Forty years after its inception, MENSA arrived in Greece. MENSA Greece was founded as a non-governmental, nonprofit organization, a fledgling member of Mensa International in 1986. Today, due to the zeal and efforts of its members and under the guidence of its chairman, Christos Apostolidis, MENSA Greece allows more people to benefit from the environment it provides and from its interventions in society, creating the conditions which allow its mission to be realized.
In this context, MENSA Greece is actively involved in the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Gifted Children, Mathematics and Physics, Current Events, Social Intervention, Cycling, and Classical Music; it is the official Greek representative in international puzzle competitions (World Puzzle Federation); it organizes training seminars, gives lectures, conducts intelligence tests, issues its own magazine, organizes visits to sites of cultural and natural beauty, and also participates in international activities and conferences.
It all began in 1946 when Australian Roland Berrill and Dr. Lancelot Ware from Britain shared the same train. The absurdity of the Second World War had just ended and the need for logic to prevail was imperative at the time.
The two men spent several hours talking. When they reached their destination, they exchanged information and went their own way. This was followed by other meetings during which the two men built their vision. Berrill and Ware envisioned a community of people of high intelligence who, utilizing this special feature, could give back to society in a way that would rule out the possibility of humanity ever having to live again such catastrophic moments. A community of people free of discrimination, where sex, race, origin and social status would be of no importance.
Thus, the idea of an intelligence test was the reason for the creation of MENSA. MENSA brought people of every background and different viewpoints around the same table in order to interact and cooperate, while at the same time Mensa maintained a superior objective, i.e. discovery through research and the promotion of human intelligence as a means of promoting society. However, it was not possible to support this objective until the size of the organization and members’ attitudes allowed it. When this became possible in the 1960’s, there was no turning back.
The General Secretariat for Youth was set up in 1982 as a governmental institution with the primary task of shaping, monitoring and coordinating the government policy for youth and its connection with society and social entities. In this way, Greece was harmonised with the european and international practice of high-level, self-sustained and integral government services aiming to public youth policies.
Since the beginning, the aimed at a youth policy with a fresh attitude and context with a view to keep up with young people’s interests and demands. Youth must respond to the challenges of the future. We all have to contribute to this demanding task. The General Secretariat for Youth attempts a new quality leap, as nowadays, a different speech is no longer sufficient. What we need is a combination of systematic efforts, adequacy of programmes and first and foremost, action.
The General Secretariat for Youth develops a set of activities and programmes aiming at the core of youth policies and more specifically, in the following sectors:
The General Secretariat for Youth pays special attention to the cooperation with civil society, especially with youth associations and local authorities that take actions in the field of youth and children, in order to alleviate and resolve existing problems
The Greek Mathematical Society (GMS) has a 94 year long history. Founded in 1918 in Athens, today it has branches in most of the country’s provinces, more than 15000 members, and 34 regional branches; it has a significant presence in science and culture and is involved in multifaceted activities, while its operation is based on voluntary members.
The objective of the GMS is to promote and disseminate the various branches of mathematics; this objective is achieved through a series of set goals which are generally as follows:
- the progress of the Science in Mathematics
- the promotion of the free exchange of information between mathematics, science and society.
- the substantial and continuous improvement of mathematical education and the advancement of general education.
In order to achieve and complete its objectives the GMS organizes numerous activities such as:
- Publishing magazines
- Organizing and running a library.
- Publishing mathematics books by Greek and foreign writers.
- Conducting successfully the annual three-day National Conference on Mathematical Education.
- It organizes three annual Panhellenic Student Competitions: “Thales”, “Euclides”, “Archimedes,” and it selects the team members that form the national team that represents Greece in the Balkans and the International Mathematical Olympiad.
- It organized the 45th International Mathematical Olympiad (45th IMO) and organizes Mathematical Olympiads and Balkan Olympiads for University students.
- It organizes Mathematics Summer Schools for High School and Lyceum Students, as well as a Mathematics Summer Camp for elementary students, for the improvement of Mathematical Education.
- It maintains and develops the topics bank for Lyceum mathematics, a collection of dozens of classified exercises that continually grows and is freely available through the Internet.
All the above prove that today the GMS is a thriving and active research society deeply involved in education and research activities, while members’ numbers and the society’s scientific activities show that the GMS has achieved a prominent scientific position both in Greece and worldwide, even in economic or otherwise adverse conditions.
UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research institution. Our campus is located in the piedmont of North Carolina, just two hours from the mountains and three hours from the Atlantic Ocean. A large public university with a small college feel, more than 25,000 students consider UNC Charlotte’s 1,000-acre campus their home away from home.
Alexandros Papandreou is the President of the Organizing Committee of the event, Vice President of MENSA Greece and the Head of the Gifted Children section of MENSA. He is an Electrical & Computer Engineer and a fellow PhD candidate at NCSR Demokritos in the artificial intelligence lab. He is also the founder and coordinator of the Social Intervention Group (SIG).
Alexandros speaks 4 foreign languages and he is playing many musical instruments. He deals with the guidance of children and parents’ support; while his interests are algorithms, philosophy, physics, writing books, travelling and film direction. He has been published in scientific journals; he has lectured at international conferences and has published dozens of articles. He also maintains a personal blog.
