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1908 The International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics (Commission Internationale de l'Enseignement Mathématique, Internationale Mathematische Unterrichtskommission, Commissione Internazionale dell'insegnamento matematico)
is founded during the IV International Congress of Mathematicians (Rome 6-11 April 1908)
First Central Committee
President: F. Klein
Vice-President: G. Greenhill
Secretary General: H. Fehr
Cologne, Commission defines its first priority: "Make an inquiry and publish a general report on the current trends in the teaching of mathematics in various countries" bearing in mind not only secondary schools but all kinds and levels of schooling.
is the official publication of the Commission. The official languages are those admitted at the International Congresses of Mathematicians:
German, English, French and Italian.
The Commission is made up of delegates from 18 countries
Cambridge Congress on the occasion of the V International Congress of Mathematicians (21-27 August 1912)
President: F. Klein
Vice-President: G. Greenhill, D.E. Smith
Secretary General: H. Fehr
G. Castelnuovo, E. Czuber, J. Hadamard will be co-opted in 1913
1914 Paris Congress
1914-1918 First World War
1920 The International Mathematical Union is established.
The VI International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Strasbourg (22-30 September 1920).
Dissolution of the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics.
David E. Smith
The VII International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Toronto (11-16 August 1924).
Felix Klein dies
1928 The International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics is reconstituted
on the occasion of the VIII International Congress of Mathematicians, Bologna (3-10 September 1928)
President: D.E. Smith
Vice-Presidents: G. Castelnuovo, J. Hadamard
Secretary General: H. Fehr
Member: W. Lietzmann
The IX International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Zürich (5-12 September 1932).
The International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics is invited to continue its activities for a further four years.
President: J. Hadamard
Vice-Presidents: P. Heegaard, W. Lietzmann, G. Scorza
Secretary General: H. Fehr
Member: (co-opted) E.H. Neville
The X International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Oslo (13-18 July 1936). The International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics and its Central Committee receive the mandate until the next International Congress of Mathematicians.
World War II
The International Congress of Mathematicians which was to have taken place in Cambridge (USA) is "postponed until a more favourable moment"
- The XI International Congress of Mathematicians takes place in Cambridge (USA) (30 August-6 September, 1950).
The Section VII, History and Education
is rich enough, but the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics does not have a place of its own.
- the First General Assembly of the reconstituted International Mathematical Union (IMU) takes place in Rome.
During the Assembly, the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics is transformed into a permanent subcommission of the IMU
. The official languages remain English, French, German, and Italian, and the official organ L'Enseignement Mathématique.
H. Behnke, A. Chatelet, R.L. Jeffery, D. Kurepa
Rome, Villa Farnesina,
Salone delle Prospettive
as members of the new commission, and requests that H. Fehr
remain available during the transition period
- the CIEAEM
, Commission Internationale pour l'Étude e l'Amélioration de l'Enseignement des Mathématiques is officially born.
February 1953, January 1954, Paris
- Executive Committee of the ICMI:
Honorary President: H. Fehr
President: A. Châtelet
Vice-Presidents: D. Kurepa, S. MacLane
Secretary: H. Behnke
Treasurer: G. Ascoli
Members: A.F. Andersen, E.W. Beth, R.L. Jeffery, E.A. Maxwell
Ex-officio: M. H. Stone, President of IMU
31 August-1 September 1954
, The Hague - The Second General Assembly of IMU determines the Terms of Reference
of the Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics and the name International Commission on Mathematical Instruction
(ICMI) is adopted.
With regards to the aims of the ICMI :
The Commission shall be charged with the conduct of the activities of IMU, bearing on mathematical and scientific education, and shall take the initiative in inaugurating appropriate programs designed to further the sound development of mathematical education at all levels and to secure public appreciation of its importance.
- The XII International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Amsterdam (2-9 September, 1954)
The Section VII, Philosophy, History and Education
, is very rich and ICMI is a strong presence.
2 November 1954
- Henri Fehr, Secretary General of the ICMI since its founding and Honorary President since 1952, dies.
2 July 1955
H. Behnke convokes in Geneva the new Executive Committee of the ICMI, which is constituted as follows:
President: H. Behnke
Vice-Presidents: D. Kurepa, M.H. Stone
Secretary: J. Desforge
Members: Ram Behari, E.A. Maxwell, K. Piene
Ex officio: H. Hopf (President of the IMU)
The Members at large are: Y. Akizuki, G. Ascoli, H. Behnke, Ram Behari, P. J. Dubreil , J.C. H. Gerretsen, R. L. Jeffery, D. Kurepa, E. A. Maxwell, M. H. Stone
Within a short time 21 countries
nominate their two delegates.
The journal L'Enseignement Mathématique
is confirmed as the official organ of the ICMI. Its second series begins in 1955.
4 October 1957
The Soviet launch of Sputnik
stimulates debate in the USA and in Europe about the need for major reforms in scientific and mathematical education.
