Report on WFNMC Meeting, Tokyo 2000

A new executive, a number of awards, excellent lectures and some new directions resulted from the WFNMC meeting held in Tokyo, in conjunction with ICME9.

New Executive

Peter Taylor was elected President after Ron Dunkley had made known his intention to stand down. Ron was elected as Chairman of the Awards Committee, while Maria de Losada (Colombia) was elected to the vacant Vice-President position. Bulgaria's Petar Kenderov assumes the Senior Vice-Presidency, together with the Chairmanship of the Program Committee.

At the end of the General Meeting Ron Dunkley was presented with a crystal decanter, engraved with the WFNMC logo, to honour his many years of service to WFNMC since it was founded at ICME5 in Adelaide in 1984. He was an inaugural Vice-President, founded the international conferences of WFNMC with an outstanding conference at Waterloo (WFNMC1) in 1990, filled in the gap to become President in 1996 and saw through, at his own initiative, a Constitution, which was approved in 1996.

The full list of the new Executive and various subcommittee members can be found at the WFNMC web site.

Erdös Award Presentations

Two mathematicians, Francisco Bellot Rosado (Spain) and János Surányi (Hungary), were presented with WFNMC Erdös Awards for outstanding contribution to mathematical enrichment both in their own countries and internationally. A third mathematician, Istvan Reiman (Hungary), is likely to have his award presented in Budapest during October.

Speakers' Program

A program of excellent lectures was presented in cooperation with the ICME organisers of TSG18. The program can be found on the internet. Highlight was possibly the Japanese speaker Nob Yoshigahara, a puzzle creator, who showed some ideas which might also be useful in the creation of mathematics problems.

Forum on Future Directions

The last session took the form of a forum on future directions of WFNMC. Now that WFNMC has an established Constitution, it is seeking to define its role more clearly in the next few years. It also intends to articulate the role and use of competitions in mathematics education. The forum took the place of addresses by four members from different continents, followed by open discussion.

The discussion was lively and useful. One of the main results was a decision to form a task group, led by Tony Gardiner (UK) and comprising a number of members who are school teachers, to consider and report on ways in which teachers may become more involved.

Presentation of Latvian Medals

This year is the 50th year of the Latvian Mathematical Society, which decided to commemorate the year by awarding Gold Medals to a number of mathematicians who had made international contributions to their field. At this conference four such medals were presented by Agnis Andjans and Liga Ramana, on behalf of the Latvian Mathematical Society, to Nikolay Konstantinov (Russia), Andy Liu (Canada), Jordan Tabov (Bulgaria) and Peter Taylor (Australia).