11-14 November 2013

EMF-Espace Mathématique Francophone, 
Algeria, 2015.

XIV CIAEM-IACME, Inter-American Conference on Mathematics Education, 
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico - May 3-7, 2015.



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