11-13 August 1958
The General Assembly of the IMU is held in St. Andrews (Scotland). M. Stone
is elected as president of the ICMI.
The General Assembly agrees on the necessity to make certain changes in the regulations of the ICMI
in such a way that the Commission is made up of 10 members at large elected by the General Assembly of the IMU upon nomination by its President, and of 1 representative of each national subcommittee.
The XIII International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Edinburgh (14-21 August, 1958)
Among the half-hour addresses by invitation, one (by D. Kurepa) is dedicated to education and in the Section VIII, dedicated to History and Education
, ICMI is a strong presence.
Executive Committee of ICMI and Members at large for the period 1 January 1959 - 31 December 1962
President: M. H. Stone
Vice-Presidents: H. Behnke, D. Kurepa
Secretary: G. Walusinski
Members: Y. Akizuki, D. Alexandrov, O. Frostman
Ex officio: R. Nevanlinna (President of IMU)
Members at large: Y. Akizuki, D. Alexandrov, H. Behnke, P. Buzano, G. Choquet, H. Fehr, H. Freudenthal, D. Kurepa, E. A. Maxwell.
Successively J. Karamata
, will be co-opted, as the editor of L'Enseignement mathématique
At the initiative of the OEEC, a seminar is held at the Centre Culturel de Royaumont
, Asnière-sur-Oise (France) (23 November - 4 December) on the new thinking in school mathematics. Chairman of the seminar is the president of the ICMI, M. Stone, who makes the introductory address.
The most influential talk is that of Jean Dieudonné
, whose proposals for the reform of the teaching of mathematics are explicitly inspired by the Bourbaki school.
New Terms of Reference for ICMI are adopted.
Various seminars and symposia are organised by the ICMI in collaboration with other associations and contacts made with the OEEC, UNESCO and other international organisations (Aarhus, Dubrovnik, Lausanne, Belgrade, Bologna, Bogotà,… )
10 August 1962
The Opening Ceremony takes place
at the Concert Hall in Stockholm
During the meeting of the ICMI in Saltsjöbaden
, near Stockholm, in his Report for the period 1959-1962
president M. Stone points out the Commission's problem of finances
, and urges the ICMI to study methods and means for satisfying the growing demand for an international informational service in the field of education and to extend its activity to new areas, such as Africa.
The XIV International Congress of Mathematicians takes place in Stockholm (15-22 August 1962)
Section VIII is expressly dedicated to Education
. Within this section the ICMI organises three meetings on the modern mathematics at the secondary school and on training of teachers.
14-15 February 1964
During the meeting in Paris
, the ICMI, in agreement with the President of the IMU, decides to "reconnaître le statut de sous-commission nationale propre …
à des commissions nationales représentatives de pays non membres de L'Union Mathématique Internationale"
The Executive Committee decides to adhere to two important initiatives of UNESCO concerning the creation of a centre for documentation and information about mathematics teaching, and the preparation of a source book (a list of manuals, periodicals, anthologies of articles, etc.
The Executive Committee of ICMI and Members at large from January 1963 to December 1966
President: A. Lichnerowicz
Vice-Presidents: S. Straszewicz, E. Moise
Secretary: A. Delessert
Members: Y. Akizuki, H. Behnke, H. Freudenthal
Ex officio: G. de Rham (President of IMU)
Members at large: S. Bundgaard, G. Choquet, O. Frostman, R.L. Jeffery, J. Karamata.
Echternach, June 1965
A very rich period of noteworthy activity begins for the ICMI thanks to the collaboration with UNESCO
and other organisations.
Many international symposia are held: Frascati (Italy), 8-10 October 1964
, Utrecht (Holland), 19-23 December, 1964
, Dakar (Senegal), 14-22 January 1965:
, Echternach (Luxemburg), 30 May - 4 June 1965
20 May 1966
The outgoing Executive Committee of the ICMI, given the remarkable broadening of the Commission's activities, requests the creation of a permanent Secretariat for the ICMI
The XV International Congress of Mathematicians takes place in Moscow (16-26 August 1966)
The fifteenth section on History and Pedagogical Questions
, is very rich.
26 August 1967
The Executive Committee of the ICMI for the 1967-1970 period begins its term
President: H. Freudenthal
Vice-Presidents: E. Moise, S. Sobolev
Secretary: A. Delessert
Members: H. Behnke, A. Revuz, B. Thwaites
Ex officio: H. Cartan (President of IMU)
Release of the first volume prepared by ICMI and published by UNESCO, New trends in mathematics teaching, I, 1966 (Paris, 1967)
During the meeting in Utrecht
, the ICMI president Hans Freudenthal
affirms that the practice of quadrennial reports at the ICMs is not a good one because the national reports are generally useless, and proposes the idea of an ICMI congress
to take place the year before the ICM. André Revuz
solicits the founding of a new journal
expressly aimed at professors at the secondary level.
