Correspondence Stone-Rasmussen


A personal and emotional testimony on the history of IACME

In 2007, at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics of the USA, in Atlanta, during an exquisite dinner attended by various IACME officers, representatives from several companies and several American educational leaders, a very special personal and academic event took place. The activity was sponsored by Steven Rasmussen, president of the publishing company Key Curriculum Press in the USA. In the middle of that dinner, Steve mentioned to a group of those present that his mother had participated in an IACME conferenceIACME, the third, held in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, in the seventies. This also had been recorded in a historical article on IACME that Steve mentioned he had a chance to read some years ago. For IACME colleagues who were there this provoked a highly emotional moment to know that more than 30 years ago, the mother of our host was linked to the first steps of IACME. What Steven Rasmussen did not know at the moment is that he talked that night withAngel Ruiz, the author of the article he had read, which synthesized a book on the history of IACME published years ago in 1995 by the Colombian Academy Sciences, Physical and Natural Sciences.

Marshall Stone, the distinguished mathematician, was the inspiration for the Inter-American Committee of Mathematics Education and its chairman for many years. In November 1972 he held the III IACME in Argentina. Lore Rasmussen, a shrewd and brilliant American teacher, the mother of Steve Rasmussen, indeed participated in the Third IACME. The road to the Lore’s participation was an exchange of letters between Stone and Rasmussen, which expressed his ideas on mathematics education, personal life situations and flashes of what it means to organize a scientific event.

With the generous consent and permission from Steve Rasmussen and his family, we have placed some of these letters available to the public. A beautiful and moving personal testimony of the history of IACME.