IMU-Net 62: November 2013
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
As students we are taught the importance of rigour and precise proofs
in mathematics, and those of us who are now teaching mathematics try
to transmit this to the next generation. Providing detailed assessment
of written work is an important part of this process; this task can be
time consuming and requires considerable care and attention, but it is
a somewhat easier one in mathematics than in most other sciences or in
the humanities, since an answer to a mathematical question is more
clearly either correct or not. I have actually noticed that the fact
that evaluations were « fair » is frequently mentioned when
mathematicians remember what made them then prefer mathematics to
other subjects in high school.
This commitment to rigorous and fair assessment resurfaces in various
ways in academic life. For example, mathematicians themselves prefer
to be the ones who make editorial decisions in our main journals. This
contrasts with some other scientific disciplines whose major journals,
including Science and Nature, employ professional editors rather than
relying on the editorial judgement of active scientists.
Interdisciplinary panels tasked with evaluating the scientific output
of individuals are a common feature of today's academic world.
Usually, if not always, mathematicians who sit on such panels have the
impression that the evaluation criteria come from a foreign planet.
Arbitrarily defined bibliometric indexes and impact factors often seem
to virtually automatically govern important decisions, which, in many
cases, decide allocation of large sums of money. Furthermore, the
members of evaluating panels can have very limited understanding (to
say the least) of the actual work that they are evaluating. All this
seems in total contradiction with the foundations of our conception of
science, and can indeed have devastating direct repercussions on the
science produced (since meeting the criteria of these artificial
evaluation rules would become the main goal to achieve, instead of the
intrinsic quality and originality of the research output).
While evaluation is in general a sensitive subject and a difficult
task (a complete consensual guide on « how to evaluate » would
probably be impossible to produce), it is important to remain firm on
the basic principles, particularly that it is neither fair nor
efficient to evaluate something that one does not understand. It is
therefore essential that we continue to resist pressure from governing
bodies, universities and other institutions that try to implement
semi-automatized evaluation procedures.
IMU plans to release soon a short statement stressing these basic
principles. I hope that this will be a useful tool for all of us who
have to plead this cause.
Member at large of the Executive Committee of IMU
Seoul 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. The pre-registration process for the ICM 2014 is
under way. If you have not yet pre-registered, please do so by
following the simple instructions at the homepage:
http://www.icm2014.org. We strongly recommend that you visit the
homepage regularly for updated information and ICM related activities.
Information will also be sent to pre-registered participants by means
of occasional e-mail messages, reminding deadlines or reporting
Here are some important deadlines:
Proposals for satellite activities: until December 31, 2013
Registration at a reduced rate: from January 1 to May 10, 2014
Submission of abstracts for contributions: from January 1 to February 28, 2014
Notice the following important information:
The Satellite Conferences are listed at
The detailed information about the ICM 2014 signature travel grant
program is available at
NANUM 2014: 3,608 Applications Received
1,000 mathematicians from developing countries will be invited to
Korea during ICM 2014 under the ICM 2014 signature travel grant
program, called “NANUM 2014”. NANUM means ‘generoussharing’ in
Korean. By October 31, 2013, 3,608 NANUM applications were received.
The on line submission system was deactivated on August 31, 2013.
However, by popular demand, the submission site re-opened on October
16, 2013 and closed on October 31, 2013. Now, we are in the process of
selecting 1,000 grantees. Reviewing applications will be completed in
December, 2013 and an announcement of successful applicants will be in
January, 2014. We hope that NANUM may give the opportunity to the
people from developing countries to participate in the ICM 2014.
Dec. 31, 2013: Review of Applications completed
Jan. 2014: Notification of acceptance
The Korean Legislature’s Resolution on Supporting SEOUL ICM 2014
At a plenary meeting on November 15, 2013, the National Assembly (i.e.
Korean Legislature) of the Republic of Korea overwhelmingly adopted a
resolution on supporting SEOUL ICM 2014. The resolution states the
The Korean National Assembly is dedicated to supporting ?SEOUL ICM
2014? to hold a successful congress, will make special efforts to
encourage every citizen in all fields, including government,
business/industry, press and academia, to participate in and to have
interest in the ICM, is aware that the development and the
popularization of fundamental science including mathematics is
significant to the national competitiveness, and urges the government
to provide full support for ?SEOUL ICM 2014?.
ICM Invited Plenary, Sectional, and Special Lectures
The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee is delighted to announce the full
list of the plenary speakers and sectional invited speakers of Seoul
ICM. For the list of confirmed speakers, visit
http://icm2014.org/en/program/scientific. Plenary lectures are invited
one-hour lectures to be held without other parallel activities.
Sectional lectures are invited 45-minute lectures, several of which
are scheduled in parallel.
ICM Local Programs
This section gathers other scientific activities mostly promoted or
organized by the ICM 2014 Organizing Committee.
The following ICM local programs are already scheduled as of Sep. 31, 2013:
The Public Lecture for a general audience by James Simons, President
of Euclidean Capital and Board Chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC,
on Aug. 13, 2014,
The Abel Lecture by John Milnor on Aug. 15, 2014,
The Panels on the risks of assessment and comparisons in mathematical
education, mathematics teaching, and mathematical publicity during
Aug. 18-20, 2014.
