Archive for the ‘Call for papers’ Category

“Concrete numbers” versus “abstract numbers”: an anthropological, historical, historiographical and didactical approach

Edited by Christine Proust & Eric Vandendriessche (Laboratory SPHERE, CNRS & University Paris-Diderot)

This special issue would be an incentive to interconnect several disciplinary perspectives: history, anthropology, philosophy, didactics and ethnomathematics, in order to critically analyze the opposition between “concrete numbers” and “abstract numbers”. Some historians, philosophers, and anthropologists have theorized a separation between “numbers” and the entities enumerated or counted with these numbers, and more particularly, between numbers and measurement units attached to them in the expression of measurement values. This perception gave rise to a linear history of oral and written numerations rooted in evolutionary theories and classifications (Smith, Guitel, and many others). To what extent does this separation reflect the practices carried out in societies or social groups under scrutiny by these scholars? How has the notion of “abstract numbers”-as opposed to those described as “concrete numbers” shaped the history of numerations? This issue’s goal is to confront common historiography with the great diversity of numeration and measurement systems (and their interrelations), attested to by the various textual and ethnographic sources available to us (Murdoch, Thomas, Lean, etc.).

Contributors are invited to expose different case studies, from distinct times and in various contexts, highlighting the way in which mathematical work on measurement units is an integral-and sometimes essential-part of the mathematical elaborations of numbers. How the inclusion of units of measurement shape our understanding of numerical systems and fractions, in past or present treaties and textbooks? How focusing on often neglected mathematical elements such as measurement units could open up new prospects for discussion on mathematical practices? Of particular interest are the cases studies which enable the analysis of various methods of quantification involved in administrative tasks, trade, craft-making, as well as those developed in oral tradition societies, and furthermore in the way mathematics are currently taught. Anthropological, historical, historiographical and didactical approaches are encouraged.

This special issue will include selected articles-as well as a general introduction by the editors-which will be submitted to the Historia Mathematica Journal. The journal’s editorial staff has expressed a keen interest in this project.

Contributors to this issue are invited to submit a title and an outline of the projected article of about 500 words in English, and a short bibliography, including their publications on the subject or related subjects.


Proposals should be sent before January 31, 2018 to Christine Proust <> and Eric Vandendriessche <>.

Approvals will be sent to the authors by March 5, 2018. Subsequently, the first version of the articles (written preferably in English, approximately 60 000 characters including spaces, references, as well as a 100 word abstract) should be sent to the editors by September 30, 2018. 2

Short indicative bibliography


Bernard, Alain, Grégory Chambon, and Caroline Ehrhardt. 2010. Le sens des nombres.


Mesure, valeur et informations chiffrées: une approche historique. Paris : Vuibert. Cajori, Florian. 1928-1929. A history of mathematical notations. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company.

Chrisomalis, Stephen. 2010. Numerical Notation: A Comparative History. Cambridge University Press.

Conant, Levi. 1896. The Number Concept. New York/London, MacMillan & Co.

Crump, Thomas.1992. The Anthropology of Numbers. Cambridge University Press. Dehouve, Danièle. 2011. L’imaginaire des nombres chez les anciens Mexicains. Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

Guitel, Geneviève. 1966. “Classification hiérarchisée des numérations écrites.” Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 21e année, n°5: 959-981.

Guitel, Geneviève. 1975. Histoire comparée des numérations écrites. Paris: Flammarion. Lean, Glen.1992. Counting systems of Papua New Guinea and Oceania. Unpublished PhD thesis. Lae: Papua New Guinea University of Technology.

Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien. 1910. Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures. Paris : F. Alcan.

Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1920. “Classificatory Particles in the Language of Kiriwina”. Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, 1(4): 33-78.

Murdoch, John. 1890. “Counting and Measuring among the Eskimo of Point Barrow”. American Anthropologist, 3 (1): 37-44.

Owens, Kay, Glen Lean, Patricia Paraide, and Charly Muke. 2018. History of Number. Evidence from Papua New Guinea and Oceania. Springer International Publishing.

Neugebauer, Otto. 1933. “Sexagesimalsystem und babylonische Bruchrechnung”. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik B 2: 199-210.