Freudenthal launches the new journal, Educational Studies in Mathematics (ESM)
, a truly international journal devoted to research in mathematics education.
24-30 August 1969
The First International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-1)
is held in Lyon (France)
ICME 1, Lyon: Z. Krygowska,
H. G. Steiner, F. Papy, W. Servais
The Congress is attended by 655 active participants from 42 countries. Many talks are indicative of how research in education is developing step by step
During the General Assembly of the IMU in Menton (France), M. J. Lighthill
is elected ICMI president for the coming four-year term and it is decreed that the past president of the ICMI, the secretary of the IMU and the representative of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) Committee on the Teaching of Science should be members ex officio of the ICMI.
The XVI International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Nice (1-10 September 1970).
The section Enseignement des mathématiques
, presents four invited talks.
Executive Committee of the ICMI and Members at large for the period 1971-1974
President: M. J. Lighthill
Vice-Presidents: S. Iyanaga, J. Suranyi
Secretary: E.A. Maxwell
Members : H. O. Pollak, S. L. Sobolev
Ex Officio: H. Freudenthal (Past President of ICMI), H. Cartan (President of IMU), O. Frostman (Secretary of IMU), A. Lichnerowicz (CTS/ICSU)
Members at large: M. Barner, F. Châtelet, A. Gleason, L. Lombardo Radice, Y. Mimura, J. Novak.
nominate their delegate.
29 August-2 September 1972
The Second International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-2) is held in Exeter (UK)
The Congress, attended by 1384 participants from 76 countries, is structured differently that the preceding one: there are only 9 invited lectures on themes of general interest and 38 working groups on more specific questions.
The first issue of the ICMI Bulletin is published
In his Foreword
ICMI President James Lighthill writes:
It is my sincere hope that these Bulletins will make really useful contributions to the promotion of international understanding among those involved in teaching that uniquely international mode of thought: mathematics"
Hans Georg Steiner, Michael Otte and Heinrich Bauersfeld found the Institut für Didaktik der Mathematik
(IDM) at the University of Bielefeld
A new policy of holding Regional Symposia is adopted.
Numerous Symposia are held with the co-sponsorship of the ICMI: 4-9 June 1973, Echternach (Lussemburgo), 18-22 June 1973, Eger (Hungary), 1-11 September 1974, Nairobi (Kenya), 16-20 September 1974, Bielefeld (West Germany), 5-9 November 1974, Tokyo (Japan)
The XVII International Congress of Mathematicians is held in Vancouver
(21-29 August 1974).
The ICMI Executive Committee resolves to consider the Inter-American Committee on Mathematical Education (IACME) as an effective regional group
Executive Committee of ICMI for the period 1975-1978:
President: S. Iyanaga
Vice-Presidents: B. Christiansen, H. G. Steiner
Secretary: Y. Kawada
Members: E. Begle, L. D. Kudrjavcev
Ex officio: J. Lighthill (Past President of ICMI), D. Montgomery (President of IMU),
J.-L. Lions (Secretary of IMU), H. Freudenthal (CTS/ICSU)
Members at large: E. Castelnuovo, J. Lelong-Ferrand, B.H. Neumann, Z. Semadeni, J. Surányi, P. L. Bhatnagar
nominate their delegates.
Numerous congresses are held: 18-22 August, 1975, Nyiregyháza (Hungary), 25-28 August, 1975, Warsaw (Poland), 1-5 September, 1975, Marseille (Frances), 1-6 December 1975, Caracas (Venezuela), 15-20 December 1975, Bharwari (India)
ICME 3, Karlsruhe 1976, Opening lecture.
On the front row from the right: Kunle, Mrs. Kunle,
Iyanaga, Mrs. Behnke, Christiansen,
Hanne Christiansen, Steiner and wife, Greenhill
The First Pan-African Congress of Mathematicians is held in Rabat (Marocco) (26-31 July 1976)
16-21 August 1976
The Third International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-3)
is held in Karlsruhe (Germany)
The congress is attended by 1831 full members from almost 80 countries; in addition 237 associate members attend.
The Congress invites the working groups and study groups which have been established in order to study and further particular areas of research in mathematical education, to continue their work.
The International Study Group on the Relations between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM),
an affiliated Study Group of ICMI, is established
The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME)
, an affiliated Study Group of ICMI, is established
From 1976 on
There was an explosion of ICMI activity, which is diversified and amplified enormously with the creation of new Affiliated Study Groups (IOWME, 1987; WFNMC, 1994; ICTMA, 2003)
, with the inauguration in 1985 of the ICMI Studies
, and with the continuation of the ICME quadrennial congresses.
The ICMI Bulletin
becomes richer, and starting in 1974 it goes from annual to semi-annual publication.
The number of countries represented increases.
The documentation is immense, and is in large part available on Internet.