Support for Mathematics in Emerging Nations
During the last decade, the International Mathematical Union (IMU) has increased its attention to mathematics in the developing world. It is the considered opinion of the IMU that the developing world is home to a significant but mostly untapped mathematical talent and that this talent has the potential to transform both local and international mathematical communities. The IMU Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) partners with developing nations to develop the talent of young mathematicians and emphasizes their contributions to economic development.
MENAO Symposium at the ICM
In 2014, the IMU held a day-long symposium prior to the opening of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), entitled Mathematics in Emerging Nations: Achievements and Opportunities (MENAO). Approximately 260 participants from around the world, including representatives of embassies, scientific institutions, private business and foundations attended this session. Attendees heard inspiring stories of individual mathematicians and specific developing nations.
A vision of mathematics’ power
It has become increasingly clear that a mathematically-educated population is a powerful tool to spur economic development in all nations. Major challenges such as: disease, hunger, climate change, environmental remediation and energy development require strong mathematical, computational, statistical and other quantitative skills.
Given such challenges, more support is needed for those who wish to become educators and researchers in mathematics. Raising international mathematical literacy has been a goal of the IMU since it’s founding but the resources to achieve such a goal have been – for the majority of the history of the IMU – insufficient. A drive for funding from both the public and the private sector has been implemented to allow the IMU to take a more active role in supporting mathematics in developing countries.
For these reasons, the goals of the MENAO symposium were not only to hear the stories of mathematicians and advanced students of mathematics from the developing world but also to build partnerships between mathematical communities, their governments, international agencies, private business and foundations.
The status of such partnerships have been described in three "regional reports" covering Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. These reports were made available at the MENAO symposium, and can be found at: http://www.mathunion.org/cdc/research-and-useful-links/. The reports also include new initiatives and projects which are in need of financial support.
IMU- CDC is looking for cooperation partners or individual donations to support the “IMU Volunteer Lecturer Program“, the ICMI „Capacity and Network Project“ for Mathematics Education as well as the initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Southeast Asia and in Africa described in the three regional reports.
If you are interested in making a donation or supporting one of the initiatives please contact:
Lena Koch in the IMU Secretariat in Berlin, Germany at menao(at)mathunion.org.
Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We thank you in advance for your support!
Thank you in advance for your generosity and interest.
Ingrid Daubechies, IMU President and
Martin Grötschel, IMU Secretary