Nissen, Hans J., Peter Damerow, and Robert Englund. 1993. Archaic Bookkeeping. Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Peacock, George. 1826 (ed. 1845). “Arithmetic”. In Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, vol. I: Pure Sciences. London: Smedley & Rose, pp. 369-523.

Proust, Christine. 2008. “Quantifier et calculer: usages des nombres à Nippur”. Revue d’Histoire des Mathématiques 14:143-209.

Smith, David Eugene and Jekuthiel Ginsburg. 1937. “Numbers and numerals”. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Thureau-Dangin, François. 1930. “Nombres concrets et nombres abstraits dans la numération babylonienne”. Revue d’Assyriologie, 27: 116-119.

Thomas, Cyrus 1900. “Numeral Systems of Mexico and Central America”. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, 19th Annual Report, Part 2. Washington DC: 853-955. Troure, Kalifa and Nadine Bednarz. 2006. “Une étude ethnomathématique au Burkina Faso : l’arithmétique au quotidien”. Canadian journal of science, mathematics and technology education, 10 (4): 307-320.

Urton, Gary, 2003. Signs of the Inka Khipu: Binary Coding in the Andean Knotted-String Records. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Tylor, Edward.1871. “The Art of Counting”. In Primitive Culture: Researches Into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Languages, Art and Customs, Vol. 1, chap. VII. London : John Murray, Albemarle Street, pp. 239-272.

Vandendriessche, Eric. 2016. “Variabilité culturelle de la numératie : quelques points d’entrée dans la littérature ethno-mathématique”. Statistique et Société, 4 (1): 51-55.

Vellard, Dominique. 1988. “Anthropologie et sciences cognitives : une étude des procédures de calcul mental utilisées par une population analphabète”. Intellectica, 2: 169-209.


Call for papers and poster proposals


Leader of the Working Group

Renaud Chorlay (France)

Co-leaders of the Working Group

Kathy Clark (USA), Katalin Gosztonyi (Hungary), Snezana Lawrence (UK)


Scope and focus of the Working Group

History of mathematics in mathematics education continues to receive much attention. However, empirical research and coherent theoretical/conceptual frameworks within this area have emerged relatively recently.

The purpose of this CERME TWG is to provide a forum to approach mathematics education in connection with history and epistemology dedicated primarily to theory and research on all aspects of the role, effect, and efficacy of history and epistemology as elements in mathematics education.


Call for papers and poster proposals

TWG12 welcomes both empirical and theoretical research papers, and poster proposals related to one or more of the following issues – although any paper or poster of relevance to the overall focus of the group will be taken into consideration:

1. Design and/or assessment of teaching/learning materials using the history of mathematics, preferably with conclusions based on empirical data; all levels can be considered, from early-age mathematics to tertiary education and teacher training.

2. Surveys on the existing uses of history or epistemology in curricula, textbooks, and/or classrooms in primary, secondary, and tertiary levels;

3. History of mathematics education;

4. Relationships between, on the one hand frameworks for and empirical studies on history in mathematics education and, on the other hand, theories, frameworks and studies in other parts of mathematics education research.


Papers and poster proposals should use the CERME template, and conform to the guidelines for authors as outlined on the CERME 10 website. CERME10 uses a submission website. An author submits a paper on the website (uploading it as a .doc or .docx file, and providing the required information, in particular the TWG number).


Reviews and decisions

Each paper will be peer-reviewed by two persons from among those who submit papers to this TWG. Please expect to be asked to review up to two papers yourself. The group leaders will decide about the acceptance of posters.


Important dates

  •  15th September 2016: Initial submission by authors on the online submission system.
  • 2nd November 2016: Preliminary decisions on papers sent.
  • 10th November 2016: Preliminary decisions on posters sent.
  • 24th November 2016: The authors send a revised version if needed.
  • 5th December 2016: Final decisions sent.
  • 12th December 2016: Final version uploaded on the online submission system.
  • 13th January 2017: Papers available on CERME 10 website.


