Person: Dienes (2), Zoltán
Zoltan Dienes was born in Hungary but spent much of his life in England and Canada. He was passionate about studying ways to teach mathematics to children and became a leading world expert carrying out numerous experiments in different countries. He was the author on many books on the subject.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Gedeon Dienes learnt English, French, German, Swedish, Italian and Russian and became a secretary at the Foreign Office.
- By this time Paul Dienes was employed in Aberystwyth, in Wales, so they could buy things with English pounds while Germans struggled to cope with hyperinflation.
- In 1929 Paul Dienes had become a reader at Birkbeck College in the University of London.
- Zoltan Dienes graduated from Dartington Hall School in 1934 having taken the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board Examinations.
- Richard George Cooke (1895-1965) was a mathematician who worked with Paul Dienes, the two writing a joint paper.
- We note that Richard Cooke wrote the London Mathematical Society obituary of Paul Dienes.
- After graduating with his doctorate, Dienes began a career as a teacher at Highgate School in London in 1940.
- After teaching for a year at Highgate, Dienes was appointed as a mathematics teacher at Dartington Hall School where he had been a pupil.
- After the award of the Diploma in Education, Dienes continued to teach mathematics at Leicester while becoming an external student of University of London in psychology.
- On the other hand, people like Émile Borel, one of the mathematicians Dienes considered to be a role model, saw mathematics much more as a constructive and thus open discipline.
- Dienes spent thirteen years as a mathematics lecturer at Leicester.
- Dienes was a member of the Advisory Council from the establishment of the Study Group and led work on reviewing researches into the learning of mathematics by pupils between six and twelve years of age, and describing significant classroom and curricular projects of interest to educators, mathematicians and psychologists who are involved in mathematics-learning.
- Dienes prepared a report and presented it to the first Study Group conference held at Stanford University in December 1964.
- A modified report by Dienes was presented to the second Study Group conference held in Paris in April 1965.
- Dienes was a professor at Brandon University Manitoba, Canada from 1975 to 1978 and during these years, and also during the following two years when he was based in Italy, he visited many countries as a consultant carrying out experiments teaching mathematics.
- Ramona Jennex, Nova Scotia's former education minister and an elementary-school teacher, remembers Dr Dienes visiting her class of primary and Grade 1 students.
- There are two other aspects of Dienes's life that we should mention.
- The second aspect of Dienes's life was his enthusiasm for writing poetry, a book of his poems Calls from the past being published in 2000.
- You will learn much about Dienes's life from these poems and also from his fascinating autobiography Memoirs of a Maverick Mathematician (2003).
Born 11 September 1916, Budapest, Hungary. Died 11 January 2014, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive