Posts Tagged ‘message’

Welcome to Newsletter 94!  Here in Florida we have been completely entrenched in all things “spring” – though this is easy to do since we did not experience any version of a season that resembled winter.  In reality, I cannot believe it is already March, as my “To Do” list stays perpetually filled with things I should have already completed – like NL 94!


That aside, it really has been a busy year already.  There are several HPM-related activities that have taken place or that are onging, and many of them are described or advertised in this installment of the HPM newsletter.  In my comments below, I mention two additional items which are not included in separate annoucements that you will read about in this newsletter.  As well, I would like to update you on the evolving structure of the HPM Group.


First, approximately 25 colleagues participated in the Thematic Working Group (12 TWG 12), “History in Mathematics Education,” at CERME 10 (1-5 February 2017, Dublin, Ireland).  Included in the seven ‘working sessions’ at the conference were presentations on 16 papers and 2 posters, which you can find in their pre-converence form here:  Additionally, Michèle Artigue and Uffe Thomas Jankvist led participants in a discussion of the forthcoming ERME chapter on TWG 12 (


In reflecting on CERME 10 I was reminded that working in the field of history in / of mathematics education energizes me in two ways.  In the one sense, I enjoy coming together and seeing familiar faces and reconnecting with them about shared ideas and further following their work.  On the other, I am energized by the newcomers (not necessarily new to the field, but perhaps new to the HPM community or activities) whom I get to meet and to learn about the exciting work and scholarship taking place around the world. I believe the working group activities were well received by participants of TWG 12, and I thank Renaud Chorlay (France) and Katalin Gosztonyi (Hungary) for their leadership during the working group at CERME 10.


Secondly, I wanted to make sure that I reminded you all that the International HPM Group is an affiliated study group of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), which is an official commission of the International Mathematics Union (IMU).  The ICMI leadership encourages members of the affiliated study groups to remain informed by subscribing to the ICMI News.  You can read more about the ICMI News here: (and at the bottom of the page you will find directions for subscribing to the ICMI News).



Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the shape of the formal operating structure of the HPM Group.  Over the past several months I have been in contact with Advisory Board members and the previous Executive Committee (2012-2016), and after conducting a vote of the Advisory Board members I have established the Executive Committee for the 2016-2020 term and updated the Advisory Board membership.  I have also established an Honorary Advisory Board (HAdB), but at the time of this writing I am still waiting to hear back from all of the inaugural invitees.  Consequently, I hope to announce the first HAdB in the July newsletter (NL 95).


You will find the updated Advisory Board at the end of this newsletter (pp. 26), and I hope that you will join me in welcoming three new members:

Michael N. Fried (Israel),

Helder Pinto (Portugal), and

Leo Rogers (UK).


The Executive Committee (ExC) for the 2016-2020 term is:

Évelyne Barbin (France), Fulvia Furinghetti (Italy), Uffe Thomas Jankvist (Denmark), Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen (Denmark), and

Costas Tzanakis (Greece).


I should also state that for the next major HPM-related conference activities (ESU-8, HPM 2020, and ICME-14), there were will be additional ExC members who will serve as liasons to the Group (for example, Bjørn Smestad will serve in this capacity for ESU-8).



As I write this, I realize I have much to learn and to do to serve the HPM Group in the best way possible.  One of the reasons I asked the Advisory Board to vote on five members to comprise the Executive Committee was because I felt I needed additional assistance in learning about how best to serve the HPM community.  The Advisory Board is also a vital component of informing and guiding the Chair and the HPM Group, and consistent and timely participation is a critical contribution of an Advisory Board member.  There are exciting decisions that need to be made in the coming months, related to the smooth running of ESU-8, as well as to begin planning for HPM 2020.  I ask for your support in these activities, and welcome your comments and active participation.



Kathy Clark

HPM Chair

Florida State University, USA



Dear colleagues,

I would like to take advantage of this newsletter to express my gratitude to Evelyne Barbin and the HPM Advisory Board for the trust and confidence they have placed in me by inviting me to chair our group. I will work hard with all of you to continue the work of our past chairs and members in order to ensure that HPM continues playing its important scientific role.

