Hans Freudenthal was born into a Jewish family, September 17, 1905. He was born in Germany (Luckenwalde), and in 1930 he defended a thesis on topological groups at the University of Berlin. The same year, he was invited to Amsterdam as the assistant of LEJ Brouwer.
Early in his career, Freudenthal was involved with topology and algebra, and he also worked on Lie groups for a few years. In his later years, though, he became more and more interested in mathematics education. He wrote several important books and numerous scientific articles in this field.
The Freudenthal Institute in Utrecht, Netherlands, is named after him, and his theories have strongly influenced the Dutch tradition called Realistic Mathematics Edcuation.
- The Wikipedia article about Hans Freudenthal (feel free to contribute to this – it might use some improvement!)
- The biography at the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
Some of Freudenthal’s books (mathematics education):
- Mathematics as an educational task (1973)
- Weeding and Sowing: Preface to a Science of Mathematical Education (1977)
- Didactical Phenomenology of Mathematical Structures (1983)
- Revisiting Mathematics Education: China Lectures (1991)