My latest Mathematics bookmarks

Monday, June 19, 2017

Micheal's Newsletter

Prof Micheal De Villiers Newsletter:  (

Dear Colleagues & Friends
Shortly after I sent out my previous Math e-Newsletter at the end of January this year, my desktop computer unfortunately completely crashed.  In the process I unfortunately lost some files and e-mails, and it might be that some folks who requested to be added or removed from the mailing list were not. So please feel free to contact me again. Also note I am sending this mail from my g-mail account, which I don't check daily.

My Downloadable Articles Homepage has been updated with the following new items:
1) A Multiple Solution Task: a SA Mathematics Olympiad Problem (Learning & Teaching Mathematics, June 2016 paper).
2) mathematics/science cartoon and mathematics quote (at bottom of page)
My Dynamic Geometry Sketches site has been updated with the following new sketches (as well as some updates to older sketches):
1) Nine Point Circle and Spieker Circle Duality
2) Bug Escape Problem
3) SA Mathematics Olympiad Problem 2016, Round 2, Question 20

My latest Dynamic Geometry Sketches all use WebSketchpad, which are more easily accessible across a range of platforms from cellphones to tablets as well as laptops and PC's without the need to constantly update Java, or to change your security settings.

This year's SA Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) had a record breaking number of almost 100 000 learners participating. Congratulations to all new learners (and their teachers and parents) who progressed to the third, final round - good luck!

It was with shock and sadness I learnt of the passing of Malcolm Swan from the University of Nottingham's Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, who died at the age of 64. His research work on the teaching and learning of modelling, graphs representing real-world situations, and diagnostic teaching was particularly influential around the world.

The accredited, open resource, research journal, Pythagoras, of the Association of Mathematics Education for South Africa (AMESA) is now available on Twitter with the handle @Pythagoras_OA

a) Read the informative research paper "The Elusive Slope" by Thomas Lingfjard & Djamshid Farahani about the interpretation of mathematical models. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the CERME 9 Conference. It is available as open source here.
b) The New DQME website showcases the work of a 6 year EU project with 11 participating countries. It contains 1000s of practical materials tested and ready for use in the classroom, organised in 10 languages and by age level and mathematical content. To download materials click 'Register Now' on the webpage and Submit your details, after which materials can be accessed when you log in with email/password.
c) Download the free, open source ICMI 13 study report The Philosophy of Mathematics Education.
d) The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts has made a call for papers for a Special Issue on Education. Contribute about new and groundbreaking research in the areas of scholarly inter- or transdisciplinary work in mathematics and the arts education. Both formal and informal contributions are sought, more specifically, this special issue will focus on the application of the arts in mathematics education and/or mathematics in the arts education. Deadline: 1 October 2017.
e) View and listen to Tessellations in Music, showcasing the interplay between patterns in music, art and mathematics.
f) Visit Sine of the Times for many short, thought-provoking articles for teachers that include stimulating, novel, interactive math activities from elementary school and upwards.
g) NCTM's Illuminations site contains many useful lessonplans for the teaching of mathematics at all levels, as well as many interactive applets to use online or to download.
h) Read this interesting story about a Retiree discovering a proof for the elusive Gaussian correlation inequality.

a) The 2017 Annual Congress of AMESA will be held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 3-7 July 2017 with the theme "Restoring the dignity of mathematics learners through quality teaching and learning". Website: 
b) The 41st PME Annual Conference will take place in Singapore from July 17 - 22, 2017. URL: 
c) The ICTMA-18 (International Conference on Mathematical Modelling and Applications will be hosted by the University of Stellenbosch, and held in Cape Town, South Africa, 23-28 July 2017. Website: Prof Ndlovu Mdu at: or Dr Helena Wessels at:
d) BRIDGES 2017, Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Dates: 27–31 July 2017, Bridges 2017 will feature talks and artworks presenting the newest ideas in mathematics and the arts from experts around the world.
e) International Symposium - Elementary Mathematics Teaching to be held in Prague, Czech Republic at the Faculty of Education of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, August 20-25, 2017. Contact: Website address:
f) The 14th International Conference of the Mathematics Education for the Future Project will be held at Hotel AnnabellaBalatonfuredBalaton Lake, Hungary from September 10-15, 2017. The conference title, "Mathematics Education for the next Decade: Heuristics and Challenges of Polya and Lakatos", continues the search for innovation in mathematics, science, computing and statistics education. Email: URL: First Announcement.
g) ICHME-5 Fifth International Conference on the History of Mathematics Education, 19-22 September, 2017, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Website:
h) The next Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics will be held in Gramado, Brazil in 26 Nov – 1 Dec 2017. Website:
i) The 22nd Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics, December 15-19, 2017, hosted by Chung Yuan Christian University, Chungli, Taiwan. Website:
j) The Seventh international conference to review research on Science, TEchnology and Mathematics Education,epiSTEME-7, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), Mumbai, India, 5-8 January, 2018. epiSTEME-7.
k) The 26th conference of the Southern African Associations for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, SAARMSTE 2018, will be held at the University of Botswana from 16 - 19 January 2018. Conference theme: Pursuing sustainable and inclusive quality education through research informed practice in Mathematics. Science and Technology. Online submission of papers for review: Monday 17 July. Website: SAARMSTE 2018.
l) The 2nd Conference of the International Network for Didactic Research in University Mathematics, INDRUM, April 5-7, 2018, Kristiansand (Norway). This research project is intended to contribute to the development of research in didactics of mathematics at all levels of tertiary education, with a particular concern for the development of young researchers in the field and for dialogue with mathematicians. Website: INDRUM 2018.
m) The 8th ICMI-East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, EARCOME, May 7-11, 2018. Theme: "Flexibility in Mathematics Education". Flexibility in mathematical thinking, problem solving, teaching methods, evaluation, teacher education and mathematics education research is a key to empowering learners, teachers, educators and researchers to tackle the complexity and uncertainty, and to giving them the capacity and motive to change in the innovative era. Website: EARCOME 2018.

