IMU-Net 60: July 2013
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IMU-Net 60: July 2013
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Editorial

Traditional mathematical research publications developed over the
centuries are in danger of being regarded as obsolete because of
developments in Information Technology that have led to changes in
human behaviour and expectations. Print can no longer compete with
existing technology that offers search engines, data bases and online
archives, and will be even more challenged by future developments,
such as the integration of new technology in publication processes
(animation, video streaming, colour graphics, nonlinear organization
of research papers and books etc.) and secondary processing of
research results (survey articles, encyclopaedias, blogs, comment
files, cross-references etc.
 
However there is a danger that some recent proposals and initiatives
on new forms of publication are superficially attractive but fail to
replicate essential roles played by academic journals. Below is an
(incomplete) list of these roles and a brief indication of how they
are served or endangered by modern technology.
 
* Dissemination of Results and Discoveries.
For rapid dissemination to expert groups, traditional printed journals
can no longer compete with email, the internet, ArXiV, etc. For
dissemination to the wider community, their influence is curtailed by
the extent to which researchers no longer browse current periodicals
for information.
 
* Permanent Preservation of Knowledge.
The archiving of materials to make them easily accessible to posterity
is an essential role for journals or their electronic counterpart.
However there are deep concerns about how this is to be secured. For
example, changes in formats or technological advances can make
archived materials unreadable and a prominent publisher, which holds a
digital archive going bankrupt could jeopardise the long-term
accessibility of archives. In spite of sophisticated IT many
archivists across the sciences and humanities believe that paper is
still the most reliable and longest lasting medium.
 
* Producing Paper Copies.
Many people prefer to read from paper, and libraries like to have
paper copies. Demands from individuals for paper copies will probably
fade, but perhaps not soon, and the need for paper archives will
persist in libraries and elsewhere until an agreed technology for the
creation and maintenance of permanent archives have been developed.
 
* Validation of Results.
Refereeing for electronic media publications should not be different
than for electronic or printed publications, with or without a major
publisher. However the IT age has led to a proliferation of published
papers that means it is difficult for editors-in-chief to find
referees willing to study papers in detail, especially when they
contains lengthy computations or complicated case distinctions. If
this persists, journals could cease to play this validation role.
 
* Quality Assurance and Related Issues.
The certification by journals of quality, which relies on the
subjective judgement of referees and editors, is frequently used to
validate the reputations of individuals or institutions. However
objective judgements may be based on citation counts and impact
factors using on modern technology rather than being based on the
perceived reputation of the average paper in particular journals.  In
assigning priority for discoveries, journal submission and publication
dates have been supplemented by ArXiV dates, online DOI publishing
dates etc. in electronic media.
 
* Error Correction and Formatting.
Referees and copy editors have had a vital role in the avoidance of
minor errors and misprints, and in the maintenance of generally high
production values, in printed papers. However with the advent of TeX
and LaTex , and the expectation that authors formatted their own
manuscripts, standards of presentation and readability have
deteriorated. This is unfortunate if papers are to be preserved for
posterity.
 
There to be no answer to some of these concerns in the information age.
 
 
Ingrid Daubechies, President of IMU
László Lovász, past President of IMU
John Toland, Member at large of the Executive Committee of IMU

ICM 2014

The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place at
COEX in Seoul, Korea, from Wednesday August 13, through Thursday
August 21, 2014.
It is time to pre-register by following the simple instructions at the
homepage:
http://www.icm2014.org/
You will then receive the ICM e-News. We strongly recommend that you
visit the homepage regularly for updated information and ICM related
activities.

NANUM 2014

The Organizing Committee of ICM 2014 places special emphasis on supporting
mathematicians from developing countries. This has motivated the theme
of "Solidarity in Mathematics", and 1,000 mathematicians from
developing countries will be invited to Korea during ICM 2014.
This travel assistance program is called "NANUM 2014". A selection
policy integrating age, gender and geographical balance is being
carefully crafted.
 
NANUM 2014 in detail
The financial support will be granted in three categories:
* 45% senior mathematicians
* 45% junior mathematicians
* 10% advanced graduate students
Here is the timeline of the application and selection procedure
* Jun. 10, 2013 - Aug. 31, 2013: Applications received
* Dec. 31, 2013: Review of Applications completed
* Jan. 2014: Notification of acceptance

Heidelberg Laureate Forum

38 Abel, Fields and Turing Laureates confirmed their attendance at the
1st Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which will take place from
September 22 until 27, 2013.
The laureates will meet 200 of the most talented young researchers in
the fields of mathematics and computer science from 47 countries.
 
The Forum was initiated by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung and the
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. It is organized in
collaboration with the Association for Computing Machinery, the
International Mathematical Union and the Norwegian Academy for Science
and Letters.
www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org

Call for nominations for the Abel Prize 2014

38 Abel, Fields and Turing Laureates confirmed their attendance at the
1st Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which will take place from
September 22 until 27, 2013.
The laureates will meet 200 of the most talented young researchers in
the fields of mathematics and computer science from 47 countries.
 
The Forum was initiated by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung and the
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. It is organized in
collaboration with the Association for Computing Machinery, the
International Mathematical Union and the Norwegian Academy for Science
and Letters.
www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org

Call for nominations for The Ostrowski Prize, 2013

The aim of the Ostrowski Foundation is to promote the science of
mathematics by periodically awarding an international prize for recent
outstanding achievements in pure mathematics or the theoretical
foundations of numerical mathematics. The value of the prize for 2013
is 100,000 Swiss francs.
The prize has been awarded every two years since 1989.
The most recent winners are Ben Green and Terence Tao in 2005, Oded
Schramm in 2007, Sorin Popa in 2009, and Ib Madsen, David Preiss and
Kannan Soundararajan in 2011; see
http://www.ostrowski.ch/index_e.php?ifile=preis for the complete list.
The jury invites nominations for candidates for the 2013 Ostrowski
Prize. Nominations should include a c.v. of the candidate, a letter of
nomination and 3 letters of reference. The Chair of the jury for 2013
is Cameron Stewart of the University of Waterloo. Nominations should
be sent to cstewart(at)uwaterloo.ca by September 15, 2013.
 

Creation of the NIMS/DNVA/PGS PROGRAM in Ghana

This program is intended to foster mathematical development in Ghana
and sub-Saharan Africa. It will take place at the National Institute
for Mathematical Sciences (NIMS), a Ghanaian independent institute
located at the premises of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST). The program is sponsored by the Norwegian Academy
of Science and Letters (DNVA) and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS).
 
The program will comprise (a) setting up a Center of Excellence in
Mathematics in Kumasi or Accra, Ghana; (b) offering advanced courses
and seminars both in core mathematics and in applied and industrial
mathematics; (c) administering a scholarship program for postgraduate
students enrolling in the courses referenced in section b) and leading
to the degree of Master of Science;  (e) undertaking collaborative
research which fosters interaction with Ghanaian national industry;
(f) organizing and conducting research conferences (at least one per
year) in mathematics, with periodic emphasis on industrial and applied
mathematics; (g) developing and subsequently implementing a
postgraduate Degree Program in mathematical modelling and scientific
computing.
 
IMU will be represented on the Steering Committee by Wandera Ogana.

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Previous issues can be seen at:
http://www.mathunion.org/imu-net/archive/
last updated: 2013-07-29