Dear colleagues,

In this edition of the HPM Newsletter, I would like to provide an update on our forthcoming 2016 HPM Satellite Meeting of the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME).

The HPM Scientific Committee and the HPM Advisory Board have been working together with the Montpellier Local Committee to establish the scientific program of the 2016 ICME HPM Satellite Meeting. As announced in a previous HPM Newsletter, the 2016 ICME HPM Satellite Meeting will be held in Montpellier, France, from July 18 to July 22, 2016.

I am glad to report that the scientific program has been finalized. It includes plenary lectures, discussion groups, panels, workshops, research presentations, and posters. Below, you will find a summary.


Plenary Conferences

Original sources in the classroom and their educational effects

Renaud Chorlay

ESPÉ de l’académie de Paris, France

Mathematics in Mediterranean countries: The Andalusia and Maghreb connection

Ahmed Djebbar

Université de Lille, France

The mathematical cultures of medieval Europe

Victor J. Katz

Professor Emeritus, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, USA

Formative years: Hans Freudenthal in prewar Amsterdam

Harm Jan Smid

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Mathematics and physics: An innermost relationship

Some didactical implications for their interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Constantinos Tzanakis

University of Crete, Greece

Integrating the history of mathematics into mathematics teaching: Some experience from China

Wang Xiaoqin

Shanghai, China


Discussion Groups

Discussion Group 1: Geometry

Coordinators: Evelyn Barbin (France) and Leo Rogers (UK)

Discussion Group 2: History of mathematics in teachers’ education

Coordinators: Kathy Clark (USA) and Sebastian Schorcht (Germany)

Discussion Group 3: Original sources in the teaching and learning of mathematics 

Coordinators: Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen (Denmark) and Janet Barnett (USA)



Panel 1: Theoretical and/or conceptual frameworks for integrating history in mathematics education

Michael Fried, Coordinator (Israel)

David Guillemette (Canada)

Niels Jahnke (Germany)

Panel 2: Mathematics in Mediterranean countries

Marc Moyon, Coordinator (France)

Mahdi Abdeljaouad (Tunisia)

Eva Caianiello (France and Italy)


The scientific committee has received a considerable number of workshop, research presentation, and poster submissions.

The program promises a thrilling and interesting international conference. I would like to thank the members of the scientific committee, the advisory board, and the local committee for their dedicated work.

I hope to see you all in Montpellier next year.

Luis Radford

HPM Chair

Université Laurentienne, Canada

Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil

Turkey mourns the death of Mustafa Alpaslan and his wife Zişan Güner Alpaslan (b.1986), two young academicians who tragically passed away in a traffic collision on 31 July 2015. Both of them were promising members of the Faculty of Education, Middle East Technical University (METU, Ankara). Mustafa Alpaslan became an active member of the Department of Elementary Education following his nomination as “Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant” in January 2010. Soon he started a MS thesis on the use of history of mathematics in elementary mathematics education. He also started to present, together with his colleagues, papers at the international congresses on Mathematics Education, especially at ICMEs and CERMEs. These were mostly based on topics he researched for his MS and PhD theses. Mustafa was also enthusiastic in establishing and keeping international contacts: He was the distributor of the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM) Newsletter for Turkey, since November 2012. In CERME-9 (Prague, 2015), he was elected Board Member of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (ERME). His research activities enabled him to receive scholarships and grants both from Turkish and international institutions (TUBITAK, ERME).

I came to know Mustafa when he undertook his doctoral thesis in 2011. Professors Gert Schubring (Bielefeld University, Germany), and Ali Sinan Sertöz (Bilkent University, Turkey) had advised him to contact the Department of the History of Science, Istanbul University, because his research was related to the history of mathematics; more precisely to the use of history of mathematics in mathematics education. In his very kind and modest but inquiring e-mail dated 20 September 2011, he revealed his interest in the works of medieval Islamic and Ottoman mathematicians and his wish to integrate them into mathematics education. Mustafa’s first visit to the Department of the History of Science, Istanbul, in early 2012 soon launched a fruitful collaboration. He established good contacts with the team of young researchers of the department and took two courses from the doctoral program in HS, namely “Science Journals in Turkey” and “Scientific Literature in Turkey”. The former course introduced to him the first Turkish popular journal Mebahis-i ilmiyye (Scientific themes) published in 1867 by the Turkish mathematician Vidinli Tevfik Pasha. The journal which included articles on both medieval Islamic and 19th century European mathematics immediately attracted his interest. An analysis of the journal published by F. Günergun in 2007,encouraged him to find a way of using its articles in mathematics education. The joint paper by Alpaslan, Schubring and Günergun would be the last paper he presented in an international conference (CERME-9, Prague, 2015). Those who received e-mails from Mustafa Alpaslan would surely remember the excerpts from Henri Poincaré and Niels Henrik Abel’s works, inserted at the bottom of his messages. Those reflected the importance of history of both science and mathematics in education and for the progress in sciences.