ICM Event: Call for Application (e.g. meeting and/or reception)
The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee welcomes any organization that
wishes to plan an event in and around the congress (e.g. meeting
and/or reception). Any of the events can be staged at COEX (congress
venue) and/or COEX Intercontinental Hotel (350m from COEX) and
applications can be submitted to the appointed PCO of the congress,
MECI, via email at icm2014(at)meci.co.kr. Once submitted, subsequent
price quotes will be issued for applicant’s review. Please return the
completed application forms no later than Feb. 28, 2014.
Several institutions have already committed their contribution to ICM
2014, especially for NANUM 2014 program. Any organizations willing to
support this important event is invited to contact the Secretariat at
ICM Exhibition: Call for Application
The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee invites organizations and colleagues
to submit an application for exhibition booths. The ICM 2014
Exhibition is open to any organization, which may seek an opportunity
to promote one’s experience, programs, products and services through
operating commercial and/or non-commercial booths at the congress. The
exhibition will take place in Hall C1 (3F), COEX and the allotment of
booths will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications for an
exhibition space should be submitted to the appointed PCO of the
congress, MECI, via email at es(at)icm2014.org by May 31, 2014. For more
details, refer to the Exhibition Prospectus at
We look forward to welcoming you at the congress in Seoul, Korea.
Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee
IMU on the Web: ORCID is Up and Running
IMU-Net-044 contained a brief description of ORCID
(http://www.orcid.org/aboutus), an open, non-profit, community-driven
effort to address the challenge of identifying research activities and
outputs by linking them to a registry of unique researcher identifiers.
Recently, the ORCID Registry became available for individuals, who can
now, free of charge, obtain an ORCID identifier, manage their record
of activities, and search for others in the Registry. By signing in
and creating an ORCID ID on orcid.org, a researcher attaches a unique
identifier to various research output such as as data sets, equipment,
articles, media stories, citations, experiments, patents, and
notebooks. Currently the profile page only displays Works
(publications) while it lists Affiliations, Grants, and Patents as
ORCID connects to institutions and organizations in addition to
individuals. Organizations may become members to link their records to
ORCID identifiers, to update ORCID records, to receive updates from
ORCID, and to register their employees and students for ORCID
identifiers. The more organizations ORCID connects, the easier it
becomes for an individual to maintain its own research activity
record. This enables one to easily fetch publication data from those
which have already integrated their own registry with the ORCID
service. Currently SCOPUS from Elsevier and ResearcherID from
Thomson Reuters have been so integrated.
It remains to be seen what the long-term impact of ORCID will be,
particularly in mathematics where author name authority control is
already well established through MathSciNet and zbMath. The ORCID
system promises to provide interoperability between such systems, but
the uptake on collaborative arrangements has so far been slow.
ORCID is a community effort. The news pages at orcid.org carry updates
on policy, outreach, and technical development, and additionally also
a newsletter at http://orcid.org/newsletter/subscriptions and Twitter
@ORCID_Org. ORCID encourages community involvement. The next Outreach
meeting will be on May 21, 2014, hosted in Chicago IL, USA - (agenda
to be published in March, 2014). You can read about the last Outreach
meeting "Developing best practices for integration of ORCID
Olga Caprotti, member CEIC
ICMI News: CANP Projects
A. CANP SEA
The Capacity and Network Project (Mekong Sub-Region) Workshop, known
as CANP(MSR), was held from 14th to 25th October in Phnom Phen in
Cambodia. Thirty-three participants from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and
Viet Nam, and an international support team of eight, completed a full
programme of workshops in mathematics and mathematics education, as
well as national presentations and other events, including a full
The CANP(MSR) Workshop was opened by the Secretary of State for the
Ministry of Youth Education and Sport, His Excellency Pit Chamnan. A
delegation later met again with the Secretary of State, presenting a
report on their recommendations with respect to three questions about
mathematics education in Cambodia. In addition, four members of the
international team gave presentations at Kemarak university to a group
of 150 teachers.
The Workshop has formed a regional grouping, yet to be given a formal
name, and plans to meet in 2014, as well as mount other regional
More information can be found here:
For more information, please contact the CANP SEA Program Manager:
Bill Barton: b.barton(at)auckland.ac.nz
B. CANP 2014 IN TANZANIA
The fourth Capacity and Network Project (CANP4) Program is planned to
be held on September 1-12, 2014 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The proposed CANP 4 aims to build capacity in mathematics education
and create a sustainable regional network with a common goal of
improving mathematics education. It is anticipated that more than 50
participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will attend the
two-week program to be held at the Aga Khan University Institute for
Educational Development East Africa, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Participants will mostly be mathematics teachers, teacher educators
and curriculum developers with some representation from the
international mathematics education community.
Capacity development in mathematics will be around three integrated
themes: a) Mathematics for Planet Earth; b) ICT in mathematics
education; c) Language and culture in mathematics.
