IMU-Net 10: March 2005
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IMU-Net 10: March 2005

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



  1. Editorial
  2. IMU and ICMI Nominating Committees
  3. Abel Prize
  4. The Developing Countries Strategy Group
  5. IMU on the Web
  6. ICM 2006
  7. Ramanujan Prize
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net


In recent years the International Mathematical Union has been paying
special attention to the promotion of mathematics in developing countries.
Mathematical communities in the third world of course welcome the interest
taken by IMU and are looking forward to greater interaction with their
colleagues in the advanced nations. That there is abundant mathematical
talent in the developing countries is seen from the success of some of
these countries in the International Mathematical Olympaid competitions as
well as from the presence of a large number of students from these
countries in the graduate schools in the West.
To transform this talent into excellence in mathematicians in
these countries need a lot of exposure to deep and profound mathematics at
the frontiers of current research. Individual mathematicians working in
advanced nations can contribute very meaningfully to this by visiting
mathematical centres in third world countries for extended periods of
time giving courses of lectures and otherwise interacting with
students and researchers (such visits are taking place but they are far
and few between). Short visits are also of course useful but are of
limited value. The few centres of excellence which exist in the third
world countries indeed owe their success to such help from individuals.
One man who rendered yeoman service to this cause in this way was
Professor Laurent Schwarz. One hopes that IMU's increased interest in
promoting mathematics in the third world will act as a catalyst for
increasing this kind of interaction.

Madabusi S. Raghunathan
Member of the IMU Executive Committee

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These Nominating Committees have been formed by the procedures described at and will work to propose
nomination slates for officers and members of the IMU and ICMI Executive
Committees, of CDE (Commission on Development and Exchanges)and ICHM
(International Commission on the History of Mathematics). A formal call for
nominations will be sent in the form of a circular letter to the Adhering
Organizations of IMU in August 2005.

The members of the IMU Nominating Committee are:

Ludwig Faddeev (Chair, Russia)
John Ball (President IMU, UK)
Christian Berg (Denmark)
Jennifer Chayes (USA)
Gil Kalai (Israel)
Shigefumi Mori (Japan)
Wieslaw Plesniak (Poland)

The members of the ICMI Nominating Committee are:

Mogens Niss, Chair (Denmark)
John Ball, (IMU President, UK)
Hyman Bass (ICMI President, USA)
Victor Vassiliev (Russia)
Tomas Recio (Spain)
Guenter Toerner (Germany)
Lim-Teo Suat Khoh (Singapore)

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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel
Prize for 2005 to Peter D. Lax, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences,
New York University.
Peter Lax receives the Abel Prize for his groundbreaking contributions to
the theory and application of partial differential equations and to the
computation of their solutions.
He is expected to receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty, King Harald V
of Norway, in Oslo on May 24th. The honor is accompanied by a prize of

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The Developing Countries Strategy Group (DCSG) was established by IMU in
order to augment in kind and duration IMU$B!G(Bs support of mathematics and the
study of mathematics in developing countries. In particular, DCSG will be
available as a "clearinghouse" for the activities of individual countries
and mathematics societies in this direction, in order to enhance the
effects of those individual initiatives, and ensure that they complement
and reinforce each other. Enthusiastically responding to IMU President John
Ball's New Year appeal, committees, member societies and their affiliated
have been coming forward with information on their initiatives in developing
countries and have been listing opportunities for participation in these
efforts. All this is now being publicized on DCSG's website 
( (The website is still "under construction", so please
excuse any anomalies or omissions.)

Suggestions from readers in the international mathematical community as to
opportunities to support mathematicians in the developing world, such as
programs of sponsorship of attendance at conferences, research
collaborations, visiting lectureship programs, joint degree programs, etc.,
will be gratefully received, and posted on the website. They may be
e-mailed to DCSG's Administrative Secretary at

Another "clearinghouse" website, the Clearinghouse for African
Mathematicians (CAM), whose purpose - as its name suggests - is to act as a
clearinghouse for activities specifically in support of mathematicians and
mathematics educators in Africa, is also in the initial stages of its
development under the direction of Professor Le Dung Trang, Head of
Mathematics at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
(ICTP), in Trieste, Italy, and may be viewed at

Among its recent initiatives, DCSG has been active in support of the
African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative, a consortium of centers
of advanced mathematics education and research institutes in sub-Saharan
Africa. DCSG has also assisted ICTP in the establishment of ICTP$B!G(Bs newly
announced Ramanujan Prize for mathematics done in the developing world. The
latest initiative to which DCSG has offered support is the First African
Regional Congress of the International Council of Mathematics Instruction
(ICMI), which will take place at the University of the Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg, South Africa, in June this year. Finally, DCSG is about to
begin work on the IMU$B!G(Bs travel grant program which funds mathematicians
working in developing countries to participate in ICM2006 in Madrid, Spain.

IMU/DCSG gratefully acknowledges major support in 2004 by the Niels Henrik
Abel Memorial Fund.

Herb Clemens
Chair of DCSG

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It's not all that hard to find a mathematician: I imagine that most readers
of this item need only look in a mirror. More usefully, in the good old
days one could locate virtually any particular mathematician in a fine
book, updated quadrennially, the World Directory of Mathematicians.
But the WDM will not be compiled and printed in 2006; it has has fallen
fate to, well, 'economic and practical considerations'. What to do?
It seems pretty obvious what to do. Just create an Electronic WDM
( Sadly, that can't be done. First, such a
directory would be in severe breach of many national privacy laws. Second, it
anyhow could not just be done --- it's an astonishingly labour intensive matter
to create and, much worse, to maintain such lists.
Happily, it seems there may be an effective solution ...
Go to and read about
early steps towards a Federated World Directory of Mathematicians

Alf van der Poorten
Member of CEIC 

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6. ICM 2006

List of the new satellite conferences, approved at the meeting in Madrid
(4 March 2005)

- Associative and non-associative algebraic structures and applications,
  Oviedo (Asturias), 18-20 August 2006
- Workshop on Geometric and Topological Combinatorics, Alcalá de Henares,
  31 August - 5 September 2006
- Noncommutative Algebra, Granada, 31 August - 6 September 2006
- Mathematical neuroscience, SantJulià de Lòria (Andorra), 1-4 September2006
- Barcelona Analysis Conference, Barcelona, 4-8 September 2006

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Call for nominations for the Ramanujan Prize.

The Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries is a
new prize which will be awarded by the International Centre for Theoretical
Physics in Trieste, through a selection committee appointed in conjunction
with IMU. The first winner will be announced in 2005.
Nominations should be sent no later than 31 July 2005 to:
For further information, see

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last updated: 2012-07-31