IMU-Net 43: September 2010
IMU > IMU-Net 43: September 2010  Home | Contact | Sitemap

IMU-Net 43: September 2010

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


1. Editorial
2. IMU on the Web
3. IMU Current Best Practices for Journals
4. 2010 Balzan Prize for mathematics
5. Shaw Prize
6. Subscribing to IMU-Net


1. Editorial: Results of the IMU General Assembly

Every four years, usually before an ICM, the IMU General Assembly
(GA) meets to review the past term and to decide on IMU's future
activities. This year the GA gathered at Bangalore, India on
August 16 and 17. The IMU GA consists of the delegates appointed
by the IMU Adhering Organizations, the members of the IMU Executive
Committee (EC), and observers invited for purposes of consultation
upon specific items on the GA agenda. Only delegates have voting
rights. The IMU Statutes describe the role of the GA, see
About 160 persons took part in the Bangalore GA meeting.

Here is a brief summary of the GA results:

1. Seoul, Republic of Korea, has been chosen as the location of
ICM 2014, this congress will take place from August 13 to 21,
2014. Gyungju will be the location of the next meeting of the GA
(dates: August 10-11, 2014).
Please mark the ICM 2014 dates in your calendar!

2. The Weierstrass Institute in Berlin, Germany (WIAS) was
elected as the host of the new permanent office of IMU, starting
its operation in 1/2011. The EC has formed a committee to handle
all legal and administrative aspects of the move of IMU's
office to its new location.

3. The members of the IMU Executive Committee (EC), the
Committee for Developing Countries (CDC) and the IMU members
of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics
(ICHM) for the term 2011-2014 were elected, see
Ingrid Daubechies will be the next IMU President.

4. New IMU Members: On September 1, 2010
- Montenegro became a new IMU Member,
- Cambodia, Moldova, Nepal, and Oman became new
IMU Associate Members,
- the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society became a new
IMU Affiliate Member.
The various IMU membership categories are explained in the

5. The Terms of Reference the new Commission for Developing
Countries (CDC) were approved, see
CDC is charged with the mission to manage, strengthen, and
promote the programs of IMU in developing and economically
disadvantaged countries, to search for funding to support the
corresponding activities, and to establish institutional
partnerships with scientific organizations with common goals.
A Web page for the CDC is under construction.

6. The GA approved a number of changes in the "IMU Statutes"
and the "Procedures for the Election of IMU representatives", see
The GA also approved 21 resolutions concerning many aspects
of IMU's activities, see

7. The document, prepared by the Committee on Electronic
Information and Communication, "Best Current Practices for
Journals" was approved, see
A press release, see
was mailed broadly. Please read this document and consider
spreading it within your community.
(See item 3. below)

Digital ICM Proceedings of all time and other Historic Material
Finally, at the ICM 2010 Opening Ceremony, the International
Mathematical Union has inaugurated the server
which provides access, free of charge, to the articles in all
ICM proceedings volumes since the beginning of this series of
congresses. IMU is grateful to all publishing houses that have
granted the right to digitize these books. IMU particularly
appreciates the work of R. Keith Dennis (Cornell University)
and Ulf Rehmann (Universitaet Bielefeld) who have volunteered
to digitize the articles.

The new item "Historic IMU/ICM Digital Material", see
on IMU's Web page guides you to further digital historic
material, including videos of former ICMs, a list of all
invited ICM speakers since 1897, digitized IMU/ICM books,...

