Monday, July 9, 2012

ICME Day 0

This will be my fourth ICME (International Conference on Mathematics Education), after Tokyo, Copenhagen and Monterrey. As always, I arrived a few days early. It's nice to get used to the temperature and the time before the conference starts. Seoul reminds me of Taipei (a city I've spent some time in). There are the same smells, a similar mix of local and US stores and culture, similar traffic and so on. The subway system is comprehensive and easy to use - like in Taipei. So I immediately took a liking to the city.

It's also nice to meet up with old colleagues. On the day before the conference, I met lots of Norwegians; Andreas, Marianne (with husband), Torgeir, Liv Sissel, Odd Helge, Kristin (with husband), Ole Einar and more. And still, I have met only perhaps half of the Norwegians. In Tokyo in 2000, I don't believe I met anyone else from Norway.

My expectations this time are diverse. I'm looking forward to hearing some of the "big names" - people that I've read but never seen. And the Topic Study Group will be interesting, I'm sure. But I must admit that at the moment I'm thinking most of my own contributions - a talk on Tuesday, leading a Discussion Group on Tuesday and Saturday and saying some words on the HPM Newsletter on Wednesday. I never stop being nervous, even after all these years, and even if the groups I'm talking to are rather small. What if I don't get my points across? What if I mess everything up? Well, I'll do my best not to...

After ICME, I am, again for the fourth time, going on to the HPM conference, which is in Daejeon this time. I'm looking forward to that, partly because I have fewer responsibilities there (just a workshop), but mostly because the scale is smaller and it is (therefore?) friendlier. At ICME, you can meet and get to know someone on the first day and then never see them again - it's that big. (Or they may be consciously avoiding you, of course.)

It will be two interesting weeks, for sure.

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