IMU-Net 5: May 2004
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IMU-Net 5: May 2004

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, Universit&eacute René Descartes, Paris, France



  1. From the Editor
  2. News from the IMU
  3. Logo competition
  4. IMU on the Web
  5. International Council on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM)
  6. ICMI 2004 awards
  7. Miguel de Guzman
  8. Experiencing Mathematics
  9. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear Reader,

In this issue, you will find the main decisions taken at the last
meeting of the IMU Executive Committee held in Oxford (UK) from 23-24
Note that IMU  is launching a competition for a logo. Do not hesitate
to submit your contribution!
I also would like to remind you that your reactions to IMU-Net help us
to improve the content.
All your feedback will be appreciated.

Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel

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The 71st Meeting of the IMU Executive Committee was held in Oxford from
23-24 April 2004.

New EC member
The Oxford meeting was the first to be attended by Victor Vassiliev
(Moscow), who has been coopted to the Executive Committee, following a
procedure in the Statutes, to fill the vacancy arising from the death of
Andrey Bolibruch. The EC agreed to recommend to Adhering Organizations
that Vassiliev be formally elected in a postal ballot. This proposal is
supported by the Russian Academy of  Sciences.

Prize committees
The chairs of the prize committees at the International Congress of
Mathematicians in Madrid in 2006 were decided as follows.
Fields Medal Committee: President of the IMU, John Ball (Oxford
Nevanlinna Prize Committee: Margaret Wright (Courant Institute, New
Gauss Prize Committee: Martin Grötschel (Zuse Institute, Berlin)
The names of the other members of these committees will only be made
public after the ICM 2006.

Developing countries
The EC decided to create a Developing Countries Strategy Group in order
to increase its involvement in mathematics in developing countries.
Moreover, in cooperation with the International Centre for Theoretical
Physics in Trieste (Italy), Sharon Laurenti of ICTP has been appointed
to a part-time administrative position for IMU, to support the Commission
for Development and Exchanges and the Strategy Group, and in particular
efforts to increase external funding for developing country activities.
IMU is very pleased to have been awarded such a grant for 2004 by the
Norwegian Abel Fund.

The EC decided to present to the General Assembly 2006 a proposal for a
change in the IMU Statutes that will expand the EC membership by one
person. The purpose of the change is to allow for a greater diversity of
people on the EC. The EC will also look into the possibility of enabling
countries to become `Associate Members' of  IMU as a first step towards
full membership. Finally, the EC will propose a new way of constructing
slates for the elections at the General Assembly via independent
Nominating Committees, and will operate the new system informally for
the 2006 General Assembly -- this will be described more fully in the
next issue of IMU-Net.

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The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is sponsoring a competition
for a logo for IMU.
1) All submissions must be made electronically to by
20 February 2005. No mail submissions will be considered
2) All submissions must be original artwork, and the design chosen
becomes the property of IMU to be used and adapted for IMU publications,
website, and merchandise and in any other manner determined by IMU.
3) IMU will make the final decision, which cannot be appealed.
4) The creator of the chosen design will receive an expense-paid trip to
the International Congress of Mathematicians 2006 in Madrid, Spain,
22-30 August 2006. The award will consist of one economy airfare, local
accommodations, including hotel and food, and congress registration, up
to a total reimbursement not to exceed US $3,000. The recipient will be
responsible for all reservations.
Please address any inquiries regarding this competition to: 

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The IMU Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC)
resolved at its most recent meeting that its activities should
emphasise assisting the mathematical community to inform
itself on electronic and information issues. IMU on the Web,
Communications and Information from the CEIC, will appear in each
IMU-Net newsletter and will be accompanied by additional commentary
and links. Some will be invited signed opinions and some will come
from the CEIC itself. They intend to stimulate interest in and debate
about electronic matters. Our first piece, see
written by the CEIC for IMU-NET 4, was on the vexing problem of Journal

It'd be great to be able to google snippets of mathematical formulas as
readily as we can now find text. In practice, however, the differing
representations of mathematics on the web creates serious obstacles.
The recent 'IMA "Hot Topics" Workshop: Enhancing the Searching of
Mathematics' was occasion to explore these matters, to suggest
standards, and to formulate policies. Robert Miner and Michael Doob
summarise the issues at
 and report in more detail on the workshop at

