INDRUM 2016 Editorial

Elena Nardi1, Carl Winsløw2, Thomas Hausberger3

1University of East Anglia,
2University of Copenhagen,
3University of Montpellier,

The International Network for Didactic Research on University Mathematics (INDRUM) was founded at CERME9 (9th European Congress on Research in Mathematics Education) in Prague, February 2015. A scientific committee of 18 scholars from 12 different countries was set up to plan a first INDRUM conference in the spring of 2016; it was decided that this congress was to be held in Montpellier, France, and an organising committee with 12 members from Montpellier, Barcelona and Paris was established shortly after. At CERME9, the board of ERME (European society for Research in Mathematics Education) launched a call for proposals on ERME Topic Conferences, aiming to be “organised on a specific research theme or themes related to the work of ERME as presented in associated working groups at CERME conferences”. Indeed, the proposal of INDRUM grew out of the Thematic Working Group on University Mathematics Education, in which most of the founding members had participated in CERME9 or at the two preceding ERME conferences (CERME8, CERME7) where this TWG had convened. The proposal for the first INDRUM conference, drawn up in the months following CERME9, was accepted by the ERME Board as the second in a series of (by now, three) ERME topic conferences.

The first announcement, published in March 2015, followed up on the decisions made at the founding meeting, calling for papers on two broad themes:

  • teachers’ and students’ practices at university level; and,
  • teaching and learning of specific topics in university mathematics.

Papers were to be worked on during the conference according to the CERME principles of organisation: short ‘reminder’ presentations of the papers that are made available to delegates a few weeks prior to the start of the conference and with a large part of meetings dedicated to discussions in thematically split working groups. It was expected that the two broad themes would result in a finer distribution of papers to a larger number of working group themes – five, as it transpired. As the conference was to be held in France, which hosts a large community of didactics researchers in the field of INDRUM, the papers could be submitted not only in English (as in CERME) but also in French – thus, making INDRUM a flexible, bilingual space for academic exchange.

The second announcement was published in May 2015, with further details for submission. We also had the immense pleasure to announce that Michèle Artigue (University of Paris-Diderot, France) had accepted to deliver the plenary address that would open the congress.
Following a slight extension of the deadline for paper submission initially set on November 1 to November 20, 2015 (an adjustment necessitated by the proximity of the ICME13 deadlines in that period), we were delighted to observe a first, and in fact overwhelming, success of the INDRUM enterprise: a total of 81 submissions (63 full papers, 18 poster proposals), almost equally distributed on the two broad themes. The review process was organised by the Chair and co-Chair, and involved invitations for two reviews per full paper, one by a member of the Scientific Committee and one by an author of another submission. Decision letters – that announced acceptance or recommendation for converting a full paper to a poster proposal or rejection – were sent out in January 2016. A total of 50 full papers and 18 poster proposals were accepted. The final number of papers and posters presented at the conference and included in these proceedings (46 full papers and 15 posters, with the latter represented in the Proceedings as two-page short papers) varied slightly as a small number of delegates retracted submissions or cancelled attendance for personal reasons.

Discussion of the accepted papers and posters was organised in five thematic working groups (TWG1-TWG5), based on a rough classification of contents. Two members of the Scientific Committee were invited to lead1 each of the five TWG:

  • TWG1 (Calculus and Analysis): Stephanie Bridoux, Fabrice Vandebrouck.
  • TWG2 (Modelling and Mathematics in other disciplines): Alejandro S. González-Martín, Reinhard Hochmuth2
  • TWG3 (Number, Algebra and Logic): Faiza Chellougui, Maria Trigueros
  • TWG4 (Teachers' practices and institutions): Simon Goodchild, Nicolas Grenier-Boley
  • TWG5 (Students' practices): Ghislaine Gueudet, Chris Rasmussen.

