IMU-Net 50: November 2011
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IMU-Net 50: November 2011
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. The Klein project
4. Blog on mathematical journals
5. Registration for 6ECM is open
6. Mathematics of Planet Earth
7. Subscribing to IMU-Net



Any new member of the Executive Committee (EC) like me quickly becomes
aware of the mathematics community's respect for and confidence in the
IMU and of how in consequence it places important responsibilities in
the hands of the EC. I had imagined that this would involve the
obvious activities: planning for future ICMs, choosing venues,
appointing prize committees, identifying chairs of programme
committees etc., etc., all of which are enormously important and very
closely observed by people with high expectations. More generally, I
expected the EC to have overarching responsibility for presenting the
mathematician's perspective in international affairs with a much wider
scientific context. However what I was not well prepared for was the
shear volume and amazing range of additional, less high profile but no
less important, activity with which
the IMU is involved. For example, it deals with and makes nominations
to bodies such as the International Council for Science, and it has
its own Committee on Electronic Information and Communications, its
Commission for Developing Countries and its International Commission
for Mathematical Instruction. In addition the EC is constantly being
asked to nominate suitable candidates to serve on regional and
international bodies (the committee for freedom and responsibility in
science being a typical example), or deciding whether or not to grant
its imprimatur to projects of all kinds, or to intervene in national
disputes on science policy, or on behalf of individual mathematicians,
or to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc.; the list is endless and
very interesting.
Added to this is the development of policies specific to mathematics,
on journal pricing and ranking, the use and abuse of citation data,
outreach, relations with adhering organisations, and so on. In every
aspect of this long list of activity the burden placed on the
Officers, especially on the Secretary and the President, are enormous,
relentless and getting worse.
My experience of EC activity to date has placed the debate at the
General Assembly in Bangalore about a stable headquarters for IMU in a
new light. To me the new arrangements with Berlin (the location is
irrelevant) were inevitable and without them the IMU might have ceased
to function as we would expect a 21st century organisation
representing the queen of the sciences. The IMU has such an important
role in the world, the status quo ante was no longer in option. That is
my personal opinion.

John Toland, member of the Executive Committee of IMU



The New IMU Archive. On November 10, 2011 the new IMU archive in
Berlin has been officially opened with a small ceremony in the
presence of a Finish delegation including Olli Lehto, Guillermo
Curbera (curator of the IMU archive), Ingrid Daubechies (IMU
President), Birgit Seeliger (IMU archivist), and several of the IMU
Secretariat employees in Berlin. Olli Lehto, who moved the archive to
Helsinki about 20 years ago, gave a very nice lecture about the
history of the archive. Bernard Hodgson, former ICMI Secretary
General, came to Berlin on November 22 to discuss the archiving of
ICMI material. IMU is very grateful to CEIC, especially James
Davenport, for its help in the organization of the e-archiving. More
information is at



Started in 2009, the Klein Project is an IMU/ICMI initiative to
provide the means for secondary teachers of senior classes to continue
to engage their interest in mathematics, in particular to enable them
to understand the breath, unity, and evolution of the contemporary
research field. It draws inspiration from Felix Klein's books 100
years ago "Elementary mathematics from an advanced viewpoint". The
outputs of the Klein Project are to be a book that includes chapters
and mathematical "vignettes", a website that can be kept up to date
(, and other resources.
Klein Project meetings have been held in six different countries so
far, and have successfully used the space between school and
university mathematics as a place where teachers and mathematicians
can engage with each other. So far, except in Brazil, the production
of material for the web has been very limited with eight vignettes
posted on the website. The Brazilian community has been very active on
the project with many vignettes produced, refereed and tested in
workshops bringing together mathematicians, mathematics educators and
teachers. The Brazilian vignettes will soon be posted on the web.
A Klein workshop took place at American Institute of Mathematics on
November 7-11. It was the first non Brazilian workshop really dealing
with the writing and testing vignettes by a mixed group of
mathematicians, mathematics educators and teachers. The workshop was
very successful in allowing the writing of several more vignettes to
be posted soon and starting a North American Klein community. A blog
will be launched in January 2012 (with a link on the present website),
where new vignettes will be posted every week or so and vignettes will
be commented and criticized. The workshop was the occasion to test a
model of "Klein workshop", and the model is to be used by any country
willing to organize such a workshop. For information: Bill Barton,



The creation of this blog was announced recently in a special
Everyone interested can submit his/her opinion through posting an
article (e-mail to: and/or forwarding a
comment (add a comment to a posted article by typing in the "comments"
window or sending e-mail to



The list of plenary and invited speakers is complete, 15 satellite
meetings are announced and the registration is now open. Please
consult the Congress website for updated information. The
6th ECM poster can be downloaded from the site.
Young mathematicians and mathematicians from economically
less-favoured countries may apply for grants supporting participation
in the 6th ECM. There are reductions of the  conference fee for
members of the EMS, Polish Mathematical Society and for students.



1. The Newsletter
The first issue of the MPE2013 Newsletter appeared in November. You
may see it at, and you can register there if you wish
to receive the next (electronic) issues.

2. Prize "CELESTIAL MECHANICS FOR PLANET EARTH" to be awarded at the
Sixth International Meeting on Celestial Mechanics:
This prize will be awarded to the best presentation of an original
research work aimed at the safeguard of our planet from space



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