Professor Frederick Leung elected President of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI)

Professor Frederick Koon Shing Leung, Dean of the Graduate School, Chair Professor and Kintoy Professor in Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has been elected President of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) for the term 2021-2024. Professor Leung is the second President of Asian origin and the first of Chinese origin in the ICMI’s history of more than 110 years.

The ICMI, founded in 1908, is a worldwide organisation devoted to research and development in mathematical education at all levels. The Commission promotes international programmes of activities and publications that improve the collaboration, exchange and dissemination of ideas and information on all aspects of the theory and practice of contemporary mathematical education. It also fosters efforts to improve the quality of mathematics teaching and learning worldwide.

The presidency serves as the highest recognition of Professor Leung’s status in the field of mathematics education, and his outstanding contributions to the Commission. Prior to the appointment, Professor Leung was a member-at-large of the ICMI Executive Committee between 2003 and 2009.

Professor Leung obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977, majoring in Mathematics, and a Master of Education (Testing, Measurement and Evaluation) degree in 1984, both at HKU. He was also awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Mathematics Education) degree from the University of London, Institute of Education in 1992. He joined the University of Hong Kong in 1982, dedicating 38 years of service to his alma mater. As well as mathematics education and research in general, he is particularly interested in the study of the influence of different cultures on mathematics teaching and learning.

Internationally, Professor Leung has worked as a consultant with the World Bank, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Development Programme. He has published extensively and received numerous national and international awards for his research, including the prestigious Hans Freudenthal Medal, the highest international accolade in mathematics education, from the ICMI in 2013.

The ICMI executive committee elections took place between July 13 and 15, 2020 via an electronic voting system. Professor Leung will succeed Professor Jill Adler from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa to start a new term of office on January 1, 2021.

Professor Leung said: “I am very honoured to be elected as the President of the ICMI. I hope my election to the position will help enhance the image of HKU worldwide. I would like to thank HKU for its support of my research in mathematics education in the past years. If not for my alma mater, I would not be able to make this impact in the international scene of mathematics education.”

For details of the ICMI’s announcement, please visit