The international conference is a free, multi-day event organized by the Standing Committee of the History of Science and Technology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that founded the György Pólya Heuristic Subcommittee and by the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences with the support of the National Cultural Fund.

The conference focuses on the psychological problems of heuristics, motivation for innovative behavior, computer-assisted discovery and modeling of innovative thinking.

The STUDENT PROGRAM is designed to engage students in research. Students can apply for the program with their own digital programs, multimedia materials, videos, and mathematical proofs and problem-solving. (See “The Anatomy of Thinking” featured in Call for Proposals under MAIN PAGE.) The Sunday afternoon program features international workshops for students, parents, and teachers in a playful session illustrating experiential mathematics learning for students ages 9-18.

The event is hosted by NMI Balatonfüred Cultural Nonprofit Ltd. with the support of the Balatonfüred Local Government and the Lóczy Lajos Grammar School. No pre-registration required. The language of the event is English and Hungarian.


2nd International Conference on Heuristics: 

Motivating, Orienting and Modeling Invention

Balatonfüred, August 30 – September 1, 2019


August 30, 2019, 09:45 - 12:30, Friday Morning Program
Location: Vaszary Galéria

Video Session and discussion of pre-recorded talks and demonstrations

09:45 – 10:00  Opening Thoughts on Motivating, Orienting and Modeling Invention
                         András G. Benedek, organizer, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

10:00 – 10:15  Problem-solving in a Dynamic Mathematics Environment
                         Erhan Selcuk Haciomeroglu, Temple University, Japan Campus

10:15 – 10:45  Computer Assisted Heuristic Learning of Analysis  
                         Katalin Munkácsy, Eötvös Loránd University – Eleonóra Stettner, Kaposvár University

10:45 – 11:00  Coffee break

11:00 – 11:25  Creative Thinking Control: Lev Landa and his Algo-Heuristic Theory
                         Ekaterina Babintseva, University of Pennsylvania, USA

11:25 – 11:50  The Moment of Discovery in Flow
                         Olga Kiss, Corvinus University, Budapest

11:50 – 12:15  Multi-, and transdisciplinary approaches to learning mathematics through creative activities, arts and digital technology
Prof. Zsolt Lavicza, director, Johannes Kepler University, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Center, Linz; 

                         Kristóf Fenyvesi, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä / Experience Workshop; Bridges Organization

12:15 – 12:30  Commentary by Eleonóra Stettner, Kaposvár University

12:30 – 13:30  Informal discussion with the participants

(No host pizza and salad bar, Club Mauro Pizzéria)

August 30, 2019, Friday Afternoon Program
Location: Vaszary Galéria

13:30 – 14:00  Official Opening Ceremony 
                         by the City Council of Balatonfüred 

                        Miklós Laczkovich, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences                              

14:00 – 15:45 Keynotes

14:00 – 14:45  Psychology of problem-solving and its role in education: from sputnik shock to the web  
                         A problémamegoldás pszichológiája és szerepe a nevelésben: a szputnyik sokktól a webig. 
                         Csaba Pléh, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

15:00 – 15:45  A Dienes Módszer – The Dienes Method
                         Prof. Sándor Klein, professor emeritus, University of Pécs

15:45 – 16:00  Coffee break

Friday afternoon Round Table, Location: Vaszary Galéria

16:00 – 17:00  Pólya György és Dienes Zoltán hatása a problémamegoldás történetére és számítógépes támogatására 
                         George Pólya’s and Zoltán Dienes’s effect on the history of problem-solving and its computational augmentation (in Hungarian)

                         Pléh Csaba akadémikus, 
                         Klein Sándor, prof. emeritus, University of Pécs
                         Honfi Vid S. főiskolai tanár, 
                        Ollé János, egyetemi docens, Pannon Egyetem
                         Benedek András, moderator, MTA Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont

17:00 – 17:30  Prof. Dienes’s Games and its mathematical connections in art, music, architecture, education, and culture 
                         interactive exhibition: Tools and motivations for a transdisciplinary experience
                         Opening of the interactive exhibition: Sándor Klein, professor emeritus, University of Pécs, and SHL Hungary

18:30 –            No host dinner at Halászkert

August 31, 2019, Saturday Program 
Location: Vaszary Galéria

The Psychology of Heuristics  
Chair: Csaba Pléh, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

