International Commission on Mathematical Instruction

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) is an international society for mathematics education and a sub-organization of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). It was founded in 1908 on the occasion of the fourth International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome on the initiative of David Eugene Smith . He had published the plan for this three years earlier in the magazine L'Enseignement Mathématique . Felix Klein was the founding president .

The first goal of the ICMI after its inception was a comparative international study of mathematics teaching in secondary schools, a very large project that lasted six years and included 310 reports from 18 countries (published in 187 volumes). One of the main motives for the establishment was an internationalization of mathematics teaching. At that time it was known as the International Mathematical Teaching Commission (IMUK).

ICMI presidents included Jacques Hadamard (1932 to 1939), Marshall H. Stone (1959 to 1962), André Lichnerowicz (1963 to 1966), Hans Freudenthal (1967 to 1970), Jean-Pierre Kahane (1983 to 1990), Miguel de Guzmán (1991 to 1998) and Hyman Bass (1999 to 2006). The work of the commission experienced an interruption in the First World War and after an interruption in the Second World War the ICMI was re-established in 1952.

A section of mathematicians congresses of the IMU is the mathematics teaching and history of mathematics devoted. Over time, this was no longer sufficient and so in 1969, on the initiative of Hans Freudenthal, the first International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) took place in Lyon, organized by the ICMI. Today it takes place every four years (if the year is divisible by four). The third congress took place in Karlsruhe in 1976. The presentations will be published in the ICME Proceedings. There are also regional conferences.

The official organ is the journal L'Enseignement Mathématique . It existed before the ICMI was founded (since 1899), and its co-founder Henri Fehr was also the ICMI's first general secretary. From 1972 to 2010 there was the ICMI Bulletin and there is the ICMI Study Series (ICMI Study Volumes, later NISS, New ICMI Studies Series), in which reports on studies are published. The ICMI News appears three times a year .

There are three prizes named after famous math teachers:

  • the Felix Klein Medal , for lifetime achievement in research on mathematics didactics. Awarded in odd years since 2003.
  • the Hans Freudenthal Medal, also awarded in odd years since 2003, for a large cumulative research program
  • The Emma Castelnuovo Award is presented every four years on the occasion of the ICME (first in 2016). It is awarded for outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics didactics.


  • Olli Lehto: Mathematics Without Borders: A History of the International Mathematical Union , Springer-Verlag, 1998.
  • A. Geoffrey Howson: Seventy-five years of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction , Educational Studies in Mathematics, Volume 15, 1984, pp. 75-93. pdf

Web links

Individual evidence