IMU-Net 14: November 2005
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IMU-Net 14: November 2005

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


  1. IMU news
  2. International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA)
  3. EMS week-ends
  4. ICM 2006
  5. Clay research awards
  6. Grant from Nuffield Foundation for mathematics in Africa
  7. IMU on the Web
  8. EWDM
  9. Subscribing to IMU-Net


GENERAL ASSEMBLY DELEGATES - Deadline: 15 December 2005

The 15th General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union will be
held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 19-20 August 2006, before the
International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM2006).  The meeting will take
place at Puerta del Camino Hotel, 15703 Santiago de Compostela. Spain.
The procedures for room reservations will be announced with the invitation
letters from the Local Organizing Committee to the delegate(s) appointed
by the Adhering Organization.  More information can be found at:
Please access the online delegate submission form at

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Renewal of the Director of the International Centre for Pure and
Applied Mathematics (CIMPA)
The new  Director of CIMPA will start her or his work on 1st October
2006. Candidates should send a CV and a proposal before 15 December
Call for candidates:

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The next will be in Nantes (France) 16-18 June 2006

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4. ICM 2006

Information about special activities.

1) Emmy Noether Lecture:
Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

2) e-Learning Mathematics, a panel discussion
Organised by the Executive Committee of the Spanish Conference of Deans
of Mathematics (

3) Special lecture on the Poincaré Conjecture:
John Morgan, Columbia University, New York, USA

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Manjul Bhargava (Princeton University, USA) and Nils Dencker (Lund
University, Sweden) have been awarded the 2005 Clay Research Awards, which
recognize extraordinary achievement in mathematics. The Clay
Mathematics Institute (CMI) recognized Bhargava for his discovery of
new composition laws for quadratic forms, and for his work on the
average size of ideal class groups. CMI recognized Dencker for his
complete resolution of a conjecture made by F. Treves and L. Nirenberg
in 1970.  The awards were presented at CMI's annual meeting on
11 October 2005 at Oxford University, at which there were talks on the
awardees' work and a public lecture by Sir Andrew Wiles.

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The Nuffield Foundation has recently awarded a grant of £105,000 for a
two-year pilot project to support mathematics and its teaching in the
Anglophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The grant has been awarded
jointly to the London Mathematical Society (LMS), IMU and the African
Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI) (

The project proposes to pilot a mentoring relationship between
mathematicians in the UK and African colleagues, together with their
students. Further details can be found in the November 2005 LMS
newsletter ( 

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Citation indices

Under the title "The Number That's Devouring Science", Richard
Monastersky writes  in The Chronicle of Higher Education
( of 14 October 2005
that the impact factor, once a simple way to rank  scientific journals,
has become an unyielding yardstick for hiring,  tenure, and grants.
Among associated articles, "Inside the Impact Factor"
(  points out
that the measurement is biased against slower moving  fields, like
mathematics, in which papers often cite literature that is many years
old. Any citation beyond two years old dos not enter into the
impact-factor calculation.

Igor Podlubny, "A note on comparison of scientific impact expressed  by
the number of citations in different fields of science" points to  the
importance of normalization factors. He suggests that after  proper
normalization 250 citations in mathematics is equal to about  19500
citations in clinical medicine, or 4750 citations in physics.  For
details see .

I supply this material, and the following old story, courtesy of my
colleague Michael Cowling, President of the AustMS. He writes: "I was
once contacted by an Irish university and asked to provide a  reference
for an application there.  At this time, before the plague  of citation
counting, the bureaucrats had a better way to quantify appointability.
The referees were all asked to fill in a form, which  contained a
table, in which we were supposed to list the candidates  five best
papers, with columns labelled "Title of Work", "Journal",  "First Page
Number", "Last Page Number", and "Office Use Only".   There was also a
box under the five "Office Use Only" numbers.   This  was shortly after
pocket calculators became widely available at  reasonable prices, so I
presume that the clerks were equipped with  these; how else would they
have been able to multiply all those  numbers together?"

Alf van der Poorten AM (, member of the CEIC of the IMU

PS: My comments on "Why we might Digitize, and the Reference Web",
cruelly omitted two months ago, now appear at

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1000th Member joined EWDM!
Two years age, IMU asked every mathematician to set
up and  maintain a personal homepage and to register
the homepage at the "Electronic World Directory of
Mathematicians (EWDM)", see "The Personal Homepage
Call" at

On 6 October 2005, the 1000th mathematician registered.

The Web page offers a
simple search interface allowing to look for registered
persons (try John), institutions (try ZIB), or countries
(try America). For reasons of data protection, all e-mail
addresses are listed as images. This minimizes misuse.

Below is the list of top ten countries (with the largest
number of registered persons on 12 November 2005):

134 from United Kingdom
122 from United States of America
88 from Germay
67 from France
44 from Italy
36 from Canada
33 from India
32 from Russia
29 from Spain
29 from Iran

If you are interested in joining EWDM, please go to

for the registration mechanism. The registration form allows easy
subscription to IMU-Net as well. And tell your friends and colleagues
about EWDM and IMU-Net.

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last updated: 2012-07-31