09:45 – 10:20  Beyond Symbols: Movement, Communication and Intuition in Valéria Dienes's Philosophy, Psychology and Pedagogy
                         Brigitta Balogh, Partium Christian University / Eötvös Loránd University - Doctoral School of Education

10:20 – 10:55  Brains - Minds - Maths
                         Zsuzsa Kondor, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

10:55 – 11:30  Applications of deep learning to brain research
                         Regina Meszlényi-Deák, Research Center for the Natural Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

11:30 – 11:45  Coffee break

11:45 – 12:20  From heuristics to the changing logic of discovery - Pólya and Lakatos
                         Dániel Golden, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

12:20 – 12:55  On the origin and psycho-logic background of Zoltán P. Dienes’s Principles
                         András Benedek, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

12:55 – 14:00  Lunch break (No host Club Mauro Pizzéria)

14:00 – 14:45  KeynoteImplicit sequence learning and abstract structures: How can it be computationally modelled? 
                         Prof. Zoltan Dienes, University of Sussex, UK

15:00 – 16:30   Panel discussion Symbolism and Embodiment: from movement to mathematics and on the way back
                          Agnes Boreczky, professor emeritus, Loránd Eötvös University 
                          István Pálosi, director-choreographer, Hungarian Art of Movement Company, 
                          Zsuzsa Kondor and András Benedek, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 
                          Brigitta Balogh, Partium Christian University / Eötvös Loránd University - Doctoral School of Education

16:30 – 17:30  Forum of International Projects and Collaborations
                         Agnes Tuska, CSU, Fresno, Deborah Stipek (Stanford University) Development and Research in Early Math Education

                         Kristóf Fenyvesi, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä / Experience WorkshopBridges Organization
                        Stan Yoshinobu, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Activating Polya's Method via Inquiry-Based Learning

September 1, 2019, Sunday Student Program
Location: Vaszary Galéria

How is it possible to invent such a solution - An Anatomy of Thought

10:00 – 10:15  The research initiative behind the Student Challenge
                         András G. Benedek, Research Center for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

10:15 – 11:30  “Anatomy of Thought” in action: presentations, reflections and practices 
                          Prof. Agnes Tuska, California State University, Fresno

11:30 – 11:45   Coffee Break  

11:45 – 12:30   Keynote A mesterséges intelligencia hatása a gondolkodásra – The effect of Artificial Intelligence on Thinking
                          Prof. László Mérő, Eötvös Loránd University

12:30 – 13:00   Change of location: walk to the Pólya-tree in the memorial tree park of the Tagore promenade

13:00 – 13:30   Commemoration (neé-Kántor S. Tünde, Univ. of Debrecen) and
                          Announcement of Awards of the “Anatomy of Thought” Student Challenge by Dr. István Bóka, Mayor of Balatonfüred

Location: Vaszary Galéria

14:00 – 15:30  Games and Challenges for students and families
                         Demonstrations using the games and exhibited tools

Demonstrators: Prof. Agnes Tuska CSU Fresno, Kristóf Huszár, IST Austria, Ildikó Szabó, Experience Workshop, Sándor Róka, talent developer,
                          Gergely Bunth, Doctoral School of Math and Computer Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics

16:00 – 17:15  Boat Tour on Lake Balaton with Informal discussions:
                         Plans for collaboration preparing the Proceedings of Heuristics
                         Building a Network of Excellence for Heuristic Research


Keynote Speakers:

              Zoltan Dienes               Sándor Klein               László Mérő               Csaba Pléh


Invited international virtual speakers:

                        Zsolt Lavicza                          Kristóf Fenyvesi                    Deborah Stipek


                                             31 years ago

Zoltan P. Dienes in Hungary - 31 years ago



Previous events:

"How Did You Solve it?" - The School of Mathematical Discovery and its History

(Balatonfüred, September 14–16, 2017)

The event is organized by the Institute of Philosophy, Research Center for the Humanities,  Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), with the participation by foreign workshops and by the Didactic Group of the Alfréd Rényi Mathematical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, The Joy of Thinking Foundation, the Budapest Semester in Mathematics Education, the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), the hosting Lóczy Lajos High School, schools employing exemplary teaching methods (Fazekas Mihály Grammar School and Szent István Secondary School. Budapest) and by teachers of several schools in the region. The title of the two-day event refers to the title of the classic “How to Solve It” by George Pólya (1887- 1985). Its goal is the national dissemination of the international results of modern teaching methodology, the  „Heuristic Method”, and the presentation of the traditions of didactic methods and current practices of leading Hungarian working groups to the international mathematics community (“Hungarian Approach”).

