SMS Distinguished Visitor Programme (DVP) 2017


Distinguished Visitor Programme (DVP)




The Distinguished Visitor Programme was launched by the Singapore Mathematical Society in 1998. Through the visit of a distinguished mathematician/mathematics educator, who will interact with both mathematicians/mathematics educators at the universities as well as teachers and pupils at the schools here, the aim of the Programme is to expose as large and diverse an audience as possible to the excitement and relevance of mathematics, thereby enhance the awareness of mathematics in our society.

Distinguished Visitor

Professor Ron Aharoni,

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

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Professor Ron Aharoni is an Israeli mathematician, working in finite and infinite combinatorics.


With Nash-Williams and Shelah, he generalized Hall's marriage theorem. He subsequently proved the appropriate versions of the König theorem and the Menger theorem for infinite graphs.

Professor Aharoni is the author of several nonspecialist books; the most successful is Arithmetic for Parents, a book helping parents and elementary school teachers in teaching basic mathematics. He also wrote a book on the connections between Mathematics, poetry and beauty and a non-philosophical book on philosophy, The Cat That is not There. His last to date book is Circularity: A Common Secret to Paradoxes, Scientific Revolutions and Humor which binds together mathematics, philosophy and the secrets of humor.


Academic Talk

Using Topology in Combinatorics

February 8 (Wednesday)

10.30 am – 11.30 am

Nanyang Technological University
SPMS MAS Executive Classroom 1 (map)

Secondary Math Teachers’ Workshop

Teaching quadratic equations – a test case for some teaching principles

February 9 (Thursday)

2.30 pm – 5.00 pm

Academy of Singapore Teachers, Geolab (map)

Public Lecture

Some Principles in the Teaching of Elementary Mathematics

February 10 (Friday)
4.30pm - 5.30pm
National University of Singapore
Block S16, Level 3, LT31 (map)

Academic Talk

Using Topology in Combinatorics

Some of the most resistant problems in combinatorics have succumbed to an unexpected tool – fixed point theorems in algebraic topology. In the talk I will survey some of those.

Target Audience: Mathematicians and Researchers

(No registration required)

Secondary Math Teachers’ Workshop

Teaching quadratic equations – a test case for some teaching principles


Investigation, or direct teaching?  This question has been tantalizing teachers over the last few decades. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. In this workshop I will demonstrate a third, intermediate, way:  directed discovery. It is the teacher who leads the class, constructing for them the precise order of the acquisition of concepts, but does so by posing examples to be studied. A main principle in this approach is: no example too simple. In this workshop we shall try to construct a possible order of posing examples to the students, from which they will construct knowledge on quadratic expressions and quadratic equations.


Target Audience: Secondary Mathematics Teachers

Public Lecture

Some Principles in the Teaching of Elementary Mathematics


We shall discuss some basic principles, both of elementary mathematics and of its teaching. There are deep things to know about elementary mathematics, whose knowledge is a prerequisite for good teaching. Some examples of such mathematical principles are the ubiquitous role of the operation of forming a unit and the way from counting to “pure” numbers. Several important teaching principles will also be discussed.

Target Audience: General public


Please click on the following links to register your attendance.

·       Public Lecture

·       Secondary Math Teachers’ Workshop: 

MOE teachers register here, non-MOE teachers please register via email

Registration Fees:



Dr Tang Wee Kee