The Executive Committee of ICMI had its second meeting in Tokyo/Makuhari, Japan, during the ICME-9 congress. The Committee met on July 28-30, prior to the congress, as well as on the closing day of ICME-9. The President, Vice-Presidents and Secretary of the Commission also met in October in Geneva, on the occasion of the symposium celebrating the centennial of L'Enseignement Mathématique (see item 5 below). Beside these meetings, the work of the EC during 2000 was conducted by electronic communication under the direction of the President and the Secretary.
During 2000, Estonia and Peru became members of ICMI, following their admission as new members of the International Mathematical Union. No National Representatives to ICMI have yet been appointed.
A number of countries have no ICMI National Representative at the moment. In addition to Estonia and Peru, these are Armenia, Brunei Darussalam, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The National Representatives represent a crucial part of ICMI life, the Commission being composed of the Executive Committee of ICMI and of the National Representatives, as stipulated in the Terms of Reference of ICMI (see ICMI Bulletin No 47, December 1999, p. 35). While the "system" of National Representatives is functioning reasonably well in many aspects, the Executive Committee believes there is place for improvement and wishes to involve more regularly the Representatives in various aspects of ICMI life. In particular, there is a need for closer and more frequent contacts between the EC and the National Representatives and also for a better use of the local expertise of the Representatives. Electronic communication plays an essential role in facilitating these contacts and it is unfortunate that the e-mail addresses of only thirty-three Representatives are known to the Secretary at the moment, in spite of repeated attempts to obtain more addresses.
In order to gain a better understanding of the current situation with respect to representatives of the various countries members of ICMI, a letter was sent to all National Representatives in June 2000, asking for information about the infrastructure supporting ICMI-related matters in each country: procedure of appointment of the ICMI Representative ; body responsible for the appointment ; number of consecutive years the current Representative has been in position; existence of a National Sub-Commission for ICMI. A dozen of replies were received by the Secretary.
It continues to be part of ICMI general policy to encourage member states to establish National Sub-Commissions for ICMI. No new National Sub-Commission was established during 2000.
The ninth International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-9, was held in Tokyo/Makuhari, Japan, from July 31 to August 7, 2000. The congress was attended by 2012 delegates (and 239 accompanying persons) from 70 different countries. The International Program Committee, chaired by Professor Hiroshi Fujita, has proposed a rich and intensive program and the organizational infrastructure and logistic support offered by the organizers was of an exceptional quality. The novel feature instigated at ICME-8 of imposing a "Solidarity Tax" on all registrations was repeated at ICME-9. It had been announced in the Second Announcement of ICME-9 that a Grant Fund would be set to provide support to participants from non-affluent countries. This Fund was to be made of two components: (i) 7% of all the registrations fees ; (ii) a sum equivalent to 3% of the total of the registration fees to be collected from domestic donations. It has turned out that this second component, essentially made of individual donations, was substantially higher, as it amounted to 8% of the registration fees, so that the organizers could provide support to 96 participants coming from 37 different countries. The distribution of the money generated for the Fund was made by a specially appointed Grants Committee which, as is customary, worked incognito in order to minimize potential problems of pressure.
The 10th International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME-10, will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from July 4 to 11, 2004. The International Program Committee is chaired by Professor Mogens Niss, Roskilde University, Denmark, and its composition was announced in the December 2000, No. 49, of the ICMI Bulletin.
An official call for bids to host ICME-11 in 2008, the year of the centennial of the Commission, was made by the Secretary of ICMI during the closing session of ICME-9. This call also appears in the ICMI Bulletin (No. 49, December 2000).
3. ICMI Studies
The mounting and conducting of so-called ICMI Studies on crucial themes and issues in mathematics education were continued in 2000. The resulting ICMI Study volumes are published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, in the "New ICMI Study Series" (NISS) appearing under the general editorship of the President and the Secretary of ICMI.
No new Study conference took place in 2000. However progress was made concerning five different Studies.
ICMI Study 10: The Study Conference on The Role of the History of Mathematics in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics was held in Luminy, France, in April 1998, and the resulting study volume entitled History in Mathematics Education: The ICMI Study was published in 2000, edited by John Fauvel and Jan van Maanen (NISS 6).
ICMI Study 11: The Study Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics at University Level took place in Singapore in December 1998. This Study results in two different publications. The first of these is a special issue of the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (iJMEST) - volume 31, number 1, January-February 2000 - containing fifteen of the papers presented at the Study Conference. The editorial work on the corresponding NISS volume was achieved in 2000, so that the book is due to appear in 2001.
Reports on these two studies were presented at ICME-9.
ICMI Study 12: The next study in the series, The Future of the Teaching and Learning of Algebra, was initiated in 1998 by the appointment of an International Program Committee chaired by Professor Kaye Stacey, University of Melbourne, Australia (the composition of the IPC was given the ICMI Bulletin No. 46, June 1999, p. 35 - Rosamund Sutherland has since been appointed on the IPC, following the resignation of Kenneth Ruthven). The IPC met in Melbourne in January 2000 and the Discussion Document for this Study has appeared in the ICMI Bulletin No. 48, June 2000, pp. 6-13, and elsewhere. The Study Conference will take place at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in December 2001.
ICMI Study 13: The thirteenth ICMI Study is entitled Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions: A Comparative Study of East-Asia and the West. The two co-chairs for this Study are Klaus-Dieter Graf, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and Frederick K.S. Leung, the University of Hong Kong, and the composition of the IPC was announced in the ICMI Bulletin, No. 48, June 2000, p. 14. Many members of the IPC were able to meet during ICME-9 and a more formal meeting took place in Berlin in December 2000, which resulted in the Discussion Document published in the ICMI Bulletin, No. 49, December 2000, pp. 16-33. The Study Conference is planned to take place in Hong Kong in 2002.