The Heuristic Method of Discovery is one of the most important living traditions of Hungarian mathematics education, which is linked to several workshops and historical antecedents of George Pólya’s work, such as the Arany Dániel competitions, the creation of the High School Mathematics Journal, or Karácsony Sándor’s educational philosophy, outstanding teachers , such as László Surányi and Lajos Pósa, and related workshops. Presentation of the method is not a simple task, especially in a conference environment. With video-technology solutions, we try to link demonstration sessions with professional and theoretical reflection in order to bring it back to practice. The already recorded material is published in advance, and some of the participants' discussions and lectures are also recorded, with the aim of generating materials that can be used methodically later.

We strive not only to revive the intellectual heritage of George Pólya or to capture the personal charm of a school-building scholar, but also to give a sample of the diverse possibilities of the Heuristic Method of Discovery, combine and confront it with the practices of foreign participants, schools and universities related to project-based learning, talent management, and work with  disadvantaged students in  math education.

All this is matched with mathematical and philosophical reflection and didactical analytical work that attempts to explore the essence, history as well as social and sociological problems of applying the Heuristic Method of Discovery and the difficulties of community creation and motivation in today's educational environment. Professional backgrounds are provided by the members of the MTA Methodology Working Group, NIIF Videotórium and VIDRA software developers.

The event is considered to be the first occasion of a series of events that allows the establishment of the "International George Pólya Society for the Teaching of Mathematical Heuristics" which will allow regular domestic and international exchanges of experiences.



How do we solve it?

Student Program


September 14, 2017. Thursday morning (Location:Lóczy Lajos High School)

9:15-9:55 Giving Life to Problems: Area-conservative Transformations using GeoGebra
Special Mathematics Class (in English). Prof. Agnes Tuska, California State University

10:00-12:00  The Joy of Thinking – Playful Mathematical Group Activity

(in Hungarian). Lajos Pósa, the Didactic Group of the Alfréd Rényi Mathematical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

12:00 -12:55   Lunch break


September 14, 2017, Thursday afternoon (Location: Kisfaludy Galéria)

13:00 - 13:30  Student presentation (in English) about „The Mathematics of Voting Systems”

13:30 - 14:00  Learning Opportunities, responses to students’ questions (in English)

14:00 - 14:45 Poster Exhibition by the students of Lóczy Lajos High School about the life of 
                      George Pólya

14:45 - 15:00 Judging student work

15:00 - 15:30 Pólya-tree planting in the memorial tree park of  the Tagore promenade

15:30-16:00 Award ceremony


Conference Program


September 15, 2017, Friday morning (Location:Kisfaludy Galéria)

09:15 – 10:00  Opening ceremony (in Hungarian)
Katalin Duna, Head of the Lóczy Lajos High School  
István Bóka, Mayor of Balatonfüred
András Benedek CSc., organizer, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Research Center for the Humanities, 

10:00 – 10:45  Keynote Talk (in Hungarian), George Pólya and the Heuristic Tradition
Prof. Tibor Frank, corr. member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest 
(English version available)

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30  Presentation and discussion of pre-recorded demonstration lessons (in both Hungarian and English) Presenters: Géza Kiss (Fazekas Mihály High School, Budapest), Péter Juhász, (Didactics Group of Rényi Alfréd Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Réka Szász, (Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education), Agnes Tuska (California State University, Fresno).

12:00 – 13:00 Informal discussion with the participants (Pizza and salad bar)


September 15, 2017, Friday afternoon: Parallel sessions  (Location:Lóczy Lajos Gimnázium)

Section A:

13:00 – 13:45  What would Pólya Do? Great problems for young minds.  Interactive presentation (in English), Jennifer Clinkenbeard & J. Brook Ernest, California State University, Channel Islands

13:4514:30  Learning Discoveries in the USA and HUNGARY  Informal discussion-group (in English) with the participation of American prospective teachers in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education program and students of Lóczy Gimnazium

Section B:

13:00 – 14:30  "How Did You Solve It?" Workshop (in Hungarian) 
Reports and presentations of working groups on methods of heuristic approach in Hungary and abroad 
Chair: Miklós Laczkovich member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences  

