IMU-Net 35: May 2009
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IMU-Net 35: May 2009

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France


1. Editorial
2. News from IMU
3. News from DCSG
4. Mathematics and Astronomy
5. 7th PACOM
6. Subscribing to IMU-Net



Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov received the 2009 Abel Prize from His Majesty
King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo on 19 May. Her Majesty Queen
Sonja also attended the award ceremony. The Abel Prize that carries a
cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (close to EUR 700,000, or USD 950,000), is
awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

The Abel Prize is an international prize for outstanding scientific work
in the field of mathematics, including mathematical aspects of computer
science, mathematical physics, probability, numerical analysis and
scientific computing, statistics, and also applications of mathematics
in the sciences. The prize is meant to recognise contributions of
extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences. Such
work may have resolved fundamental problems, created powerful new
techniques, introduced unifying principles or opened up major new fields
of research. The intent is to award prizes over the course of time in a
broad range of fields within the mathematical sciences.

The right to nominate candidates is open to anyone. The Abel Laureate is
selected on the basis of the recommendation from the Abel Committee,
which is appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The
Abel Committee is chaired by a Norwegian mathematician; the other four
members are selected based on nominations from the IMU (three seats) and
the European Mathematical Society (EMS) (one seat). Each member serves
on the committee for two years, except the chair who serves for four
years. By making nominations for the Abel Committee, the IMU and the EMS
play a key role in sustaining eminent standards for the Abel Prize. The
2009 Abel Committee consisted of Sir John Kingman, Sergey Novikov, Neil
Trudinger and Efim Zelmanov, together with the Norwegian chair Kristian

This summer Springer will publish the book "The Abel Prize 2003-2007.
The First 5 Years" which will contain presentations of the first five
years of Abel Laureates. The book is edited by Helge Holden and Ragni

Kristian Seip
Chair of the Abel Committee




The International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the ICM2010 Local
Organizing Committee are currently making efforts to obtain financial
support to enable as many mathematicians as possible from developing
and economically disadvantaged countries to participate in ICM2010.
Applicants need not necessarily be from IMU member countries.

The IMU and the Local Organizing Committee have established three
different support categories (travel, registration, living support can
be applied for):

1) Young mathematicians from developing and economically disadvantaged
2) Senior mathematicians from developing and economically
disadvantaged countries
3) Mathematicians from developing countries in Asia with emphasis on
countries neighboring India

All applicants must preregister (starting 15 May, 2009) at the
Congress website ( as the preregistration access key
will be required as the first step in the process of applying for
support. In all
cases, the permanent institution of the applicant must be located in a
country which is eligible for the corresponding category.

Mathematicians from countries which are eligible under category 1 or
category 2 (a list will be posted at the ICM2010 website) may apply
under category 1 or 2 but not both. Mathematicians from Asian
countries that are eligible under category 3 (a list will be posted at
the ICM2010 website) may apply under that category whether or not they
have applied under categories 1 or 2. However, the same type of
support (e.g. living) will not be granted to the same individual under
two different categories.

Mathematicians who do not fall within the three groups listed above
are asked to refrain from applying for this support.

All mathematicians who wish to apply for support are kindly asked to
complete the corresponding Application Form at the ICM2010 website
(the same form is used for all three categories). Applications may be
submitted from 1 JULY 2009 through 1 JANUARY 2010. The decision of the
Selection Committee will be communicated as soon as possible, after 1
May 2010. Queries may be sent to the organization of the ICM2010 at
the address



1) Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities
A survey for the John Templeton Foundation

In the fall of 2007, the John Templeton Foundation requested the
Developing Countries Strategy Group of the International Mathematical
Union to prepare a brief report on the current state of mathematics in
Africa and opportunities for new initiatives to support mathematical

65 institutions/individuals in Africa with broad experience in the
domain were invited to contribute to the survey. Conclusions drawn from
the study centered around four ideas, which may be useful for
institutions, governments, and other organizations desiring to help
strengthen mathematics in Africa:

(1) Enhancing mathematics and its contributions to development requires
simultaneous attention at all levels.

(2) One effective way to enhance mathematics development is through
research and education networks.

(3) Mathematically stronger countries in Africa, and governments and
organizations outside Africa desiring to contribute to continental
development, should support, rather than manage, the activities of
participating centers in Africa.

(4) The support of mathematical development should take account of
broader national and regional realities.

The full report is available on the IMU website at:

2) Volunteer Lecturer Program

In the Editorial of IMU-Net 31 of September 2008, DCSG Chair Herb
Clemens described the CIMPA-IMU/DCSG-USNCM Volunteer Lecturer
Program. Upon reading this, Professor S.S. Okoya, Head of the Department
of Mathematics of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria,
requested two Volunteer Lecturers to deliver courses on Real Analysis and
Algebra. In March of this year he hosted his first Volunteer Lecturer,
Dr. Michael Nakamaye, from the University of New Mexico, USA, whom he
would like to thank "for the enormous amount of energy and effort that
he contributed to the life of the students as well as members of the
Department and Faculty at large." The second volunteer will be Professor
Vladimir Vershinin (Université Montpellier II, France/Sobolev Institute
of Mathematics, Russia).


An initiative from IMU, IAU and CSIC.

Mathematics and Astronomy walked together for thousands of years.
Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton are good examples of this
fruitful interaction between both disciplines. In medieval educational
theory, the "quadrivium" consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and
astronomy. More recently, the extraordinary works by Einstein with the
General Theory of Relativity give new insights to our vision of the
universe, in a wonderful cooperation of geometry and physics.

Topics like galactic and stellar dynamics, planetary atmospheres,
radioactive transfer, hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic problems,
statistical astronomy, celestial mechanics, cosmology, use
sophisticated mathematics. Modeling such huge and complex systems, as
galaxies or clusters of galaxies requires new computational techniques
provided by mathematics.

The symposium wants to show and stress these links with the occasion of
the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy IYA2009. It is
organized by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
and the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) under the
auspices of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and
the International Astronomy Union (IAU).

The symposium will have a special session in order to discuss the approach
of the astronomy to the mathematical education. Female researchers, young
students, and astronomers and mathematicians from developing countries
will be specifically encouraged to attend.

For further details, see the symposium web page

Manuel de León, Chair


5. 7th PACOM

The 7th Pan-African Congress of Mathematicians will be held from Monday
3rd to Saturday 8th of August 2009 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire under
the theme
"New trends in the Development and the applications of Mathematical
PACOM, which is a major scientific event for mathematicians in the
African continent and beyond, is organised every 4 years under the
auspices of African Mathematical Union in order to depict the state of
the art of mathematical sciences and to address issues of interest to
Africa, bringing together mathematicians from different countries,
specialities, backgrounds and ages.
This year's edition will be locally organised by the Société
Mathématique de Côte d'Ivoire (SMCI), with the active participation of
various Ivorian Universities.

For more information, see



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last updated: 2012-12-06