ICMI Study 14: The next Study will be devoted to the theme of applications and modeling. The International Program Committee is chaired by Werner Blum, Universität Kassel, Germany, and its composition is given in the December 2000 issue (No. 49) of the ICMI Bulletin. The Study Conference is expected to take place in 2003 in Germany.
4. Regional Conferences
The following ICMI Regional Conferences, sponsored by the Commission morally, financially or both, took place in 2000.
The symposium EM 2000 (Espace Mathématique 2000) was held in Grenoble, France, from July 15 to 17, 2000. The theme of the conference was L'enseignement des mathématiques dans les pays francophones au XXe siècle et ses perspectives pour le début du XXIe siècle (Mathematics education in French-speaking countries in the XXth century and prospects for the beginning of the XXIst century). It was the first ICMI Regional Conference where the "region" was defined not in geographical but rather in linguistic terms, the gathering being based on a common language. The symposium was attended by 178 participants coming from 18 different countries. A report on EM 2000 has appeared in the ICMI Bulletin No. 49, December 2000, pp. 45-47.
The All-Russian Conference on Mathematical Education devoted to the theme "Mathematics and Society. Mathematical Education at the Frontier of Centuries" took place in Dubna (near Moscow), Russia, from September 18 to 23, 2000.
5. Other activities
The international journal L'Enseignement Mathématique, the official organ of ICMI since the inception of the Commission in 1908, was established in 1899 by Henri Fehr and Charles Laisant. On the occasion of the centennial of the journal, ICMI and the University of Geneva organized jointly, as a contribution to the celebration of the World Mathematical Year 2000, a symposium with the aims of looking at the evolution of mathematics education over the last century and identifying some guidelines and trends for the future, taking into account, among other sources, the documents, debates and related papers having appeared in L'Enseignement Mathématique. This symposium was devoted to the theme One Hundred Years of L'Enseignement Mathématique : Moments of Mathematics Education in the 20th Century and it took place in Geneva, the home of the journal since its birth, from October 20 to 22, 2000. There were 55 participants coming from 18 different countries. Some reflections by Geoffrey Howson on the symposium and its theme were published in the ICMI Bulletin No. 49, December 2000, pp. 48-50. The Symposium Proceedings will be published under the responsibility of the Editorial Board of the Monographies de l'Enseignement Mathématique, in collaboration with the Programme Committee.
6. Affiliated Study Groups
ICMI continues to have four affiliated study groups, HPM (The International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics), IOWME (The International Organization of Women and Mathematics Education), PME (The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education), and WFNMC (The World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions). All these groups were part of the program of ICME-9. Updated information about the ICMI Affiliated Study Groups has appeared in the ICMI Bulletin No. 49, December 2000, pp. 36-44.
7. The Solidarity Program
In 1992 ICMI established a Solidarity Program in Mathematics Education. The overall objective of the Solidarity Program is to increase, in a variety of ways, the commitment and involvement of mathematics educators around the world in order to improve the situation of mathematics education, in particular in those parts of the world where the economic and socio-political contexts do not permit adequate and autonomous development. This initiative thus aims at providing means which, together with institutional or other help obtained from various sources, may support concrete initiatives and activities so to foster solidarity in mathematics education between well-defined quarters in developed and less developed countries. Particular emphasis is placed on projects which enable the activation of a self-sustainable infra-structure within mathematics education in the region, country, or province at issue.
The first stage in this program of international assistance was the mounting of a Solidarity Fund based on contributions by individuals, organizations, etc. The Solidarity Fund has received donations from various organizations and individuals in mathematics education for which it is most grateful. Being based on voluntary donations, the Solidarity Fund is kept separate from ICMI's funds. One private donation to the amount of 100 USD was received during 2000.
An ad hoc committee, chaired by Colette Laborde (Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France) has been set up in 1999 by the EC of ICMI to review the functioning and the impact of the Solidarity Fund, after its eight years of existence, and to bring recommendations to the EC concerning its orientation and development. A preliminary report was received by the EC in 2000.
8. The ICMI Awards
It has been suggested frequently in the past that the Commission should establish some ICMI sponsored awards aiming at recognizing exceptional contributions to mathematics education. An ad hoc committee of internationally renowned people was formed in 1999 to bring recommendations to the Executive Committee of ICMI. These recommendations, which were received at the EC meeting taking place during ICME-9, were positive and the EC has since then been working on defining some of the parameters for these awards. An hypothesis being considered is the establishment for the time being of two awards, one recognizing a major program of research on mathematics education during the past ten years, and the other for life-time achievement in mathematics education. An announcement about these awards will appear in the June 2001 issue of the ICMI Bulletin.
9. ICMI Bulletins
In 2000, ICMI Bulletin Nos. 48 and 49 were published under the editorship of the Secretary of ICMI. Direct access to the ICMI Bulletin on the WWW, through the IMU master site, can be obtained at the address
The ICMI Bulletin is also available electronically directly from the Secretary either as an attached document (RTF or Word file - prepared with Word 8) or as a plain text inside an e-mail message.
10. ICMI on WWW
Since the end of 1995, information concerning ICMI can be found on the ICMI-pages of the IMU-server on the World Wide Web. The location of these pages was changed in 2000, so that the ICMI website is now accessible at the address:
The information available about ICMI on its website was in serious needs of being updated. A renewed content for the ICMI webpages was made accessible around June 2000.
Bernard R. Hodgson, Secretary
Université Laval, Québec, Canada
26 April 2001