Mustafa and Zişan got married in 2013 and were looking forward to the birth of their son in a few months.


When I met them in December 2014 in Ankara, they were both radiating ideas of future projects and hoping to get funds to do research in the United States. These funds were granted shortly before the tragic accident. Mustafa was a quiet and optimistic person. He was genuinely courteous towards his colleagues and ready to provide assistance. I was often surprised to witness the serene expression of this young person, who considered death as a natural phenomenon. He had once said, “Such is life, one leaves when time is called.” His “time” came too early, too untimely. As a promising young scholar he had conveyed high expectations to all who knew him for his contributions to mathematics education and the history of mathematics. Mustafa will be sadly missed by his friends, colleagues, and students. 

Feza Günergun,

Department of the History of Science,

Istanbul University

I was very sad to learn about the accident with Mustafa and Zisan. Indeed, a big loss.

– Ubi D’Ambrosio (Brazil)


This was a very, very sad e-mail, and it is difficult to imagine never talk to Mustafa again at CERME, HPM and other meetings.

– Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen (Denmark)


The only thing I can say is that at least the whole family is together, wherever that might be…

I met them for the first time in Prague and both were so welcoming to me, sweet and so friendly.

A huge loss for our community.

My condolences for the rest of the family.

– Caroline Kuhn (England)


Very sad news indeed to all who knew them.

– Peter Ransom (England)


This is very sad news and indeed a huge loss for the mathematics education community.

As some of you know, Mustafa had been elected as representative of the young researchers in the ERME Board during the last ERME general meeting in February, and was enthusiastic to bring a deep contribution to the ERME community.

Mustafa and Zisan were wonderful people.

Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

– Viviane Durand-Guerrier (France)


Regina Moeller and I were deeply saddened to hear about the deaths of Mustafa and Zisan. We met Mustafa for the first time at the CERME conference 2013 in Antalya and recently in Prague. We have gotten to know him as a dedicated researcher and a very engaging and friendly man. This is a painful loss. We will honour his memory.

– Peter Collignon and Regina Moeller (Germany)


This is horrible news.

I met Mustafa for the first time at the HPM conference in Korea in 2012. Uffe Jankvist, Victor Katz, Stuart Rowlands and I were editing a special issue on history of mathematics for Science and Education, and, at the conference, we were already looking for possible contributors. Uffe had heard about Mustafa and told me about him. Mustafa and I had a long conversation, and I was impressed. In one of the emails later, when we deliberated on which papers would be accepted, I had this to say:

[Another paper] I am inclined to support is Mustafa’s–unless there is a call for rejection. … Mustafa is young, enthusiastic (as Uffe and I could see when we met him in Korea last year), and relatively unknown: he is the sort of researcher we said, at one point, we wanted to support. So, I would like to give him as much a chance as we can.

His paper was accepted unanimously, and we were not sorry.

We met again in Copenhagen just last year, where Mustafa gave a very interesting workshop. He had grown as a historian and educator, and I was looking forward to following his career – I had no doubt it would be very successful.

He and I were also in touch all the time via Facebook. I came to think of him not only as a colleague but as a friend–a true friend, not just a FB “friend.”  I could sense his good heart and humanity in all his postings and our communications and came to like him immensely. I never met Zisan, but the two of them seemed so happy together, and I was happy for them. I was very much looking forward to seeing Mustafa again and finally meeting Zisan in Hamburg next summer. That will not be.

– Michael Fried (Israel)


This is terrible news. I first met Mustafa at my (and his) first CERME in Rzeszow, Poland. Zişan was also there. I did not get to Antalya, but met him in Seoul, Copenhagen and, most recently, in Prague. His historical paper on mathematics in early journals of the Ottoman Empire (c. 1870) was particularly nice and well researched, complementing his core research interests in the use of history in the formation of mathematics teachers in Turkey. I was looking forward to welcoming him in Dublin, and hoped that Zişan would be with us too. You are right; their deaths are a huge loss to the ERME community and to HPM, in particular.

