IMU-Net 35: May 2009

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union

Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France

CONTENTS

1. Editorial

2. News from IMU

3. News from DCSG

4. Mathematics and Astronomy

5. 7th PACOM

6. Subscribing to IMU-Net

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1. EDITORIAL

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

Seip.

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

Piene.

Kristian Seip

Chair of the Abel Committee

www.abelprisen.no/en

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2. NEWS FROM IMU

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR PARTICIPATION IN ICM2010

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

countries

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 (www.icm2010.org.in) 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

icm-aid@math.tifr.res.in

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3. NEWS FROM THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES STRATEGY GROUP (DCSG)

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

development.

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:

www.mathunion.org/fileadmin/IMU/Report/Mathematics_in_Africa_Challenges___Opportunities.pdf

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).

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4. MATHEMATICS AND ASTRONOMY: A JOINT LONG JOURNEY

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

www.astromath2009.com

Manuel de León, Chair

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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

Sciences."

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

www.smci-copam2009.org

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6. SUBSCRIBING TO IMU-NET

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Previous issues can be seen at:

www.mathunion.org/imu-net/archive/