GSE hosts international mathematics conference

Conference presenters Peter Gates and Ubiratan D'Ambrosio at KBOO radio

Conference presenters Peter Gates and Ubiratan D’Ambrosio at KBOO radio

The eighth international Mathematics Education and Society (MES) conference took place at Portland State University, June 21–26, 2015. Swapna Mukhopadhyay, professor in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) Curriculum and Instruction Department, and Brian Greer, adjunct instructor in the GSE, organized the conference. This year marks the first time that the MES conference has been held in the United States, with previous conferences having taken place in Europe, Australia, and South Africa. The conference provides a forum for the discussion of historical, cultural, social, and political aspects of mathematics education and how it both reflects and impacts society. The conference was attended by more than 150 people from over 20 countries.

GSE Dean Randy Hitz said, “The Mathematics Education and Society Conference is unique and extremely important as it focuses on the ethical responsibilities of mathematicians and mathematics educators, including making mathematics accessible to all students and reflecting critically on what is done with the mathematics developed.”

This year, the conference was inaugurated with blessing songs by Judy Bluehorse Skelton (Nimiipuu/Nez Perce, Cherokee) of the PSU Indigenous Nations Studies program, followed by a welcome by President Wim Wiewel. Other speakers over the course of the six-day conference included Karen Marrongelle, dean of the PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Randy Hitz, dean of the GSE. MES featured plenary talks by Ubiratan D’Ambrosio (Brazil), Ole Skovsmose (Denmark), Anita Rampal (India), Munir Fasheh (Palestine), and Bob Peterson (United States).

All of the sessions were recorded and will be available online. Proceedings of the conference, and of all the previous conferences, are available at In addition, the KBOO radio program Radiozine hosted a panel discussion with presenters from the conference that can be streamed or downloaded from KBOO’s website.

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