It is sad news for us all and especially for their families and those dear to them.

– Maurice O’Reilly (Ireland)


At every conference we shake hands with lots of people, and it may take a while to sort out whom you will have stimulating and long-term conversations with. Mustafa was different – from the very first time I met him (in Daejon), we had good discussions, and of course he struck me as a very friendly and interesting colleague. I was happy to meet him again in Copenhagen, where it felt like meeting an old-time colleague. I imagined that we would meet again for these biannual meetings for decades and that we would have many opportunities for collaborations.

That will not be. His absence from future meetings of the HPM group will be painful to us all. I can’t imagine the pain of his and Zisan’s families and close ones.

– Bjørn Smestad (Norway)


I am very shocked about this news (that I learned about the day after the accident).

I totally agree with Michael [Fried]’s thoughts and his evaluation for Mustafa, both as a personality and as a new enthusiastic scholar. I have met him several times, we were keeping in contact and I met him for the last time, last year in Copenhagen where I attended his very interesting workshop. What was very impressive – among so many other qualities Mustafa had – was his modesty and eagerness to learn.

I cannot feel anything else except that this is a big loss at levels.

– Costas Tzanakis (Greece)


I have academic and personal memories about Mustafa Alpaslan. I first met him when reading his papers. I appreciated his deep preparation in our field of research, his ideas and his commitment in linking mathematics education and history of mathematics. Afterwards I met him personally in conferences and again I have appreciated his presence in our community. As a young researcher he was a promise for the future of the HPM Study Group.

Mustafa was also a nice and very friendly person. When he sent me the photos of his marriage to Zisan I was very touched by this evidence of friendship. The photos made me happy since I felt that their love project was a real project for life. Unfortunately their life was too short and we’ll miss them.

As my Roman ancestors used to say for the loved friends who passed away “Sit tibi terra levis” (be the soil light to you).

– Fulvia Furinghetti (Italy)


It is very sad news indeed. They were such a nice, lively couple, enjoying life. I met Mustafa and his wife for the first time in Rzeszow, then Antalya and Prague. He was very much involved, enthusiastic and thorough in his research. A bright light. I feel very sorry for both their parents and other family.

– Jenneke Krüger (the Netherlands)


Life is unfair and nonsense.

I met Mustafa last February in Prague, I will always remember the Turkish Delights he brought to the working group and how this gesture showed the kind of person he was.

Rest in peace.

– Antonio Oller (Spain)


I first met Mustafa Alpaslan at the CERME conference in Antalya, Turkey, where all of the participants of the Working Group on History in Mathematics Education had a very good time thanks to the friendly atmosphere created by Uffe. Mustafa was there and from the very first time he spoke I was attracted to the passion he showed for his work, and for sharing it with the other members of the group. And, I liked the way he opened his eyes wide to listen to anyone, as if to absorb everything he heard. It was a pleasure for me to meet him anew at ESU in Copenhagen. I’ll miss him.

– Luis Puig (Spain)


I am sorry to hear of this loss!

– Bob Stein (USA)


…This is terrible news.  Though I never met Mustafa, we (the editors of the special issue [of Science & Education]) all agreed that he had great potential as a researcher.  I was hoping to be able to meet him next summer.  It is a terrible loss not only to his family but also to our community.

– Victor Katz (USA)


My favorite memory of Mustafa and Zisan was spending time with them at CERME-8 in Antalya, Turkey.  We met several times in the evening to discuss their academic plans, and Mustafa asked me to help him with some of his work in English, and I was happy to do so.  We shared many cups of tea and juice, and talked until late in the evening while in Antalya.  During the conference’s Gala dinner, Mustafa and Zisan saved a table for many of us so that we could enjoy the lovely meal, wine, and entertainment together.  It was a memorable evening, and I remember commenting on how beautiful they looked together and how much they clearly loved each other. Wherever Mustafa and Zisan went, whomever they spent time with – they brought such joy, they made such a positive impression, and they were so respectful and appreciative of all that they had. Mustafa had built such a reputation for himself – even before completing his Ph.D. – and so many knew he was destined for much success, and they respected his trustworthiness, his enthusiasm, and his intellect. Losing them to such a tragic accident will be felt by many for a very long time.

– Kathy Clark (USA)


 September 29-30, 2015, Tsukuba, Japan.

