IMU & ICMI

About IMU

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction was established at the Fourth International Congress of Mathematicians held in Rome in 1908. It was initiated to support a then widespread interest among mathematicians in school education.

After interruptions of activity around the two World Wars, ICMI was reconstituted in 1952. It was a time when the international mathematical community was being reorganized and ICMI then became a commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organization, with the purpose of promoting international cooperation in mathematics. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and has endorsed repeatedly ICSU's Principle of Freedom, Responsibility & Universality of Science. The objectives of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) are:

a. To promote international cooperation in mathematics

b. To support and assist the International Congress of Mathematicians and other international scientific meetings or conferences

c. To encourage and support other international mathematical activities considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects, pure, applied, or educational

More precise objectives and detailed Information about the organization of IMU can be found in its statutes (and of course in the IMU server that you are currently visiting). Legally, IMU is an unincorporated association, recognized as a charitable organization by the internal revenue service of Berlin, Germany (Finanzamt Berlin-Charlottenburg). Ongoing activities concerning IMU are published in IMU Bulletins and in the bimonthly newsletter IMU-Net to which everybody can subscribe.


About ICMI
Devoted to the development of mathematical education at all levels, the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) is a commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), an international non-governmental and nonprofit scientific organization whose purpose is to promote international cooperation in mathematics.

Founded at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome, 1908 with the initial mandate of analyzing the similarities and differences in the secondary school teaching of mathematics among various countries, ICMI has considerably expanded its objectives and activities in the years since.

ICMI offers a forum to promote reflection, collaboration and the exchange and dissemination of ideas on the teaching and learning of mathematics from primary to university level. ICMI works to stimulate the creation, improvement and dissemination of recent research findings and of the available resources for instruction (e.g curricular materials, pedagogical methods, the appropriate use of technology, etc.).

The Commission aims to facilitate the spread and understanding of information on all aspects of the theory and practice of contemporary mathematical education from an international perspective. ICMI has the additional objective of providing a link between educational researchers, curriculum designers, educational policy makers, teachers of mathematics, mathematicians, mathematics educators and others interested in mathematical education around the world.

ICMI takes initiative in inaugurating appropriate activities, publications and other programs designed to further the development of mathematical education and to improve the public appreciation of mathematics. It is also charged with the conduct of IMU's activities on mathematical or scientific education. In the pursuit of its objectives, ICMI cooperates with various thematic and regional groups formed within or outside its own structure.

Among international organizations devoted to mathematics education, ICMI is distinctive because of its close ties with the professional communities of mathematicians and mathematical educators as well as its breadth – thematic, cultural and regional. 

ICMI as an Organisation 

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction was established at the Fourth International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome, 1908. Following interruptions in activity as a result of the First and Second World Wars, ICMI was reconstituted in 1952 and became an official commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

As a scientific union, IMU is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). This implies that through IMU, ICMI is to abide by the ICSU statutes, one of which (Statute 5) establishes the Principle of the Universality of Science, the essential elements of which are non-discrimination and equity. Through this principle, ICSU affirms the right and freedom of scientists to participate without discrimination and on an equitable basis in legitimate scientific activities, whether they be conducted in a national, transnational or international context, regardless of their citizenship, religion, political stance, ethnic origin, sex, etc. Apart from observing IMU and ICSU general rules and principles, ICMI works with a large degree of autonomy.

The General Assembly of ICMI meets during the International Congresses on Mathematical Education (ICMEs), held every four years. This Assembly is responsible in particular for the election of the Executive Committee of ICMI, which includes the presiding officers of ICMI.

The General Assembly of IMU formally adopts ICMI's Terms of Reference as well as the procedures for the election of the Executive Committee of ICMI. Moreover the vast majority of the current funding of ICMI comes from an IMU subvention that is approved by the IMU General Assembly. ICMI files an annual report of its activities and a financial report to the IMU Executive Committee for endorsement. Furthermore, ICMI files quadrennial reports at General Assembly meetings of both IMU and ICMI.

© 2008 ICMI For more: http://www.mathunion.org/icmi/home