The following table summarises the 46 papers and 15 posters finally presented at the congress, and published in these Proceedings:

TWG 1: Calculus and Analysis
TWG 2: Modelling and Mathematics in Other Disciplines
TWG 3: Number, Algebra and Logic
TWG4: Teachers’ practices and institutions TWG5: Students’ practices
Papers 13 7 8 8 10
Posters 3 2 1 6 3

The congress programme comprised: the plenary lecture of Michèle Artigue, entitled “Mathematics education research at university level: achievements and challenges”, seven (2x60m, 3x90m, 2x120m) sessions per TWG, poster presentation sessions and a plenary panel discussion led by Marianna Bosch, with Caroline Bardini, Reinhard Hochmuth2, Chris Rasmussen and Maria Trigueros as panel members, on the theme “Current interactions between mathematicians and researchers in mathematics education”. A text reflecting the work of the panel3 can be found at the beginning of the volume of proceedings, after the text of the plenary lecture.

The conference was held between March 31 and April 2, 2016 and was attended by a total of 100 registered participants. In the light of the volume and quality of submissions, and substance of exchanges during the sessions, we are happy to conclude that the first INDRUM conference turned out as an eminent success.

Papers appear in the Proceedings in a version chosen by the authors following the (optional) request by the editors (congress Chairs, Elena Nardi and Carl Winsløw; member of the Organising Committee, Thomas Hausberger) to upload a final version of their paper soon after the congress.

A very special thanks is due to the organising committee, chaired by Viviane Durand-Guerrier and co-chaired by Marianna Bosch, for their tireless work of many months towards this large event. Thomas Hausberger was responsible for the website, with Simon Modeste and Pedro Nicolás. Administrative support was offered by Eric Hugounenq and Bernadette Lacan. These colleagues worked unstintingly before, during and after the congress to ensure that every participant had a smooth, productive and enjoyable INDRUM experience. They have set the bar high for the congresses to follow and we are indebted to them all.

What next?

A measure of success for an event like INDRUM is legacy and longevity. We are delighted to be able to announce the following three developments.

  • An International Journal for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics (IJRUME) Special Issue will be guest-edited by Elena Nardi and Carl Winsløw, with support from IJRUME Editor Chris Rasmussen and reviewers including members of the INDRUM2016 Scientific Committee. The Call for Papers is due soon after the publication of these Proceedings and the deadline for paper submission is November 1, 2016. We will invite papers of 6,000-8,000 words in length, written in English (and, to honour the bilingual approach taken during the congress, their abstracts in both English and French). We will aim to send decision letters to authors by January 31, 2017. Revised versions of the papers will be submitted by March 31, 2017. Final decisions for the papers that have been accepted for publication will follow by May 31, 2017 with final versions of the papers, and production of the Special Issue, planned for late 2017 / early 2018. We aim that the Special Issue will be ready in time to celebrate its publication at INDRUM2018.
  • An ERME Topic Conference book is planned for publication after INDRUM2018. We envisage that INDRUM2016 TWG discussions and presentations will inform the planning of this volume which will continue at a meeting at CERME10 in February 2017. We envisage that substantial part of the activity in INDRUM2018 will involve the shaping of the book’s chapters. Viviane Durand-Guerrier and Carl Winsløw will lead the editorial team.
  • Finally, we are absolutely delighted to be able to announce that the Centre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching (MatRIC, University of Agder, Norway) will host INDRUM2018 between Wednesday 4 and Friday 6 April 20184. The conference will be chaired by Viviane Durand-Guerrier and Reinhard Hochmuth, with MatRIC director, and INDRUM2016 alumni, Simon Goodchild as Chair of the Organising Committee.

We now invite you to carry on reading this volume and we hope that the promise of its contents will encourage you to consider joining, or continuing to be part of, the ambitious, bold enterprise that is INDRUM!


1 The success of the congress owes plenty to the leaders’ thorough, sensitive and creative approach to organising the work of TWG1-TWG5.
2 Due to personal reasons Reinhard did not attend the conference but worked with Alejandro towards the preparation of the TWG2 sessions which were then led single-handedly, and adroitly, by Alejandro. Reinhard’s contribution to the panel was also incorporated in the panel discussion by the Chair.
3 We thank the panel Chair and its members for a vibrant, current and forward-looking session during the congress, skilfully reflected in the text prepared for these proceedings.
4 These dates are provisional and reflect the intention to hold the next INDRUM congress during the week after the 2018 Catholic Easter (April 1)