I joined HPM in the summer of 1992, when our quadrennial meeting was held in Toronto, just before ICME-7. The summer of 1992 was very important in my life. After spending one year at the Université du Québec à Montréal working with a remarkable team of mathematics educators, psychologists, and historians of mathematics, I had to decide whether or not to come back to my university — Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala — or to accept an offer that Laurentian University in Ontario was making me to join its school of education. It was in this turmoil of feelings and uncertainties that I went to Toronto to participate in the HPM meeting.

The Toronto HPM meeting gave me the opportunity to meet people whose work I have read with great interest and passion. For instance, I met John Fauvel, whose natural curiosity and inquisitive mind impressed me tremendously. I remember that, during a coffee break, John came to me and invited me to sit on some stairs nearby so that I could tell him how we were trying to distinguish in Montreal between arithmetic and algebraic thinking. I mentioned that our approach was based on an investigation of ontogenetic and historical developments and synthesized, as best as I could, our findings. I was unaware of how this research problem and the way we tackled it in Montreal was going to affect me during the following years until now. If I see retrospectively the work that we did in Montreal, I find there, albeit in a nascent form, problems and topics that have become the major areas of my research— e.g., the emergence of algebraic symbolism, the development of algebraic thinking, the relationships between ontogenesis and phylogenesis, and the relationships between mathematical thinking and culture.

I found very inspiring and stimulating all the presentations that I attended at the HPM 1992 meeting. As you know, a selection of papers presented at that meeting and HPM talks at ICME-7 were published in Vita mathematica: historical research and integration with teaching by Ron Calinger. I read the book from its first page up the last one and ended up writing a review of it some years later (the review appeared in Revista Brasileira de História da Matemática, 4(7), 83-95).

This short overview of my first contact with HPM gives you, I hope, an idea of how important HPM has been in my academic life. Each one of the HPM meetings that I have attended has been profoundly inspiring and motivating. And I would like very much that young researchers have the same invaluable opportunity that the group has offered me to grow intellectually through the group’s meetings and network possibilities.

Our next meeting is still a few years ahead of us. Yet, we need to start planning it. We’ll do it. But I also feel that we could attempt to bring closer and in a more systematic manner our research interests. HPM can do that. With the development of new communication technologies, distances no longer pose the difficult problems they did in the past. So, what I have in mind is the creation of “research dossiers” that could facilitate exchange and joint work among our members. The idea is that each research dossier revolves around a research theme that would be investigated in the course of several years (2 or 3). The results could be presented at the HPM quadrennial meetings, with updates and short synopsis in each Newsletter. You are invited to organize a research dossier and to identify and invite researchers that you think can contribute to the dossier. I approached some colleagues to invite them to start this initiative.

Luis Puig will be in charge of the dossier “On the first books on Algebra written in Spanish.” The dossier starts from the fact that, during the second part of the 16th century, the first books written in Spanish containing chapters on Algebra were published: Marc Aurel’s Libro Primero de Arithmetica Algebratica, published in 1552 in Valencia, Juan Pérez de Moya’s Arithmetica Practica y Especulativa, published in 1562 in Salamanca, Pedro Nunes’s Libro de Algebra en Arithmetica y Geometria, published in 1567 in Anvers (today Antwerp), and Juan Pérez de Moya’s Tratado de Mathematicas, published in 1573 in Alcala de Henares. It is an interesting fact that only one of these authors, Pérez de Moya, had Spanish as his mother tongue: Marc Aurel was German, and Pedro Nunes was Portuguese. The goal of the research dossier is to compare the presentation of Algebra in these books.

Another dossier will be devoted to the Middle Age and Renaissance mathematics in the Classroom, featuring an investigation of Tartaglia Galigai and some other authors. This dossier will be carried out under the responsibility of Fulvia Furinghetti. So far, the participants include Adriano Demattè and myself.

A third dossier revolves around “Original sources in the teaching and learning of mathematics.” Participants include Uffe Thomas Jankvist, Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, Hans Niels Jahnke, Renaud Chorlay, and Janet Barnett.

A fourth dossier is under the responsibility of Masami Isoda and will work towards the production of a Lesson Study Book for History of Mathematics.

Again, I invite you to identify a research dossier and invite people to participate in it. Of course, you can also try to recruit people who are not currently HPM members. By interacting and working with HPM people, they will become HPM members! One of the strengths of our group is the interdisciplinary composition—mathematicians, historians, epistemologists, mathematics educators, etc. Let’s try to keep building and capitalizing on that strength!


Luis Radford

Laurentian University, Canada

University of Manchester, UK