Learning from the Pursuit of an International Mathematics Conference


by: Dr. Linda Furuto and Dr. Linda Venenciano | Download original (pdf)

The quest to bring the International Congress on Mathematical Education-14 (ICME-14) to Hawai‘i has been enlightening to say the least. And like the theme that we chose for the event, “Ma ka hana ka ‘ike – the learning is in the doing,” we keep learning more about our island home along the way.

This journey started with a vision from Dr. Sandy Dawson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s College of Education. His life work was to make mathematics education more accessible and relatable to students across the Pacific and Hawai‘i and he initiated the charge to bring ICME-14 to the islands. Dr. Dawson passed unexpectedly in December, so we hope to honor and continue his legacy by accomplishing what he set out to do.

Hawai‘i is one of three destinations left in the competitive international bid, and if selected, will bring an estimated 3,500 top mathematics education leaders and researchers from around the world to the Hawai‘i Convention Center in July 2020. We often have to travel abroad to be able to interact with other colleagues, so this is a great opportunity for our local cohort of researchers, educators and most importantly our students, the future leaders of Hawai‘i, to connect with their global peer network to exchange ideas and research.

While Hawai‘i stands to benefit by hosting ICME-14, we believe that attendees have much to gain from our people, culture and the Aloha Spirit in return. We are ready to show the world that the Aloha State is more than just a beautiful, warm weather destination.

Throughout this entire process, we have discovered so much more about our islands, the wonderful resources and partnerships that Meet Hawai‘i and the state tourism industry partners contribute to our local community. Meet Hawai‘i has been an instrumental partner with us in this endeavor – helping us to connect all the dots on the travel side of the meeting – and we would not be as successful as we have been without them.

We look forward to continuing to build on this partnership with Meet Hawai‘i and hopefully, welcoming the International Congress of Mathematical Education-14 to our islands in 2020!


Furuto and Venenciano are part of the committee for Hawai‘i’s bid for ICME-14. Other members of the committee are the University of Hawai‘i’s Dr. Michelle Manes, Dr. Thanth Truc Nguyen, and Dr. Lorraine Baron.

Dr. Linda Furuto is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education. She is the founder of the statewide Ethnomathematics and STEM Institute, and sailed on the first international leg of Hokule‘a’s Worldwide Voyage 2013-2017 from Hawai‘i to Tahiti as an apprentice navigator and education specialist.

Dr. Linda Venenciano is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the College of Education’s Curriculum Research & Development Group at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She has co-authored high school mathematics curriculum for the Hawai‘i Department of Education and is co-founder of a statewide professional development project, the Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawai‘i.