Mathematical Association

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The Mathematical Association
Abbreviation MA
Formation 1871
Legal status Non-profit organisation and registered charity
Purpose Professional organisation for mathematics educators
  • 259 London Road, Leicester, LE2 3BE
Region served
Main organ
MA Council President – Professor Mike Askew (2018-2019)

The Mathematical Association is a professional society concerned with mathematics education in the UK. The Mathematical Association has a long history of promoting the very best in learning and teaching Mathematics, they actively engage in consultation and discussions on issues currently affecting Mathematics education. The Mathematical Association respond professionally and constructively to ministerial announcements and to proposals from the Department for Education, and from bodies concerned with curricula, assessment and training. The association comments on inquiry reports, academic research findings and reports published by organisations and learned bodies supporting Mathematics in Britain. Occasionally, The Mathematical Association adopts position papers prompted by discussions amongst ordinary members, and at their committees. The Association hopes to have something distinctive to say on Mathematics curriculum and pedagogy, formative and summative assessment, inspection, the dissemination of quality assurance information, and the training, expertise, professional development, recruitment and retention of Mathematics teachers.


It was founded in 1871 as the Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching and renamed to the Mathematical Association in 1894.[1][2] It was the first teachers' subject organisation formed in England. In March 1927, it held a three-day meeting in Grantham to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Sir Isaac Newton, attended by Sir J. J. Thomson (discoverer of the electron), Sir Frank Watson Dyson – the Astronomer Royal, Sir Horace Lamb, and G. H. Hardy.

In the 1960s, when comprehensive education was being introduced, the Association was in favour of the 11-plus system. For maths teachers training at university, a teaching award that was examined was the Diploma of the Mathematical Association, later known as the Diploma in Mathematical Education of the Mathematical Association.


It exists to "bring about improvements in the teaching of mathematics and its applications, and to provide a means of communication among students and teachers of mathematics".[3] Since 1894 it has published The Mathematical Gazette. It jointly hosts the British Congress of Mathematics Education conference which is held every 4 years in April, situated at different universities each year. This combined conference is supported by the following associations and societies:


It is based in the south-east of Leicester on London Road (A6), just south of the Charles Frears campus of De Montfort University.

Aside from the Council, it has seven other specialist committees.


Its branches are sometimes shared with the ATM:

  • Birmingham
  • Cambridge
  • East Midlands
  • Glasgow
  • Gloucester
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Marches
  • Meridian (southern England)
  • Sheffield
  • Sussex
  • Yorkshire

Past presidents[edit]

Past presidents of The Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching included:

  • 1871 T A Hirst PhD, FRS
  • 1878 R B Hayward MA, FRS
  • 1889 Professor G M Minchin MA, FRS
  • 1891 Professor J J Sylvester MA, DSc, LID, DC
  • 1892 The Reverend C Taylor DD
  • 1893 R Wormell MA, DSc
  • 1895 Professor Sir Joseph Larmor MA, DSc, FRS

Past presidents of The Mathematical Association have included:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orton, Anthony (2004). Learning Mathematics: Issues, Theory and Classroom Practice. A&C Black. p. 181. ISBN 0826471137. 
  2. ^ Flood, Raymond; Rice, Adrian; Wilson, Robin, eds. (2011). Mathematics in Victorian Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 171. ISBN 0-19-162794-1. 
  3. ^ The Mathematical Association — supporting mathematics in education
  4. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36051). London. 29 January 1900. p. 9. 
  5. ^ MA presidents have served 1 year terms, starting with Neville.
  • Siddons, A. W. (1939). "The Mathematical Association—I". Eureka. 1: 13–15. 
  • Siddons, A. W. (1939). "The Mathematical Association—II". Eureka. 2: 18–19. 
  • Michael H Price Mathematics of the Multitude? A History of the Mathematical Association (MA, 1994)

External links[edit]

News items[edit]