IMU-Net 55: September 2012
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IMU-Net 55: September 2012
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France


The aim of the International Mathematical Union is to promote
international cooperation in mathematics, in particular (quoting from
the IMU website "to encourage and support
international mathematical activities considered likely to contribute
to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects,
pure, applied, or educational". The last of these aspects is addressed
in depth through IMU's commission ICMI: the International Commission
for Mathematical Instruction, a body with a history longer than that
of the IMU itself. I have been the IMU executive committee's liaison
person with the ICMI executive for the past few years and have
witnessed the realisation of a major new development focus by ICMI:
the Capacity and Networking Project CANP.
The CANP vision is to run an on-going series of programmes in a
different developing region each year, seeking to enhance mathematics
education at all levels, and to create and sustain effective regional
networks of teachers, mathematics educators and mathematicians, linked
to international support. CANP aims to build capability in the
mathematical community to meet the challenges faced by countries in
these regions.
The first CANP programme was held in Mali in 2011 bringing together 40
mathematicians from Burkina-Fasso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, and
Senegal, and supported in particular by UNESCO. Recently the second
CANP programme was held in Costa Rica with support from the
International Council of Science (ICSU). It saw the founding of the
"Mathematics Education Network of Central America and the Caribbean".
The third CANP programme is planned to take place in Cambodia and
involve several developing countries in South East Asia.
More information about the CANP initiative can be found on the ICMI
web site at (Check out the link to the You Tube video of CANP Costa
Cheryl E. Praeger
Member of the IMU EC
Vice-president elect of ICMI

News from IMU

Guidelines for IMU General Assembly
Since the foundation of IMU such guidelines have not been existing,
the GA meetings were always organized in a somewhat ad hoc manner. At
the recent two General  Assemblies it was suggested to consider drafting
guidelines so that the organizers of future General Assembly meetings
would have a clear picture of what has to be done. Now the IMU EC made
such a draft that will be tested in the planning of the 2014 GA meeting.
The new guidelines will also be on the agenda of the 2014 GA meeting
so that the GA delegates can discuss the guidelines and suggest
changes, amendments and the like. The local GA organizers and the IMU
EC will report about their experiences with using the guidelines so
that a final version may be ready for approval by the GA in 2014.

IMU on the Web

a) Supporting Scholarly Annotation of Online Mathematics Resources
The W3C Open Annotation Community Group [1] is developing an open,
general-purpose model for describing scholarly annotations of Web
resources, including scholarly journal articles, class Web pages,
mathematics eprints, etc. Leveraging emerging Semantic Web standards
and Linked Open Data best practices, the goal of Open Annotation is
interoperability that simultaneously supports advanced scholarly
discourse and a wide-range of content repositories and annotation
tools. More and more annotation tools now available or in development
can be used with mathematics content; the goal of Open Annotation is
to encourage development of semantic-rich tools and services by
providing a shared model of annotation description on which to build.
Annotation is core to many domains, including mathematics -- consider
the work in number theory inspired in part because the margins of
Arithmetica were wide enough to contain Fermat's Last Theorem, but not
wide enough to contain its proof. Math annotation use cases can be
among the most challenging because mathematicians frequently need to
embed graphics and/or equations in notes and often want to annotate
the fine details of equations and expressions. When it comes to
mathematics, the view that all annotations are plain text does not
Open Annotation takes a resource-centric approach. An annotation has
one or more targets (Web resources, resource components, or resource
representations). Arbitrary granularity is supported; you can annotate
an entire book or only a single element in a single equation. Target
granularity can be expressed using domain-specific semantics like TeX
and MathML. The body (content) of an annotation is another resource
with its own unique identifier. The annotation body can be of any
format; thus a Web video can annotate the use of an equation. The
annotation itself, expressing the relationship between body and
target(s), is given its own unique identifier. Thus body, target(s),
and annotation can all be individually referenced. This supports
advanced annotation chaining and data mining.
Contributors to this work include the Mellon Foundation-supported Open
Annotation Collaboration [2] and the bioscience-focused Annotation
Ontology initiative [3]. Open Annotation specifications are being
vetted against real-world use cases, and we would welcome use cases
from mathematicians and scholarly mathematics content providers. For
further information visit the Community Group homepage.
Tim Cole, Mathematics & Digital Content Access Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PI, Open Annotation Collaboration
email: t-cole3(at)
b) The Future World Heritage Digital Mathematics Library Symposium
The Future World Heritage Digital Mathematics Library Symposium was
held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, on June
1-3, 2012. The meeting was organized by the CEIC and supported by a
grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The participants consulted
on the ongoing goal of a World Digital Mathematics Library (WDML), and
discussed progress made to date and future challenges. The final
report of the meeting is at
Complete information about the program, list of participants, slides
of all keynote talks, position papers, etc., can be found on the
Symposium wiki:

