Chairman: Paulus Gerdes (Mozambique)
Secretary: Ahmed Djebbar (Algeria)
Treasurer: Salimata Doumbia (Côte d'Ivoire)
Members: Kgomotso Garegae-Garekwe (Botswana), Maassouma Kazim (Egypt), Cornelio Abungu (Kenya), Ahmedou Haouba (Mauritania), Mohamed Aballagh (Morocco), Ruben Ayeni (Nigeria), Abdoulaye Kane (Senegal), David Mosimege (South Africa), Mohamed Souissi (Tunisia), David Mtwetwa (Zimbabwe)


Objectives of AMUCHMA

2. Meetings, exhibitions, events

3. Current research interests

4. Notes and queries

5. Theses

6. Have you read? (#265-#277) --- 2nd web page

7. Announcements --- 2nd web page

8. Addresses of scholars and institutions mentioned in this newsletter --- 2nd web page


Do you want to receive the next AMUCHMA-Newsletter



Universidade Pedagógica (UP), Maputo (Mozambique), 27.12.1998



2.1 First International Congress on Ethnomathematics

The International Study Group on Ethnomathematics organized from 2 to 5 September 1998 in Granada (Spain) the First International Congress on Ethnomathematics. The following papers related to Africa were presented:
* Marcos Cherinda: Basketry and using a weaving board in mathematics education (Mozambique); * José Barrios García: The Canary Islands also count: on the ancient number systems of North-West Africa;
* Franco Favilli: Teaching geometry in Somalia: Linguistic and cultural aspects;
* Chonat Getz: Fractals and South African basketry;
* Abdulcarimo Ismael: The effect of the use of cultural games in the teaching of probability on students' performance, motivation and attitudes towards mathematics (Mozambique);
* Jama Jama Musse: The role of ethnomathematics in mathematics education: cases from the Horn of Africa;
* Beatrice Lumpkin: Ethnomathematics and the beginnings of mathematics (Central and Southern Africa);
* Colin Purkey and Mogege Mosimege: Using ethnomathematics material (South Africa);
* Teresa Vergani: Ethnomathematics and symbolic thought: Dogon's culture (Mali).

Paulus Gerdes was unable to travel to Granada to present his plenary conference on "From ethnomathematics to ethnomathematicology: perspectives". For more information on the conference and the proceedings, contact Luisa Oliveras (see address below). The venue for the Second First International Congress on Ethnomathematics will be in 2002 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) at the Santa Ursula University. The coordinator is Eduardo Sebastiani Ferreira (see addresses below).

2.2 Papers presented at recent meetings

* At the International Conference "New Trends in the History and Philosophy of Mathematics" (August 6-8, 1998), realized at the University of Roskilde (Denmark), Paulus Gerdes presented the paper "Ethnomathematics as a new research field, illustrated by studies of mathematical ideas in African history." For more information on this conference and its proceedings, contact Tinne Kjeldsen (see address below).
* At the Avicenna Study days (September 24-26, 1998, Marrakech, Morocco) Ahmed Djebbar presented the paper "Mathematics in the work of Avicenna".


* No new research interests were reported.



This section is reserved for questions that readers would like to have answered; these are the 'queries'. The answers will be the 'notes'. If you have questions or answers about sources, dates, names, titles, facts, or other such matters related to the history of mathematics in Africa, frame them in clear and concise language and send them to the editors. If you are answering a question, make clear reference to that question. All readers may send both questions and answers. Each will be published with the name of the sender.

* No new queries were reported.


5. Theses

5.1. Ph.D. theses concluded and in progress

* Alex de Voogt (Leiden University, Netherlands) earned in 1995 a doctoral degree with a thesis on the memory feats and calculating skills of master players of the four-row mankala game known as 'bao' in Zanzibar (Tanzania). The thesis is entitled "Limits of the mind: towards a characterisation of Boa mastership".
* Ignacio Reyes García is preparing, under the direction of José Barrios García (Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands), a Ph.D. thesis on the ancient Canarian mathematical-astronomical-cosmological vocabulary, from an ethnolinguistical point of view.
* E. Segujja-Munagisa (Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo, Uganda) is doing research for a Ph.D. on ethnomathematics in Uganda, under the direction of P. Mangheni (Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda) and Paulus Gerdes (Universidade Pedagógica, Mozambique.

5.2 'Habilitation' of Ahmed Djebbar

* Ahmed Djebbar defended successfully on December 10, 1998, at the School of High Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris) his 'habilitation' thesis entitled "Contribution to the study of mathematical activities in Muslim West (9th-16th centuries)". The international jury was constituted by Jean Dhombres (University of Nantes, France), Jan Hogendijk (University of Utrecht, Netherlands), Julio Samso (University of Barcelona, Spain), Jean Ceylerette (University of Lille II, France), Baber Johansen (EHESS, France) and Menso Folkerts (University of Munich, Germany).

The habilitation is composed of the following documents:
1. A report (pp. 183) containing:
* List of publications and of research projects in preparation (11-19);
* Description of the research experience in the history of mathematics (21-30);
* Evaluation of the research in the history of mathematics of Andalusia and of the Maghreb since the middle of the 19th century until 1980 (31-60);
* Presentation of the contents of Djebbar's and others' research on the same theme from 1980 to 1998 (63-110);
* Appendix entitled "The cultural, economic and political context of scientific activities in Andalusia and the Maghreb" (121-153);
* Bibliography (155-183).
2. A collection of papers published or to be published, written after the defence of the 'doctorat d'état' thesis in June 1990 (PG: The readers of the AMUCHMA newsletter may remember that Ahmed Djebbar was also during several years in this period Minister of Education of Algeria):
* [1] Mathematical activities in the cities of the Central Maghreb (9th - 15th centuries);
* [2] Figurate numbers in the mathematical tradition of Andalusia and the Maghreb;
* [3] Scientific activities and intercultural relationships in the Middle Ages: the example of Andalusia;
* [4] On the history of mathematics in North Africa. Part 1: Mathematics in the medieval Maghreb from the 9th century onwards;
* [5] Some comments on the Arab versions of Euclid's Elements and on their transmission to the Muslim West;
* [6] The redaction of the 'Istikmal of al-Mu'taman' (11th century) by Ibn Sartaq, a mathematician from the 13th-14th centuries;
* [7] The arithmetic book of Euclid's Elements in a treatise of the 11th century: the 'Kitab al-Istikmal' of al-Mu'taman (d. 1085);
* [8] The appearance of the concept of a positive real number in the epistle of al-Khayyam (1048-1131) on the explanation of the problematic premises of Euclid's book;
* [9] The life and work of a 14th century mathematician: Ibn al-Banna (1256-1321).


6. HAVE YOU READ? - 2nd web page


7. ANNOUNCEMENTS - 2nd web page








Thanks to Scott Williams, the English language edition of all issues of the AMUCHMA Newsletter is also accessible on the following website:

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