  • What is BSME striving for? Réka Szász, (Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education)
  • MaMuT (Informal presentation about the activities of The Camp of Fun with Mathematics, the Joy of Thinking Foundation (Gondolkodás Öröme Alapítvány) by Péter Juhász, Didactics Group, MTA Rényi Alfréd Mathematical Research Institute)
  • How could math look like as a result of collaboration? Report on the goals and methods, and on-going development of the Pólya Center (Prof. Ágnes Tuska, California State University)
  • Paul Erdős Mathematical Talent School (Ferenc Pintér )
  • Minerva Learning Alternative Foundation (Cz. Nagyné Klára Bándi)
  • Lovassy László Gimnázium Veszprém 

14:30 – 14:45  Coffee break

14:45 – 15:15  Towards developing the „International George Pólya Society for the Teaching of Mathematical Heuristics”: Presentation of the goals and experiences of the network building (in Hungarian) 
Dr. András Benedek, MTA BTK, András Kmetykó, organizer of  Pólya-Szegő Memorial Conference

15:15 – 16:15  History of Science in Heuristics, Heuristics in the History of Science Panel discussion (in Hungarian).
Participants: Miklós Laczkovich member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Csaba Pléh, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Gábor Kutrovácz, ELTE, Vera Békés, MTA BTK, Gábor Zemplén BME, József Korándi, ELTE
Moderator: András Benedek, MTA BTK.

16:15 – 17:00  Afternoon plenary talk (in English) Use of Digital Tools in Mathematical Discovery  
Prof. Zsolt Lavicza, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Center, Johannes Kepler University, Linz

17:00 – 17:30  Break

17:30 – 18:30  Forum of International Projects and Collaborations
                       Videoconference with Hungarian and international participants (in English).

19:00 –            Common no-host dinner in Halászkert


September 16, 2017, Saturday morning Parallel sessions (Location:Lóczy Lajos Gimnázium)

Section A: The Philosophy of Heuristics (in English, A-room) Chair: Zsuzsa Kondor, MTA BTK

09:00 – 9:40    Conjectures, puzzles and problems - Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Pólya on the nature of scientific discovery 
Dániel Golden, MTA BTK

10:00 – 10:45 The Hermeneutic Problem in Pólya's Mathematical Heuristic 
Olga Kiss, Corvinus University                

Section B: Student Character – Teacher Character. The importance of role models and patterns in learning mathematics in the 21st century (in Hungarian, B-room) 
Chair: László Hatvani, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

09:15 – 9:55    Patterns and Heuristics in Informatics 
Róbert Oláh-Gál, Sapientia University

10:00 – 10:45  How do we solve it? Methods and Thinking Patterns in Contemporary Math-education

  • 10:00 – 10:25 The reform of Tamás Varga in the context of Hungarian Heuristic tradition: Historical, philosophical, and didactical approaches (Katalin Gosztonyi, ELTE)  
  • 10:25 – 10:45 My encounter with George Pólya as novice teacher and as mathematics educator (Ödön Vancsó, ELTE)

10:45 – 11:15 Break (change of location)

September 16, 2017 Saturday Plenary program (in English and Hungarian, Location: Kisfaludy Galéria)

11:15 – 11:55 Can we consider Heuristics a Science? ­András Benedek, MTA BTK

12:00 – 12:55 No-host working lunch in Club Mauro Pizzéria

13:00 – 14:00 Panel discussion: Is problem-solving teachable in the spirit of George Pólya?  
Participants: Miklós Laczkovich member of the Academy and the former chair of the Mathematics Working Committee of Public Education, László Hatvani member of the Academy, Tibor Frank corr. member of the Academy, Prof. Ágnes Tuska, Pólya Center, California, László Surányi, Didactics Group, MTA Rényi Alfréd Mathematical Research Institute Ödön Vancsó, ELTE. Moderators: Péter Juhász, MTA Rényi Institute Didactics Group and Réka Szász, BSME

14:00 – 14:15  Closing plenary remarks

14:15 – 15:00   Placing a memorial plaque at the Pólya tree in the Tagore Promenade and Memorial Park in

15:00 ­–            Informal discussion of plans for collaboration and dissemination with optional excursion by boat 
                       (Boat departure time: 16:00)



Kisfaludy Galéria



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