IMU-Net 13: September 2005
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IMU-Net 13: September 2005

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


  1. Editorial
  2. Developing Countries Strategy Group (DCSG)
  3. Mathematical Union of Latin America and the Carribean (UMALCA)
  4. 2005 Ramanujan Prize
  5. IMU on the Web
  6. ICM 2006
  7. A new member country : Pakistan
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear reader,

IMU-Net, the electronic newsletter of IMU, has already been in existence
for two years. In accordance with the aims of the IMU Executive Committee,
it seeks to  popularizing the work of IMU among the mathematical community,
and to interact with it.

We are happy to welcome two new members who recently joined IMU, Pakistan
and Indonesia. I take this opportunity to recall that an important mission
of IMU is to promote and encourage mathematical research and education in
developing countries, and this issue contains an article by Professor Asghar
Qadir, President of the Committee for Pakistan.

I sincerely hope that IMU-Net becomes more and more popular among
mathematicians, and that the subscribers to the newsletter become more and
more numerous from all over the world.

Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel

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As reported in IMU-Net 10, member societies and their affiliated bodies
have been enthusiastically responding to IMU President John Ball's New
Year appeal to increase the mathematics community's support for
mathematics and the study of mathematics in developing countries. In
response, the Chinese Mathematical Society hosted 6 foreign delegates
from developing countries at their 70th Anniversary Conference
"Mathematics 2005: Opportunity and Challenge", which took place in Weihei,
P.R. China, during the interval 25 - 29 July 2005. The delegates comprised
mathematicians from Cambodia, Kenya, P.D.R. Lao and Vietnam, as well as
two from South Africa.

In addition to local expenses, provided by their Chinese hosts, delegate
travel was supported by the mathematical societies of Japan and the USA,
as well as the London Mathematical Society, the International Centre for
Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA, France) and the International Science
Programme of Uppsala University (Sweden).

The International Mathematical Union and its Developing Countries Strategy
Group gratefully acknowledge the generosity and support of all the member
societies concerned.

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The 14th Latin American school of Mathematics (XIV ELAM) will be held in
Solis Resort, Uruguay on 1-9 December 2005.

Contact :

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Marcelo Viana, Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), Brazil,
has been awarded the first-ever Srinivasa Ramanujan Prize.

Information :

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5. IMU ON THE WEB: The WDML and the Reference Web

Imagine you publish a mathematical journal (your local Mathematical
Society very likely does and, surely, you accept some responsibility for
that MS's actions). It seems the in thing to produce electronic versions
of journals, and more, to go back and retrodigitize pre-TeX issues.
Worse your past TeX issues [or, gf that you allowed it, issues produced
by some gfs word-processor] are expected to be internally hyperlinked;
particularly their bibliography. Worse yet, apparently you should attach
appropriate 'metadata', whatever that is. Why should you bother?
It's a costly effort. There are very few of your customers (most likely,
customer libraries) that can contemplate paying for your efforts.
Offering more and better (i.e. threatening them with extra cost) is more
likely to have you cancelled than thanked. Why should you bother?
I alluded to expected standards in my previous IMU on the Web remarks
( I give an opinion
on 'why we might bother to bother' both there [I have not had a great
deal of response to the request for comment on the CEIC draft best
practices statement (]
and in additional remarks (at
Although I am a member of the CEIC of the IMU, the opinions incidentally
expressed above (or in the recommended links) are not necessarily the
views of any being let alone of any organization.

Alf van der Poorten (

Added in Proof: Oops!! Rule 1 of supplying an item to IMU-Net is that
it either be complete or that one has actually filled the links.
Other commitments (actually: a recently developed addiction to solving
Su-dokus, and and the AustMS Annual Meeting I am attending) may mean
that the principal link 'Why we might bother to digitize' (the additional
remarks at is empty
at publication time. If so, I'll have to fill it, eventually, with your

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6. ICM 2006

A. The International Mathematical Union  and International Congress of
Mathematicians 2006 Local Organizing Committee will award grants to
mathematicians to help them attend the ICM2006 in Madrid, Spain, August
22-30, 2006.

Five grant categories have been established:
1. Young mathematicians from developing and economically disadvantaged
2. Senior mathematicians from developing and economically disadvantaged
3  Senior mathematicians from Latin America
4. Senior mathematicians from Mediterranean developing countries
5. Young Spanish mathematicians
Full details of all five grant categories are available on the ICM2006
website at:

All applications are to be submitted online by January 1, 2006, through the
ICM2006 website, as above.
Enquires should be sent to:

B. The Mathematical Society of Japan generously responded to ICM2006
Organizing Committee's appeal for funds for ICM2006 grants with a donation
to the IMU Special Development Fund, to enable young mathematicians from
developing and economically disadvantaged countries to attend the Congress.

C. The list of the plenary speakers of ICM2006 is :

Percy Deift , Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, USA
Jean-Pierre Demailly , Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
Ronald DeVore , University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
Yakov Eliashberg , Stanford University, Stanford, USA
Étienne Ghys , École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon, France
Richard Hamilton , Columbia University, New York, USA
Henryk Iwaniec , Rutgers University, Piscataway, USA
Iain Johnstone , Stanford University, Stanford, USA
Kazuya Kato , Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Robert V. Kohn , Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, USA
Ib Madsen , Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Arkadi Nemirovski , Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Sorin Popa , University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Alfio Quarteroni , École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Oded Schramm , Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, USA
Richard P. Stanley , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Terence Tao , University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Juan Luis Vázquez , Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Michèle Vergne , École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
Avi Wigderson , Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA

The list of the invited Section lecturers can be found on the web site:

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Mathematics in Pakistan

Pakistan's population of PhDs in Mathematics has been shifting on account
of the brain-drain endemic to the Third World, the resident Mathematics
community (excluding Statistics and Computer Science) consisting of less
than 150 PhDs, despite its population of 150 million. However, 50 years
ago there were not even ten! In fact, the PhDs have quadrupled in the
last 15 years.
The first indigenous PhD was produced about 30 years ago and by now about
40 have been produced. Of these not more than a handful contributed
steadily to research in Pakistan. Recent Government policies --- offering
attractive salaries to foreign faculty, increased salaries and tax relief
for teachers and researchers, better facilities, scholarships for students
--- are improving the situation. Nevertheless, not enough good students
are entering a Mathematics-based career because there is virtually no
employment of mathematicians in the private sector outside education and
Mathematics (non-PhD) graduates can only get (low-demand) jobs in schools
and colleges. The situation will not improve till we can absorb mathematics
graduates into the mainstream of our economy.

It is by no means clear how to improve our situation. We hope that by direct
contact with the World community of mathematicians, which we hope that the
IMU will provide, we will learn how to manage our mathematical development
better, more main-stream research will be undertaken and more relevant
mathematics will be developed here.

Asghar Qadir
Chair of the Committee for Pakistan

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last updated: 2012-07-31