IMU-Net 51: January 2012
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IMU-Net 51: January 2012

IMU-Net 51: January 2012A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical UnionEditor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, FranceCONTENTS1. Editorial2. IMU on the Web3. Ramanujan Prize4. Passing away of Salah Baouendi5. Mathematics of Planet Earth6. Subscribing to IMU-Net
------------------------------------------------------------------------1. EDITORIALWhen I visited ETH-Zuerich in 1998, I talked with Prof. Juergen Moserabout the IMU; he was at that time in the Executive Committee (EC) asthe Past President of IMU, and he played a major role in helping Chinato join IMU. Juergen told me that people had very high expectation ofthe IMU and our Union should try its best to help mathematicians allover the world. When the Chinese Mathematical Society held the ICMsuccessfully in 2002, the Chinese mathematicians, including myself,thus strengthened our deep feeling of the important role which IMUplays in the world. In the General Assembly in Bangalore of 2010, Iwas very fortunate to be elected by the IMU members to serve on theExecutive Committee; I gladly took on this responsibility and duty toserve our mathematical community in this role.Now I have being working in the EC for a year and, we have dealt,together, with many issues. I am now even more conscious of theexpectations of mathematicians in the world on IMU. There is nodoubt that ICM is the most important job of IMU. But besides that,there are many issues important for our mathematical community thatIMU needs to deal with carefully. In dealing with these issues, I feelthat the principle of fair and equity is most important. In manyissues, for example, geographical and gender considerations areimportant to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity for his/herdevelopment and future.Here certainly special attention should be paid to people in the lessdeveloped areas, by listening to them and providing more chances tothem whenever it is possible.One example is the journal ranking problem which IMU is now discussing.This issue is closely related to how evaluating the academic level ofa person or of a scientific work.From my experience in China, this is a very sensitive and importantissue. Now many mathematicians in China including myself believe thatsuch an issue needs to be judged by certain experts via understandingthe scientific works which have been done. Here prizes, awards,publications in certain high ranked journals, etc. are important inevaluating the level, but these conditions may not be the onlycriteria and even may not be necessary. For example, historically inChina there do exist some research papers which were published in theuniversity journals in Chinese and were recognized to be mathematicallyvery important later. We do need to understand and view thingsdialectically. Mathematics is developing, and so does our internationalcommunity. Therefore we need to consider things via a developing pointof view. In the new year celebration meeting of the ChineseMathematical Society, I informed and encouraged colleagues to join therunning discussion on journalranking and pricing by expressing their own opinions directly on theblog. I believe that with sufficient information from all over theworld, IMU will find a relatively better solution on this issue.As the leading group of IMU, the opinions of the EC on many issues arevery crucial. Here the President and the Secretary certainly play veryimportant roles, and they have done great contributions to ourcommunity. I think that to support and help their work, to provideuseful suggestions, and to reflect opinions from different anglesincluding from both the points of view of developing and developedcountries and areas are very important. As a member of EC, I am lookingforward to work with others to serve our mathematical community better.Yiming LongMember at Large, IMU Executive Committee------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. IMU ON THE WEB1. blog.mathunion.org: status and prospectsSo, you didn't realize that IMU and ICIAM are sponsoring a blogconcerned with issues related to Mathematical Journals?It's understandable that this is a challenging topic; while there havebeen close to 50 comments input in response to the suggestedactivities and questions, we need to hear from more of you.Thanks to mentions in various society mailings, the request forcomments has been received by many, especially in Canada and inEurope. But mathematicians within the US to date have registered fewcomments.The group appointed to moderate the blog had a few technical strugglesat first, and the setup can be improved in specific ways, such asadmitting active links in comment text.  In the past few weeks RSSfeeds were added.  In general, we are grateful for the thoughtfulnessof the individuals who have written, and we hope to hear from morepeople.The blog was originally envisioned to have a limited lifetime, butthis may be re-evaluated, depending upon the level of participationand the state of the ongoing discussion threads.Peter Olver, olver@math.umn.edu CEIC chair and chair of moderating group:Doug Arnold      (ICIAM)    arnold@umn.eduCarol Hutchins   (IMU)      hutchins@nyu.eduNalini Joshi     (ICIAM)    nalini.joshi@sydney.edu.auMing-Chih Lai    (ICIAM)    mclai@math.nctu.edu.twFabrice Planchon (IMU)      fab@unice.fr2. Comprehensive update on MathJaxCEIC has intended to prepare a short write up on MathJax, which is thede facto best way to display mathematical expressions within HTML.However, we would have difficulty doing better than the excellentarticle by Davide Cervone, which has appeared in the Notices of the AMS.Highly recommended read:   "MathJax: a Platform for Mathematics on theWeb" Notices of the AMS, vol 59, no 2  (2012)www.ams.org/notices/201202/rtx120200312p.pdf3. Scholarly publishing garners media attentionForbes magazine technology columnist Tim Worstall, in his piece dated1/28/2012, draws attention to ongoing concerns about the businessmodel of large scholarly publishers.www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/28/elseviers-publishing-model-might-be-about-to-go-up-in-smoke/He points to a petition on the internet, started by mathematicians,but now signed by many other scholars and scientists.  