IMU-Net 20: November 2006
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IMU-Net 20: November 2006

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


  1. Editorial
  2. IMU on the Web
  3. News from the Developing Countries Strategy Goup (DCSG)
  4. ICIAM 2007 and ICIAM Prizes
  5. Ramanujan Prize
  6. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear Reader,
          The end of an eventful year for mathematics approaches, a
year which has seen the very successful International Congress of
Mathematicians in Madrid, together with the extraordinary mathematical
story, that touched people worldwide, of Grigori Perelman and the
Poincaré conjecture.
           To all those who worked to make the ICM such a great
occasion - and anyone who has organized a big event will know that the
work does not stop when the last participant says goodbye -
the world of mathematics owes an enormous debt of gratitude. Everyone,
from His Majesty King Juan Carlos to the student helpers, played their
part admirably, and one should not forget the families who supported
those who worked long hours to bring the Congress into being.
          I myself owe much to those who have advised and sustained me
as President of IMU over the last four years. The IMU Executive
Committee has been terrific, and I thank especially for their
dedicated service those who will soon leave it - Jacob Palis, Phillip
Griffiths, Jean-Michel Bismut, Masaki Kashiwara and M.S. Raghunathan.
Linda Geraci has been splendid as IMU Administrator, and the IMU
accountant Linda Lee has provided valuable financial advice. I am also
especially grateful to Herb Clemens, who has been a wise pilot through
the often uncharted waters of promoting mathematics in developing
countries. Last, but certainly not least, my own family has been a
constant support despite a substantial work-load and long absences due
to foreign travel.
          I was particularly happy that one of my last duties was to
travel to Japan to present the first Carl Friedrich Gauss Medal to
Professor Kiyosi Itô, who on account of his advanced age could not
come to Madrid to receive the award. His work, conceived in terms of
mathematical structure, but having profound implications for the world
in which we live, epitomises for me the irrationality of drawing an
artificial distinction between pure and applied mathematics. Professor
Itô has generously donated his prize money to IMU in support of young
mathematicians (see
            To the new IMU President László Lovász, the incoming IMU
Executive Committee, and all those who now begin to organize ICM 2010
in Hyderabad, I wish every success for their important work for our
            With my best wishes to all IMU-Net subscribers,

       John Ball

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Mathematical research depends on a body of research literature that
has reliable content and assured persistence.

In its 2004 Best Practice Statement
the CEIC warned that online publication can lead to severe problems in
citation, because the posted paper can be updated continuously until
it bears little resemblance to the original ... .

The arXiv has long understood this issue; note its careful policy

Math Reviews summarises principles adopted by the AMS at
<>, warning in
particular that "if a journal currently indexed by Mathematical
Reviews does not adopt these best practice standards, coverage of that
journal will cease and the editors of the journal will be informed.
Coverage will be resumed only when the journal agrees to these basic
standards of scholarship."

Measuring Mathematicians and Measuring Journals

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that
counts can be counted" is the wise remark opening John Ewing's recent
article 'Measuring Journals', Notices Amer. Math. Soc. October 2006,
Volume 53 , Number 9. The CEIC will discuss impact factors and
citation metrics at its forthcoming meeting. In the meantime readers
might study John's fine article

<> and consider
innovations at MathSciNet,
<> and
/searchjournalcitations.html> [subscription required] providing author
and journal citation counts.

Baseball and Quantum Physics
Umpire: "Some is balls and some is strikes, but until I calls 'em they
ain't nothing."

Alf van der Poorten (, member of the CEIC.

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IMU has received its third major grant from the Niels
Henrik Abel Memorial Fund towards its 2006 activities in sustaining
and promoting mathematics and mathematicians in developing countries.
In addition to enabling us to continue our efforts in supporting
mathematics and mathematics education in Africa, this grant makes it
possible for us to lay the groundwork for longer-term collaboration
with CIMPA and ICMI in Indo-China projects. This work necessarily
involves both mathematics research and mathematics education because
of the vastly different situation of mathematics in the countries
involved.  A current activity supported by DCSG is the participation
of teachers from Cambodia and Thailand in ICMI's Study 17 Conference
and Workshop taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam, during 3 - 12 December,
intended to build bridges and enhance CIMPA's ongoing efforts to
rebuild the mathematical infrastructure in Cambodia in cooperation
with other countries in the Southeast Asia region.

Within the framework of our Nuffield project, three
mentorships between UK mathematicians and mathematics departments in
sub-Saharan Africa have recently been activated, one in Cameroon, one
in Ethiopia and one in Ghana.  A second round of calls for expressions
of interest in mentorships, within the framework of both our Nuffield
and Leverhulme projects, is currently being prepared.  In the same
spirit as these projects, the U.S. National Committee on Mathematics
is supporting a senior U.S. mathematician to do visiting lectureships
and mentoring visits to Benin and to Senegal in early 2007.   This
activity is again being coordinated through DCSG.

In August, the IMU General Assembly indicated its approval for the
expansion of IMU's work in the developing world which has occurred
over the last four years.  It endorsed a proposal to the incoming IMU
Executive Committee to merge DCSG and IMU's historical Commission on
Development and Exchanges into a single body, to be called the IMU
Commission for Developing Countries (CDC).  CDE would be reconstituted
as a committee within the Commission for Developing Countries, called
the Grants Committee, and would carry out its traditional programs of
support for individual research travel and conferences in developing
countries within the framework of the new CDC's overall goals and

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The Sixth International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics,
ICIAM 2007, will be held in Zurich, Switzerland from 16-20 July 2007.
It will take place at the two adjacent central campuses of ETH Zurich
and the University of Zurich.
15 January 2007 is the deadline for early-bird registration.

Professor Ian Sloan, President of the International Council
for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) had announced
on 18 September 2006 the winners of the five ICIAM prizes which will
be presented at the ICIAM 2007 Congress in Zürich, Switzerland (16-20 July

The prize winners are:

ICIAM Pioneer Prize
awarded jointly to Ingrid Daubechies (Princeton University, USA) and
Heinz Engl (Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria).

ICIAM Collatz Prize
awarded to Felix Otto (Universität Bonn, Germany).

ICIAM Lagrange Prize
awarded to Joseph Keller (Stanford University, USA).

ICIAM Maxwell Prize
awarded to Peter Deuflhard (Zuse Institute Berlin, Germany).

ICIAM Su Buchin Prize
awarded to Gilbert Strang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA).

For more details on the Congress and the Prizes, see:

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Indian mathematician to receive the $ 10.000 Ramanujan Prize

Ramdorai Sujatha (44), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India,
will receive the Ramanujan Prize for 2006.

The Ramanujan Prize was established at International Centre for
Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, to honour young
mathematicians who have conducted outstanding research in developing

The award ceremony will take place on the 18th of December at the ICTP
in Trieste. The prize will be presented by this year's Abel Laureate,
Lennart Carleson.

The Ramanujan Prize is supported by the Norwegian Academy of Science and
Letters through the Abel Fund, with the cooperation of the International
Mathematical Union.

More information:

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last updated: 2012-07-31