The Mathematical Society of the Philippines

Founded in 1972

The Mathematical Society of the Philippines was founded in March 1973. The idea of founding such a society began to be actively discussed during 1972 and given considerable impetus from the meeting of the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society which was held in Singapore in July 1972. The Southeast Asian Mathematical Society came out of a tour of Southeast Asia by Wong Yung Chow from the University of Hong Kong. For autobiographical information about Wong Yung Chow's life up to his becoming a professor, see THIS LINK.

For background concerning the political and social situation which was of great significance in all mathematical activities in this region, see THIS LINK.

The Singapore meeting was the inaugural meeting of the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society and it acts as an uniting Society for the Malaysian Mathematical Society, the Singapore Mathematical Society, the Indonesian Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Society of the Philippines. The Mathematical Society of the Philippines has, from its founding, worked closely with the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society, and together they were particularly active in building up a Ph.D. programme in the Philippines. The Mathematical Society of the Philippines is run by a National Board of Directors elected by the members of the Society at its annual convention held in May. The Board consists of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and five members. The first annual convention was held in May 1973 and Bienvenido Nebres was elected as the first president.

Originally the Society was formed from a small group of mathematicians based in Manila. However, it developed into a nation wide society with meetings on Luzon, the largest of the islands of the Philippines with Manila as its largest city and the capital of the Philippines, on Visayas, the densely populated central group of islands of the Philippine archipelago, and on Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines.

The mission of the Society is as follows:-
This organisation shall carry out activities in the pursuit of the following objectives:

(a) To promote interest in and awareness of mathematics and its applications.

(b) To propagate knowledge in mathematics and mathematics education.

(c) To promote mathematical research.
The Society publishes a Bulletin, the Matimyas Matematika. It began publication in 1977. The aim of the publication is stated as follows:-
Matimyás Matematika aims to provide mathematics teachers, students and aficionados a publication medium for expanding their professional awareness, enhancing their skills, and actualising their mathematical interests. It is hoped that a natural consequence of the activities furthered by this journal would be to provide the mathematical community with social visibility and identity. Hopefully, too, the journal will contribute towards the definition of Philippine standards and serve the mathematical community in its aspiration towards greater heights. Matimyás Matematik means an 'intense feeling for mathematics', a state of being which this journal would like to nurture.
As soon as it was founded the Mathematical Society of the Philippines set up a series of seminars held in various universities during 1973-74. In the summer of 1974 they held a lecture series on Graph Theory followed by further seminars during 1974-75. The most important of these early efforts was the Southeast Asian Summer Institute in Graph Theory held in Manila in May 1975 led by Claude Berge of the University of Paris. This programme of events, held soon after the Society was set up, was intended to generate intense mathematical activity which could then be built on. At this stage most of the speakers were Filipinos returning from study abroad, or visiting mathematicians from abroad, mainly from France or Japan. These two countries gave solid support to the activities of the young Society. The success of their approach became clear when this activity led to the setting up of a Ph.D. programme in mathematics at the University of the Philippines/Ateno de Manila/De La Salle University consortium in June 1977. This programme was given financial support by the Philippine government.

The first Southeast Asian Mathematics Education Conference was held in Manila in May-June 1978. This conference had the aim of improving mathematical education at both primary and secondary level in the Philippines.

The Mathematical Society of the Philippines is involved in training a team to represent the Philippines at the International Mathematical Olympiad. The team is selected from 20 National Finalists from the Philippine Mathematical Olympiad who join the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Camp. This Camp and the Philippine participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad are joint projects of the Mathematical Society of the Philippines and the Science Education Institute. The Philippine participation began in 1988 with Jose Marasigan as the first Team Leader. The Philippines won their first Gold Medal in 2016, in fact in that year they won two Gold Medals, two Silver Medals, and two Honourable Mentions.

The Mathematical Society of the Philippines :-
... is the country's largest professional organisation of tertiary mathematics researchers and educators. The Mathematical Society of the Philippines's activities are geared towards the development of mathematics research and mathematical education especially at the tertiary level. It has over 1000 members from all over the country.

Visit the society website.

References (show)

  1. G Meurant, Developing Mathematics in Third World Countries: Proceedings of the international conference held in Khartoum, March 6-9, 1978, North Holland Mathematics Studies Vol. 33 (Elsevier, 1979).
  2. Mathematical Society of the Philippines website.
  3. B F Nebres, Mathematics in the Philippines : beginnings and growth of the Mathematical Society of the Philippines, Southeast Asian Bull. Math. 1 (1) (1977), 3-8.
  4. Lee Peng Yee, Ten years of SEAMS, Southeast Asian Bulletin of Mathematics 7 (1983), 10-15.

Last Updated February 2018