Nominations for IMU Awards 2014

The President of the IMU, Ingrid Daubechies, has written to the
Adhering Organizations, asking them to submit nominations for the IMU
awards listed below.
* Fields Medals - fields14-chair(at)
The Fields Medals are awarded every 4 years on the occasion of the
International Congress of Mathematicians  to recognize outstanding
mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of
future achievement.
* Rolf Nevanlinna Prize - nevanlinna14-chair(at)
The Nevanlinna Prize is awarded once every 4 years at the
International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding
contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences.
* Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize - gauss14-chair(at)
The Gauss Prize is awarded once every 4 years to honor a scientist
whose mathematical research has had an impact outside mathematics -
either in technology, in business, or simply in people's everyday lives.
* Chern Medal Award - chern14-chair(at)
The Chern Medal is awarded every 4 years on the occasion  of the
International Congress of Mathematicians to an individual whose
accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for
outstanding achievements in the field
of mathematics.
* Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys - leelavati14-chair(at)
The Leelavati Prize, is intended to accord high recognition and great
appreciation of the IMU and Infosys of outstanding contributions for
increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual
discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.
* ICM 2014 Emmy Noether Lecture - noether14-chair(at)
The ICM Emmy Noether lecture is a special lecture at an ICM which
honors women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to
the mathematical sciences.
More details about each of these awards and the Noether lecture, as
well as lists of past laureates, can be found on the IMU Web site, at URL:
Deadline for nominations:  December 31, 2012
The names of the chairs of the various prize committees and their
contact information can be found at:
The names of the other prize committee members remain confidential and
will be announced at the Opening Ceremony of ICM 2014 only.

Fields Medal Symposium

The Fields Institute (Link to in
Toronto, Canada will soon launch an annual event called the FIELDS
MEDAL SYMPOSIUM, that will focus on the work of mathematicians honored
by a Fields Medal. The Inaugural Fields Medal Symposium (Link to,
entitled Fundamentals of the Langlands Program, will be held on
October 15-18, 2012. It will be centered on the work of Ngô Bà o
Châu, and its current and potential impact.

Bill Thurston Passing Away

Bill Thurston passed away on August 21, 2012. He was for many years
the dominant figure in the study of 3 dimensional topology and
geometry, winning a Fields medal for this work in 1982. His
"Geometrization Conjecture" classifying the topology of 3 manifolds
was finally proved by Perelman as part of his work on the Poincaré

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013)

MPE2013 is a year of scientific and outreach activities around the
world in 2013:
It is not too late to participate to the "Mathematics of Planet Earth
Competition for an open source exhibition of virtual modules"
(museum-quality exhibits): You can
participate yourself. Your help is also welcome to spread the news and
encourage other people to participate: students, colleagues, teachers,
etc. The modules submitted will form the basis of the permanent
Mathematics of Planet Earth Open Source Exhibition. Examples of
modules or themes to be covered are available on the website. The
competition is open until December 20, 2012.
The launch of the MPE exhibition will be organized by the IMU jointly
with MPE2013. It will take place at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
on March 5-8 2013. The winners will receive their prizes during a
ceremony on March 5. MPE2013 will work in partnership with UNESCO, IMU
and ICMI for the promotion of the MPE exhibition, and for other MPE
activities like the distribution of special MPE issues of magazines in
MPE2013 hopes to hold a daily blog in 2013. If you are interested to
contribute, please send a message to blog(at), with an
indication of preferred dates and topics.
Many countries are already preparing their MPE2013 launch and will
hold activities all around 2013. It is not too late for other
countries to join and organize MPE related activities. MPE2013 can
help for partnerships.

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Previous issues can be seen at:
last updated: 2012-10-30