Hugh Burkhardt, 1935-2024

Sadly, Hugh Burkhardt – log-time former director of the Shell Centre – passed away suddenly in early February 2024. You can read about his role in the Shell Centre’s history on the Golden Jubilee page. For further information or to pass messages please contact

Hugh – who frequently cited “low cunning” as a key element in sustaining projects – would be disappointed if we didn't take this opportunity to mention his new book Learning and Teaching for Mathematical Literacy by Hugh Burkhardt, Daniel Pead and Kaye Stacey, which will be published on 19 February 2024.

Founded in 1967, the Centre celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2017 – more details here…

The Shell Centre for Mathematical Education is known around the world for its innovative work on mathematics education. The team has a wide range of ongoing activities including design, development and research.

Throughout its history the Shell Centre has had a close association with the School of Education at the University of Nottingham and the core team is now part of the School's Centre for Research into Mathematical Education.

A range of out-of-print publications including classic classroom materials (such as The Language of Functions and Graphs) and research papers are available for download from the Shell Centre Publications website.

The Shell Centre formed part of the Math Assessment Resource Service (MARS), a partnership with the University of California at Berkeley and other colleagues in the USA, whose output includes the Mathematics Assessment Project, developing formative and summative assessments to support the new US Common Core State Standards. The team has also contributed to Bowland Maths and the EU PRIMAS project.

Malcolm Swan, a key Shell Centre team member and internationally recognised designer of mathematics educational materials, sadly died in 2017. A brief obiturary can be found here.

Another key figure in the Centre's history, Alan Bell, passed away in 2018. A brief obiturary can be found here (PDF). Alan's estate helped create the Bell Burkhardt Daro Shell Centre Trust. The Trust's work includes funding the ISDDE Prize for Excellence in Design for STEM Education and maintaining this and other mathematics education-related websites carrying valuable materials which would otherwise have vanished when their projects ended.