While neitherIMU nor CEIC endorse this petition, we suggest it is a sign of ourtimes.thecostofknowledge.com------------------------------------------------------------------------3. RAMANUJAN PRIZE- Philibert Nang from Gabon wins the Ramanujan PrizeProfessor  Philibert Nang (44), École Normale Supérieure, Laboratoire deRecherche en Mathématiques, Libreville, Gabon, has been named the winner ofthe 2011 Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries.The Ramanujan Prize is awarded jointly by the Abdus Salam InternationalCentre for Theoretical Physics, the Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund, and theInternational Mathematical Union.The Prize is in recognition of Professor Philibert Nang's outstandingcontributions to the algebraic theory of D-modules.The Ramanujan Prize is supported financially by the Norwegian Niels HenrikAbel Memorial Fund. The Ramanujan Prize carries a \$15,000 cash award.-Call for nominations for the 2012 Ramanujan PrizeThe deadline for receipt of nominations for the 2012 Prize is 1 April2012. Nominations should be sent to math@ictp.it describing the workof the nominee in adequate detail. The winner will be selected by 15June. The award ceremony will take place at ICTP in September.For more informationwww.abelprisen.no/en/------------------------------------------------------------------------4. PASSING AWAY OF PROFESSOR SALAH BALOUENDISALAH BAOUENDI 1937-2011Salah Baouendi, a former member of the IMU Executive Committee, diedat his home in California on December 24, 2011.Salah was born in Tunis, Tunisia, on October 12, 1937 and moved toFrance to complete his high school studies. He took a bachelor'sdegree in mathematics at the University of Paris in 1961. Afterdoctoral studies at Orsay he held professorial positions at theUniversities of Nice, Tunis, and Paris. In 1971 he moved to the UnitedStates and joined the mathematics faculty of Purdue University wherehe served for several years as Head of Department. In 1988 he moved tothe Mathematics Department of the University of California in SanDiego, where he continued his groundbreaking research and was a verypopular teacher.Salad Baouendi was an internationally reknown researcher in analysiswho obtained fundamental results in the field of partial differentialequations and in the theory of higher dimensional complex spaces. Hewas the author of more than 140 articles and books. An invited speakerat ICM 1974 in Vancouver, his other awards and honors include the AMSStefan Bergman Prize which in 2003 he shared with Linda Rothschild,and his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Heserved on several leading editorial boards and was the foundingco-editor-in-chief of two major mathematical journals, Communicationsin Partial Differential Equations and Mathematical Research Letters.His commitment to the national and international mathematicalcommunity was considerable. After chairing the U.S. National Committeefor Mathematics, he served on the Executive Committee of the IMU forthe period 2006-2010. In spite of illness he took a very active partin its deliberations on a number of sensitive matters, including thequestion of whether or not to establish a stable office for the Union.He was also on the first Board of Trustees of the Friends of IMU,where his expert advice was invaluable during this crucial period.Salah is survived by his wife and collaborator, Linda Rothschild,a son and a daughter, three grandchildren and two stepsons. His wisdom,kindness and balance will be grievously missedin the work of the Union.László Lovász,  Past President of IMU------------------------------------------------------------------------5. MATHEMATICS OF PLANET EARTH 2013 (MPE 2013)Mathematics of Planet Earth Competition for an open source exhibitionof virtual modules.This competition is part of the world initiative “Mathematics ofPlanet Earth 2013” (MPE2013).The modules submitted to the competition will be part of theMathematics of Planet Earth Open Source Exhibition of Virtual Modules.They could be reproduced and utilized by many users around the worldfrom science museums to schools under a Creatice Commons license.Examples of modules or themes to be covered are available on the website.The competition will be open from January 2012 to September 15, 2012.www.mpe2013.org/competition------------------------------------------------------------------------6. SUBSCRIBING TO IMU-NETThere are two ways of subscribing to IMU-Net:1. Click on www.mathunion.org/IMU-Net with a Web browser andgo to the "Subscribe" button to subscribe to IMU-Net online.2. Send an e-mail to imu-net-request@mathunion.org with the Subject-line:Subject: subscribeIn both cases you will get an e-mail to confirm your subscriptionso that misuse will be minimized. IMU will not use the list of IMU-Netemails for any purpose other than sending IMU-Net, and will notmake it available to others.Previous issues can be seen at:www.mathunion.org/imu-net/archive/
 last updated: 2012-11-30 ©IMU hosted by WIAS