Martin Groetschel
IMU Secretary


2. IMU ON THE WEB: Collaborative (La)TeX Writing

Does this sound familiar? You are a co-author with several others on
a paper. You are all working at it, and you need to review the latest
suggested edits. But among all the emailing of files back and forth,
the filename has changed slightly. "What was it?"
"Where did that file go?" This mode of collaborative writing still
seems to be the most prevalent, even when there are more and more
tools that should take over the burden of managing versions of
documents and dispersed authors of them.
A good starting point for some hints toward alternatives is the wiki page
LaTeX/Collaborative Writing of LaTeX Documents [1]. A standard version
control software, Subversion (SVN [2]) or CVS, works well on LaTeX
based documents as they are text documents and allows to track changes
and to automatically merge multiple versions, e.g by authors who
worked on distinct sections. While it requires authors to learn a
certain new work discipline made of 'update-edit-commit', it actually
quickly becomes indispensable when the authoring task is larger than a
few pages and involves several authors. Version control is often
integrated in editing software (such as emacs), is a vital component
of development environments such as Eclipse or XCode, and most likely
it is also installed on your machine out of the box. If not, you can
always try co-editing
online using ScribTEX [3] while leaving the burden of versioning to
the system. If you'd rather do the edits when offline, then sharing
your version over DropBox [4] might be the way to go. DropBox offers a
way to keep the files in a specific folder synchronized across
multiple machines (possibly all yours!). It requires signup and
installation of a DropBox client, but then, it takes care of doing the
rest. Notice however that DropBox will not handle merging concurrently
edited versions of a file but will create multiple copies when syncing
and leave handling the differences to you, maybe with latexdiff [5].

These are just a few tools which may positively impact your work
habits with very little time investment.


Olga Caprotti
Chalmers, University of Gothenburg
Member of the CEIC



The CEIC has a new document, which we'd like you to read. While the
core audience for this "IMU Current Best Practices for Journals" is
primarily editors-in-chief and boards of journals, we hope a wide
spectrum of stakeholders in the mathematical literature will find it
useful. Whether you are a beginning graduate student, an early career
scholar, a senior mathematician, or someone active in the publishing
or library communities, we
think the document should be of interest.

The CEIC has pondered in the past various technical and policy
considerations relating to scholarship in the digital environment. But
the prior endeavors had not directly addressed one of the most
important topics: running journals. We worked to draft what has
turned out to be a relatively short document. We make no claim to
cover in depth everything that could be said about the subject, but
just what seems today to be most important.

The creation of this best practice document does not imply that
mathematical journals are fraught with problems. Indeed, we think
mathematical journals generally perform well, and we hope to foster
the continuance of same. Some distressing cases, such as those
involving plagiarism, or even impact factor manipulation, in some
scientific disciplines have received publicity. We hope mathematics
can as much as possible, avoid such cases. We live in times during
which there is diminished trust in various institutions; a general
plea for more transparency is heard in multiple domains.

It is our desire that the elements of "IMU Current Best Practices for
Journals" might engender some conversations within editorial boards,
and possibly even some short editorials in response.

Carol Hutchins
Courant Library of Math Sciences, New York University
Member of the CEIC

International Mathematical Union Current Best Practices for Journals,
endorsed by IMU General Assembly 16 August 2010,

Full CEIC membership:
John Ball (chair), Olga Caprotti, James Davenport, Michael Doob, Carol
Hutchins, Peter Olver, and Ulf Rehmann.

Douglas N. Arnold generously contributed to this effort.



The 2010 Balzan Prize for Mathematics (pure or applied) has been awarded to:
Jacob Palis (Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil) for his fundamental contributions to the Mathematical
Theory of Dynamical Systems



The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Science has been awarded to Jean
Bourgain (Institute for Advanced Study, USA) for his profound work in
mathematical analysis and its application to partial differential
equations, mathematical physics, combinatorics, number theory, ergodic
theory and theoretical computer science.



There are two ways of subscribing to IMU-Net:

1. Click on with a Web browser and go
to the "Subscribe" button to subscribe to IMU-Net online.

2. Send an e-mail to with the Subject-line:
Subject: subscribe

In both cases you will get an e-mail to confirm your subscription so
that misuse will be minimized. IMU will not use the list of IMU-Net
addresses for any purpose other than sending IMU-Net, and will not
make it available to others.

Previous issues can be seen at:
last updated: 2012-07-31