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What on earth is the International Council on Industrial and Applied
Mathematics (or ICIAM)? The Editor of IMU-Net has invited me to try to
explain this to you.
If you have heard the acronym ICIAM, it was most likely in connection
with the Congresses that are held every four years under this banner
(but with ICIAM this time standing for the International Congress on
Industrial and Applied Mathematics). The first ICIAM was held in Paris
in 1987. Since then congresses have been held in Washington 1991,
Hamburg 1995, Edinburgh 1999, and Sydney 2003. The next ICIAM will be
held in Zurich in July 2007. The ICIAMs have provided a showcase for
the best work in the contemporary applications of mathematics, in all
of their extraordinary richness and variety.
The 1987 ICIAM in Paris took place under the auspices of four of the
world's leading applied mathematics societies: GAMM (Germany), IMA
(United Kingdom), SIAM (USA), and SMAI (France). That and subsequent
congresses were controlled by a committee of leaders of a growing band
of applied mathematics societies. That committee was called CICIAM,for
Committee for International Congresses in Industrial and Applied
Mathematics. A major development took place in 1999, when CICIAM
reconstituted itself as a Council, the International Council for
Industrial and Applied Mathematics. This change reflected a growing
sense within the governing body, that with its member societies
representing a good proportion of all of the world's mathematicians
with an interest in applications, it had a responsibility to foster
the world-wide development of mathematics in application. The first
President of the new Council was Reinhard Mennicken. He and his
successor, Olavi Nevanlinna, presided over another substantial change,
namely the concept of 'Associate Member'. This new membership
category allowed membership to the many societies which, though not
'primarily' concerned with applications, nevertheless have a
'significant' interest in applications. The first Associate Member was
the London Mathematical Society.
By now there are 17 full Members of ICIAM and 5 Associate Members. And
the numbers are certain to grow, given that four new applications for
one or other class of membership are being considered by the ICIAM
Board (consisting of representatives of the member societies) at its
current annual meeting in Zurich in May.
Although ICIAM is very different in its structure from IMU (whose
mambers are in essence nations, not societies), it was recognised from
the beginning that many of the aims of ICIAM and the IMU are the same,
and that cooperation should be the keyword. As an example of this
cooperation, the ICIAM Board last year formally adopted the 'Best
Practices' document of the IMU's Committee on Electronic Information
and Communication. Proposals for a joint activity of the two
international organisations in a developing nation are now being
studied. If you are a member of a society which is not in the ICIAM
family, I invite you to encourage the leaders of your society to refer
to the ICIAM web site, at or to contact me

Ian H. Sloan
President of ICIAM

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The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), has,
for the first time in its history, established prizes recognizing
outstanding achievement in mathematics education research. The Felix
Klein Medal, named for the first president of ICMI (1908-1920), honors
a lifetime achievement.
The Hans Freudenthal Medal, named for the eigth president of ICMI
(1967-1970), recognizes a major cumulative program of research.
These awards are to be made in each odd numbered year, with presentation
of the medals, and invited addresses by the medalists at the following
International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME).
The awards represent the judgment of an (anonymous) jury of distinguished
scholars of international stature, chaired by Prof. Michéle Artigue of
the University Paris 7.
The Felix Klein Medal for 2003 is awarded to Guy Brousseau, Professor
Emeritus of the University Institute for Teacher Education of Aquitaine
in Bordeaux, for his lifetime development of the theory of didactic
situations, and its applications to the teaching and learning of
The Hans Freudenthal Medal for 2003 is awarded to Celia Hoyles,
Professor at the Institute of Education of the University of London,
for her seminal research on instructional uses of technology in
mathematics education.
Presentation of the medals, and invited addresses of the medalists,
will occur at ICME-10 in Copenhagen, July 4-11, 2004.

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We are saddened by the death of Miguel de Guzman on 14 April 2004.
He was President of ICMI from 1991 to 1998.
An obituary of Miguel de Guzman is posted on the web page of the Royal
Spanish Society of Mathematics

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Following the World Mathematical Year 2000 programme launched
by IMU, UNESCO is supporting   a travelling exhibition on mathematics
aimed at improving the image of mathematics among the general public.
Among the main sponsors are ICMI, IMU and Centre.Sciences from Orléans
The first venue of the exhibition will be at the International Congress
of Mathematical Education (ICME10), 4-11 July 2004 in Copenhagen (Denmark)
Later on, in partnership with the City of Paris, the exhibition will be
held from 9 December 2004 to 14 January 2005 in the Maison des Métallos
in Paris (France)
For more information, see :

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last updated: 2012-07-31