The meeting was the opening event for the exhibition, “Wisdom of Mathematics: Exploration and Development,” at the Central Library of the University of Tsukuba, Japan. The exhibition featured two 15th century books: Suanxue Qimeng and Yang Hui Suanfa. These books are the oldest copies of the originally lost 13th century. The exhibition also featured 22 rare books from the 16th – 18th centuries, which have been collected by M. Isoda, with the help of HPM members such as former HPM presidents, J. van Mannen, and J. Fauvel. The exhibition shows the influence of Greek and Arabic mathematics in Europe, the mathematics that existed and developed in East Asia, and its integration into school mathematics. The exhibition showed how mathematics, since Ancient Greece, has been taught as the necessary literacy for the basic culture that can be shared and developed only through school education. The exhibition also showed how the recent Japanese secondary school textbook in 1943, as an influence of Felix Klein, has some similarities with the book by Euclid (1537 edition) and the book by van Schooten (1646).

During the meeting, the following people contributed to the theme: Luis Radford, Gert Schubring, Kenji Ueno, Yuriko Yamamoto Baldin, Wann-Sheng Horng, Shigeru Jochi, Márcia Maria Fusaro Pinto, and Masami Isoda. The lectures and discussions were very informative and fruitful according to their specialties. Firstly, L. Radford, President of HPM, introduced HPM and presented his view for Hermeneutics and significance of the collection. Then, M. Isoda explained his perspective on mathematics education (2015) as the meeting host. G. Schubring, presented his view for Hermeneutics as for research methodology on history with examples of various revisions of textbooks. K. Ueno, W. Horng, and S. Jochi explained the historical value of the books Suanxue Qimeng and Yang Hui Suanfa for the Innovation of Japanese Mathematics (Wasan). M. Pinto presented the history of mathematics education as a discipline and Y. Buldin presented necessary perspectives for integration of several presentations. The speakers also discussed the further meeting for the book project on Hermeneutics, and the future HPM meeting in 2020 in relation to ICME-14.


Isoda, M. (2015). Dialectic on the problem solving approach: Illustrating hermeneutics as the ground theory for lesson study in mathematics education. In S. J. Cho (Ed.), Selected regular lectures from the 12th international congress on mathematical education (pp. 355-381). Cham: Springer.

Masami Isoda

University of Tsukuba (Japan)


November 4-6, 2015, Bogotá, Colombia.

The Fifth National School of History and Mathematics Education (Quinta Escuela Nacional de Historia y Educación Matemática, or, ENHEM 5) took place on the campus of Universidad Externado de Colombia in Bogotá, on 4-6 November 2015.

The conference themes were:

History and Philosophy of Mathematics;

  • History of Mathematics in Latin American countries;
  • The history of mathematics teaching;
  • History of Mathematics in cultural contexts;
  • History of Mathematics in teacher training;
  • History of Mathematics in the teaching and learning of mathematics; and
  • History in mathematics education research.

There were several activities of ENHEM5, including conference plenaries and short courses given by international guests (Gert Schubring, Alejandro Garcíadiego, Sergio Nobre, Kathleen Clark, Analia Bergé, and Carlos Augusto Di Prisco), some 30 lectures by Latin American specialists, 50 short oral communications, and a panel session.

The conference was expertly organized by the committee consisting of:

Luis Recalde, Guillermo Ortiz, Luis Carlos Arboleda, Luz Victoria De la Pava, Ligia Torres, Maribel Anacona, Fernando Gálvez (Universidad de Valle);

Fabio Ortiz (Universidad Externado de Colombia);

Clara Helena Sánchez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia);

Edgar Alberto Guacaneme, Johana Andrea Torres (Universidad Pedagógica Nacional);

Gabriela Arbeláez, Martha Bobadilla (Universidad del Cauca); and

Armando Aroca (Red Latinoamericana de Etnomatemáticas).

The National School of History and Mathematics (ENHEM) takes place every two years; the next takes place in 2017.


Kathy Clark

Florida State University, USA

MAA Convergence is both an online journal on the history of mathematics and its use in teaching and an ever-expanding collection of online resources to help its readers teach mathematics using its history. Founded in 2004 by well-known mathematics historians and educators Victor Katz and Frank Swetz, Convergence brings you a variety of interesting articles and teaching tools. We highlight here some of our newest articles and resources for use in your classroom.
As a web-based publication, Convergence aims to take advantage of new technologies in order to present, explore, and better understand what are often very old ideas. The articles and resources featured here all exemplify this combination of old and new.