Announcement of Special Issue
The Use of History of Mathematics to Enhance Undergraduate Mathematics Instruction

Call for Papers

The journal PRIMUS announces a special issue on the use of history of mathematics to enhance the instruction of undergraduate mathematics. Kathleen Clark (Florida State University) and John Thoo (Yuba College) will guest edit the special issue.
The view that history of mathematics enhances the teaching and learning of mathematics is not new, yet publications that provide more than anecdotal descriptions of using history in teaching mathematics remain difficult to find. In the spirit of the main themes of the International Study Group on the Relations between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM Group), this special issue of PRIMUS seeks to publish both theoretical and empirical studies that significantly add to the literature, providing a collection of research in a single volume as a pedagogical resource.


Manuscript submissions may include one or more of the main themes of the HPM Group (modified with respect to the PRIMUS readership):
(1) theoretical and/or conceptual frameworks for integrating history in mathematics education;
(2) history and epistemology as tools for an interdisciplinary approach in the teaching and learning of mathematics and the sciences;
(3) results of actual classroom experiments in the implementation of history in the teaching of mathematics, both from the cognitive and affective points of view, at the undergraduate level, including pre-service mathematics teacher education;
(4) results from teaching history of mathematics courses for mathematics, mathematics education, or philosophy majors;
(5) ways of integrating original sources in the undergraduate classroom, and their educational effects, preferably with conclusions based on classroom experiments;
(6) design and/or assessment of teaching and learning materials on the history of mathematics;
(7) the exploration of possible analogies and parallelism between the historical development and students’ cognitive development of mathematical ideas;
(8) surveys on the existing uses of history in curriculum, textbooks, and/or classrooms at the undergraduate level.
Although papers dealing with any aspect of incorporating a historical dimension in undergraduate mathematics education are welcome, the editors particularly encourage papers that address one or more of the themes above.
Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2013. Papers for this special issue should be approximately 10 to 12 pages in length, although there is some flexibility. Supplementary materials, such as appendices and color illustrations, may be published in the online version.
We also extend a call for referees for the special issue, especially those who have some experience with or significant interest in the themes provided.

For more information, please contact:
Special Issue Guest Editors:
Kathleen Clark, (primary contact)
John Thoo,

PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, is a refereed journal published by Taylor and Francis. See for more information.
PRIMUS Editor-in-Chief
Jo Ellis-Monaghan,

Special Issue
History and Philosophy of Mathematics in Mathematics Education

Call for Papers

Recent years have seen increasing interest in the role of the history and philosophy of mathematics in the teaching of mathematics at all levels. Although the history and philosophy of mathematics can be thought of as separate domains, they are closely linked to one another, as they are also to more general issues of history, philosophy, and culture.


For this reason, a focused treatment of history and philosophy of mathematics can also enlighten science educators as well as mathematics educators, and, indeed, it is important for those involved in science education to understand how mathematics and its history relates to the teaching of science, and conversely how the teaching and learning of mathematics engages with science.
We therefore invite mathematicians, historians, philosophers, and others who are doing research in the history and philosophy of mathematics and their relation to mathematics education to contribute to this special issue of Science & Education. Both theoretical and empirical studies are welcome.

Examples of topics include:
– The role of history and philosophy of mathematics in teacher training
– Theoretical and/or conceptual frameworks for integrating history and/or philosophy into mathematics education.
– Classroom experiments or teaching materials that implement history or philosophy of mathematics.
– Use of original sources in the classroom and their impact on learning mathematics.
– The historical relationship of mathematics to science and technology, and its philosophical and educational implications.
– Philosophical lessons from ethnomathematics, and ways these can contribute to mathematics education.

Deadline for Submissions:
December 1st 2012

Submissions to:
Choose MATHEMATICS as mss type.

Notification of intention to submit and subject matter is appreciated as it assists coordination and planning of the issue.

Guest Editors, questions and inquiries should be directed to:

Victor J. Katz
Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
University of the District of Columbia
Washington, DC, USA

Uffe Thomas Jankvist
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
Roskilde University
Roskilde, DENMARK

Michael N. Fried
Associate Professor
Graduate Program for Science and Technology Education
Ben-Gurion University
Beersheva, ISRAEL

Stuart Rowlands
Lecturer in Mathematics
University of Plymouth
Plymouth, ENGLAND