The program includes a variety of highly relevant activities including
public lecture(s) demonstrating mathematical modeling on real life
issues related to mathematics for Planet Earth; keynote address(es) on
significant aspects of mathematics education in the region; teacher
development workshops on mathematics topics drawn from the regional
high school curriculum; media engagement sessions; and opportunities
for the wider community to participate in mathematical activities.
ICMI Liaison Officer: Ferdinando Arzarello, ICMI President
Local Program Chair: Anjum Halai, Aga Khan University Institute for
Educational Development East Africa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The recipients for 2013 of the Felix Klein and Hans Freudenthal Awards
* Michèle Artigue (Université Paris Diderot, France) - The Felix Klein
Medal for lifetime achievement in mathematics education research and
* Frederick Leung (University of Hong Kong, China) - The Hans
Freudenthal Medal for a major cumulative programme of research in
comparative studies of mathematics education and on the influence of
culture on mathematics teaching and learning.
Find a link to the news and photographs on the ICMI Website at:
Ramanujan Prize: Call for nominations
The Ramanujan Prize for young mathematicians from developing countries
has been awarded annually since 2005. It is jointly funded and
administered by ICTP and the IMU.
February 1, 2014 is the deadline for nominations.
Nominations are to be sent to math(at)ictp.it.
The call can be found at
Stephen Smale Prize: Call for nominations
The second Stephen Smale Prize will be awarded in the
meeting Foundations of Computational Mathematics (FoCM) in Montevideo
in December 2014.
Nominations (self-nominations excluded) should be sent to FoCM
secretary Antonella Zanna at: Antonella.Zanna(at)math.uib.no
Deadline: 24:00 (GMT), March 10, 2014
For details of of prize rules see
Call for candidates for Ibni Prize 2013
The Prize "Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh" has been created in memory of our
colleague and to continue its commitment to Mathematics in Africa. The
prize is awarded annually to a young mathematician from Central Africa
or West Africa. Applications are evaluated by a scientific committee
set up by ICPAM. It funds a scientific visit.
The application must be send by email before December 15th, 2013 to
one of the following persons:
- Jean Renault (email: jean.renault [at] univ-orleans.fr)
- Marie-Francoise Roy (email: marie-francoise.roy [at] univ-rennes1.fr)
All the relevant information can be found on
Moving from MPE 2013 to MPE (Mathematics of Planet Earth)
A year now that Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) started…
What has been accomplished and where are we going?
By now, most mathematicians and many more scientists are aware of
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013, the year-long program created to
encourage research on a range of topics related to Planet Earth. The
distinctive logo has been featured at many conferences, workshops, and
lectures. MPE2013 also made its way among the public, the medias and
the school. The program has grown to an international year involving
more than 140 partners.
The MPE2013 activities included more than 15 long-term programs at
institutes all over the world, 60 workshops, dozens of special
sessions at society meetings, two big public lecture series, summer
and winter schools for graduate students, research experiences for
undergraduates, an international competition and an international Open
Source MPE Exhibition, special issues of mathematical magazines and
the development of high-quality curriculum materials for all ages and
grades. All these materials, including the winning designs of the
competition, are available free of charge on the web.
What will happen after 2013? Clearly, identifying the research
problems is not enough. Mathematics moves slowly, the planetary
problems are very challenging and we cannot expect great results in
just one year. MPE2013 has been a great start, but we need go further
and increase the research efforts on planetary topics in partnership
with other disciplines. Hence, MPE2013 moves to a permanent MPE which
will support and centralize the initiatives in the different
countries. With support from the NSF in the US, the MPE website will
be maintained and will post future MPE related events, as well as
additional educational and outreach material. Plans for more MPE
activities exist in several countries, in the form of workshops,
summer schools or even the creation of new graduate programs on
Mathematics of Planet Earth.
Among the coming activities for MPE2013 is the coming Diderot
Mathematical Forum of the European Mathematical Society, with
simultaneous lectures in Berlin (Germany), Exeter (United Kingdom) and
Zagreb (Croatia) on December 17th 2013.
All information can be found on the web-page
http://mathematics-in-europe.eu and on the EMS Home Page
The Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013-Plus (MPE 2013+,
http://mpe2013.org/mpe2013index/) program in the US consists in
educational workshops for young researchers in 2014 and 2015. They are
open to non US citizens.
The first Centre for Doctoral Training in the Mathematics of Planet
Earth at Imperial College London and University of Reading has just
been approved by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council (EPRSC) in UK:
The fourth Capacity and Network Project (CANP4) Program of ICMI is
planned to be held on September 1-12, 2014 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
(see item 4.B) .
The proposed CANP 4 aims to build capacity in mathematics education
and create a sustainable regional network with a common goal of
improving mathematics education. Capacity development in mathematics
will be around three integrated themes: a) Mathematics for Planet
Earth; b) ICT in mathematics education; c) Language and culture in
MPE2013 in Portugal will officially continue till June 2014 with
activities linking MPE2013 with the International Year of
Crystallography 2014: www.mpt2013.pteclipse-2013.html.
In Australia, an MPE partnership network has been established between
Australian government agencies and universities. Young agency staff
will engage with university students and academics to increase
awareness of the work they do across the maths of planet earth spectrum.
MPE exhibitions are held around the world: see
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