(1) “Euclid21: Euclid’s Elements for the 21st Century” introduces a dynamic, interactive version of Euclid’s classic circa 300 BCE geometry text organized via its logical structure.


Figure 1. Euclid’s first three uses of his Parallel Postulate, as illustrated in Euclid21 (Image from Euclid21 computer application created by Eugene Boman and his student team)
(2) “Oliver Byrne: The Matisse of Mathematics” offers both the most complete biography of Byrne to date and ideas for using Byrne’s colorful Euclid’s Elements (1847) in the classroom.


Figure 2. Byrne’s illustration of Euclid’s “windmill” proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. Byrne’s color-coded Euclid was a marvel of Victorian printing and of Pestalozzian pedagogy. (Photo by author Sid Kolpas of his own copy of the book)

(3) “Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Astronomical Instruments” shows how your students can design and build armillary spheres, astrolabes, quadrants, sextants, and sundials using such modern technology as 3D printers.


Figure 3. Student-built sundial from Toke Knudsen’s Ancient Mathematical Astronomy course at SUNY Oneonta (photo by T. Knudsen). See “Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Astronomical Instruments.”
(4) “Problems for Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics” celebrates the popular book’s 25th year in print with downloadable problem sets for each chapter by author William Dunham himself.


Figure 4. Students can explain how Archimedes wrote the area of an ellipse in terms of the area of a circumscribing circle. (Image created by Janine Stilt)


(5) In “Pantas’ Cabinet of Mathematical Wonders: Images and the History of Mathematics,” Convergence’s chief treasure-hunter Frank Swetz showcases Convergence’s “Mathematical Treasures,” an ever-growing collection of hundreds of images of historical texts, manuscripts, and objects for classroom use. Search or browse “A Collection of Mathematical Treasures – Index.”


Figure 5a. A simple but compelling application of the Pythagorean Theorem from Robert Recorde’s Pathway to Knowledge (1551)


Figure 5b. Caption: Book VI of Euclid’s Elements (originally composed circa 300 BCE) begins with a definition of similar rectilinear figures. This copy of Euclid’s Elements was handwritten on vellum around 1294 CE. (Image courtesy of Columbia University Libraries)

(6) “Online Museum Collections in the Mathematics Classroom” introduces 27 mathematical object collections from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and offers suggestions for using them with students of all ages.


Figure 6. Grunow’s circa 1860 spherometer (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution)

(7) “Jan Hudde’s Second Letter: On Maxima and Minima” contains a translation of the letter and explanation of Hudde’s pre-calculus optimization methods, including an early quotient rule.


Figure 7. Diagram added by Frans van Schooten when he published Hudde’s “second letter” in 1659. (Image courtesy of ETH-Bibliothek, Zürich, Switzerland)

(8) “Alan Turing in America” focuses on the important projects in logic and computing Turing worked on during two visits to the U.S.


Figure 8. This photo of a young Alan Turing is believed to be from 1936-38 when he was at Princeton University. (Photo from Convergence Portrait Gallery)

See all of these articles and more at MAA Convergence:

Join us at the Convergence of mathematics, history, and teaching!

Janet Beery (USA)
Editor, MAA Convergence
University of Redlands

The ICME 13 Organizers have decided to extend the submission deadline for papers and posters to Topic Study Groups (TSG) until the 15th of October 2015.
Note: Poster submissions of researchers, who do not wish to apply for financial support (through an ICME 13 solidarity grant), has not been changed and will be possible from 1st– 31st January 2016.

The HPM Newsletter 89 (July, 2015) is now available in


18 – 22 July 2016

Montpellier, France


Please put the dates on your calendar!

Dear colleagues,

I would like to take advantage of this newsletter to let you know that the preparation of our 2016 HPM conference is in its way.

As you may know, the 2016 HPM conference will be held in Montpellier France.

I have been working very closely with the local organizing committee, headed by Anne Cortella, new director of the IREM de Montpellier, and Thomas Hausberger, a member of the IREM de Montpellier.

Thomas’ research interests include number theory, history, philosophy and sociology of sciences, and education. Anne’s research interests include group theory, rings and algebras, and algebraic geometry.

A scientific committee will be in place very soon. More information on this will be provided in the next HPM Newsletter.

2016 HPM Dates:

The dates of the 2016 HPM conference are 18 – 22 July 2016. Please put the dates on your calendar!

Luis Radford

Université Laurentienne, Canada

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