Ioannis Tyrlis is a secondary school teacher and an active member of the Greek Mathematical Society since 1983. He has served as General Secretary of the Mathematical Society for twelve years, Vice President of the Competitions Committee, director of the “EUCLID A”, “EUCLID B”, “EUCLID C”, “Mathematical Review” and “ASTROLAVOS” periodical publications, member of the Committee for the Discussion and Resolving of Issues pertaining to the General Examinations, member of the Organizing Committee of the Panhellenic Conference on Mathematical Education of the Greek Mathematical Society, member of the Organizing Committee for the Balkan Mathematical Olympiad, as well as member of the Problem Selection Committee of the 2nd Balkan Mathematical Olympiad for Juniors.
His literary work includes publications in the EUCLID B and EUCLID C magazines, his work has been presented at scientific conferences, and he has also participated in a team which co authored 4 books.
He graduated from the Department of Mathematics of the University of Athens. He has completed post graduate studies in the Teaching and Methodology of Mathematics, and is a candidate PhD at the Department of Primary Education at the University of Athens. He is also a member of the organizing committee of this Conference.
Dr. Athanasopoulou is a teacher in secondary school education at Socrates Academy Charter School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she teaches mathematics, in Greek, to children who have been certified as gifted, she is also employed as a part time tertiary education teacher at the UNC in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She graduated from the Mathematics Department of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki and has completed postgraduate studies in Secondary Education Mathematics at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, where she prepared her PhD thesis.
Dr. Athanasopoulou has been working as a teacher in private and public secondary and tertiary education from 1984 to date and she is a member of the organizing committee of this Conference.
Eirini Kamaratou – Giallousi is an author of 42 children’s books and of a novel for adults; member of Mensa; member of the Greek Society for the Advancement of the Education of Creative / Gifted / Talented Children and Adolescents of the University of Athens; member of the Society of Greek Writers.
Through her books she tries to simplify concepts encountered by children through the use of myth. Several of her works have been adapted for the theatre by many schools and have won awards. She is also a member of the organizing committee of this Conference.
Her book “The smartest dumb kid” refers to the special needs of a gifted child.
Ioanna Katsavria is a graduate of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (in Early Childhood Education), is currently completing a Master of Science in Strategic Human Resource Management at ALBA Graduate Business School and has completed coursework in Mind, Brain, Health & Education at Harvard University Extension School. She has conducted research on the career preferences and competencies of Gifted and Talented Adolescents at ALBA and she has previously collaborated with Professor Brenda Romanoff (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) in establishing programs for gifted and talented children in the United States.
Ioanna has been working with Gifted and Talented Children, Adolescents and Youth for the past decade, firstly in Greece and then in two charter schools in the Unites States: The Socrates Academy (Charlotte, NC) and Archimedean Academy (Miami, FL). Simultaneously she has been working as a volunteer advisor for MENSA, providing specialist advice to the parents of Gifted and Talented Children in the field of education and social & emotional support. More recently she has been working in the field of talent identification and management for the corporate sector in the Middle East, with specialist SHL psychometric certification and Hay Group job evaluation certification.
Dimitra Fourlemadi is an English language teacher, a graduate of the English Language and Literature faculty of the University of Athens. She undertook postgraduate studies (MSc) in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Oxford.
She is a member of the Organizing Committee while her interest in the organization of this conference stems from her teaching experience in differentiated classrooms with students who are in the same class but have different needs, both at cognitive and emotional level. The gifted students need special treatment in order to develop cognitively and socially as much as possible.
Alexandros Stamatiadis is a student of Statistics at the University of Piraeus. He is a member of the Mensa and ISI-Society intelligence communities.
He is particularly interested in the mathematical study of objectivity in musical quality while he is also composing his first musical work. With a view to academic advancement, he plans to conduct psychometric and statistical research in neurology in future. He is also a member of the organizing committee of this Conference.
Ioanna Zerva is a student at the polytechnic department of the Democritus University of Thrace and is studying Environmental Engineering. She comes from Soufli and is involved in making handmade jewelry and clothes.
Her contribution to the organizing committee has been significant; her willingness to become involved in the event stemmed from her desire to see changes in the educational system and an increased awareness for the special needs arising from diverse conditions, especially in border areas.
Nikolas studied Mathematics at the University of Athens but has never practice it, since he has been mangling with the computers since 1990.
He is a member of Mensa, a father of four and an IT consultant, blogging from time to time his IT findings. He currently works as a Network Administrator of Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment of University of Thessaly and as an ERP consultant mainly for the manufacturing industry. He speaks four languages, he likes developing in Python and C# and building websites with WordPress, Bootstrap, HTML5 Boilerplate and LESS.
Nikolas provided the web hosting and he is the web developer of the website.
Eugenia Giallousi has studied fine arts at the University of Middlesex. She was awarded a scholarship to complete postgraduate studies in graphic design on the subject of advertising. She is professionally involved in book illustration as well as painting. He has also worked with art installations.
Her contribution to the MENSA Conference for Gifted Children has been the creative design of the poster, the flyer, and the graphics on the homepage of the conference web site.
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