"... logical inferences are definitely productive in extending knowledge by virtue of bringing to light otherwise unsuspected connections." - Yehuda Rav (1999:10). Why do we prove theorems? Philosophae Mathematicae.
"Perhaps, though, there is another purpose to proof - as a testing ground for the stamina and ingenuity of the mathematician. We admire the conqueror of Everest, not because the top of Everest is a place we want to be, but just because it is so hard to get there." - Davis & Hersh (1983:369) in The Mathematical Experience.
"Were all proofs in mathematics routine, there would be a machine that could solve any problem; press a button and wait until the machine presents its answer. But it can be proved that no such machine can ever exist. Your first reaction to this fact of life might be despair, but do not be discouraged. Mathematics is not the realm of a few "magicians"; you are not expected to compete with Archimedes, Gauss, Hilbert, and Poincare'. Each of us is inventive to some degree; and the more one learns, the more proficient one becomes. In music, we can listen and thrill to the beauty of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Even though we cannot compose the sonatas for unaccompanied violin, Don Giovanni, or the late quartets, we can still sing." - Joseph Rotman (1998: 15). Journey into Mathematics. London: Prentice-Hall.

There was a statistician that drowned crossing a river... It was 3 feet deep on average.
An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third orders a third of a beer. The mathematical educated bartender bellows, "Get the hell out of here, are you trying to ruin me?"
Mathematic puns are the first sine of madness - Johann Von Haupkoph
Crazy Dictionary of Mathematical Terms:
Calculus - what a dentist scrapes from teeth.
Center of Mass - the Priest.
Centroid - a 100 year old nerd.
Chaos - Kmart.
Chord - a pile of wood.
Circle - the longest distance between any two points.
Circumference - a circuitous inference.
Coefficient - two heads are better than one.
Cylinder - Budweiser.
Mathematically yours
Prof Dr Michael de Villiers
(Dynamic Mathematics Learning)
Dynamic Geometry Sketches:
Dynamic Mathematics Learning Store:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Living Maths Olympiad 2016 - sign up now

Dear Principals, HOD’s, teachers, Home-school heads, mathematicians and colleagues,

The 2016 Living Maths Mathletics Olympiad will be taking place from 17 October until 14 November (for South African Schools) and will end 21 December (for International Schools).

If you are a teacher and would like to download the papers, click here to receive the links for the 2016 Question Papers.

All the notices, certificates etc can be found below:

For schools that are in South Africa  the Olympiad notices and instructions are here

For schools that are OUTSIDE of South Africa  the Olympiad International notices and instructions are here

The Olympiad Certificates are here (Please let us know if you want the WORD versions for mail merging or translating the certificates into a different language)
Olympiad resources including past papers (we will always add additional content – feel free to visit the Living Maths or the Living Maths International Maths Olympiad Facebook page)

The updated Errors sheet can be found here – this sheet will be updated on a daily basis based on feedback that we receive from teachers.  We will then update the papers online.  If you have already printed out your papers then please read through the errors sheet to see if there are any queries on questions or the marking memo.

We kindly request that you print out the Instructions sheet and main notice before taking part.  The instructions and the main notice will explain everything that you need to know.  Of course feel free to email us if you have any questions.

South African Schools can write any time from 17 October until 14 November 2016. 

Special thanks go to Jani Kruger for translating the papers into Afrikaans and to Sally Goldman for editing the papers, moderating the questions and her very sound advice.

Please forward this email to any teachers or schools who may be able to benefit from its contents.

Good Luck and enjoy!


Steve (Olympiad Convenor 2016)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mathsbookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mathsbookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mathsbookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mathsbookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.