IMU-Net 64: March 2014
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Following a proposal made by the International Union of
Crystallography (IUCr), 2014 has been declared the International Year
of Crystallography (IYCr2014), according to a decision taken by the
United Nations and approved at its 66th General Assembly held on June
3rd, 2012. The official opening ceremony was held at the UNESCO
headquarters in Paris on January 20th of this year.
The International Year of Crystallography commemorates two outstanding events:
1) The centenary of the diffraction of X-rays, which enabled the study
of crystalline material. It is appropriate to recall that X-rays were
discovered in 1895 by Röntgen (Nobel Prize-Winner in 1901). Max Von
Lauë (Nobel Prize-Winner in 1914) subsequently discovered the
diffraction of X-rays by crystals and verified their wavelength.
Later, Sir William Henry Bragg and his son, William, (Nobel
Prize-Winners in 1915) determined the crystalline structure of many
minerals and arrived at a simple formulation for how X-rays are
diffracted in crystals (according to the so-called Bragg Law).
2) The 400th anniversary of Johannes Kepler’s observation in 1611 of
the symmetrical hexagonal shape of ice crystals in his work Strena seu
de Nive Sexangula, which led to the study of the role of symmetries in
matter. At Christmas, 1610, Johannes Kepler was crossing the Charles
Bridge in Prague, thinking about what might be the best New Year’s
present to give his friend and benefactor Johannes Matthäus Wäckher
von Wackenfelds. A snowflake fell on his overcoat, and Kepler was
prompted to ask himself the following questions about it: Why did
snowflakes all have a hexagonal shape? Why didn’t they have five
corners or seven? He thought that this subject might provide the basis
for an essay, which would provide an excellent New Year’s present for
his patron. Thus, he came to write “Strena seu de nive sexángula” (On
The Six-cornered Snowflake), a booklet of scarcely 24 pages that is
indeed a masterpiece and which contains the Kepler Conjecture,
eventually proved a few years ago by Thomas Hales.
The International Crystallography Union (IUCr) is an international
scientific union which, like the International Mathematical Union
(IMU), forms part of the ICSU, the International Council of Science,
which preserves the initials of its former name, the International
Council of Scientific Unions. The aims of the IUCr are to promote
international cooperation in crystallography and research into the
subject; to create standardized methods regarding techniques, units
and symbols, and also to provide a focus point for the relations of
crystallography with other sciences.
The International Year of Crystallography
In collaboration with other institutions from all over the world, the
IUCr has planned an enormous number of events throughout the year.
These are the main objectives of the IYCr2014:
- To increase public interest in the science of crystallography and
highlight its involvement in the technological development of modern
- To inspire young people by means of exhibitions, talks and
laboratories in schools.
- To illustrate the universal nature of science.
- To intensify the Crystallography in Africa program and create
similar programs in Asia and Latin America.
- To encourage international cooperation among scientists from all
over the world, especially as regards North-South contributions.
- To promote research into crystallography and its relations with
- To include the synchrotron and neutron facilities in this year’s
celebration, as well as the SESAME project under the auspices of
UNESCO. Let us recall that SESAME refers to a source of synchrotron
light that acts like a gigantic microscope and will enable researchers
from Jordan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine
and Turkey to study the properties of advanced materials and
biological processes as well as undertake cultural work. The project
also aims to make a contribution to peace in the area by means of
To follow the activities of the IYCr2014, take a look at its excellent
Crystallography and Mathematics
Both sciences are closely related, as shown clearly by the two events
that motivate the celebration of this international year. Let us not
forget that symmetries are what lie behind the concept of thegroup
developed by Evariste Galois. Hence, algebra and geometry have often
gone hand in hand in crystallography. But the Fourier Transform and in
general the whole of mathematical analysis have also played a key role
The IMU sends its very best wishes to the IUCr and its congratulations
for the great success of this year.
Manuel de Leon, member at large of the IMU
Seoul ICM 2014
The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place at
COEX in Seoul, Korea, from August 13 through August 21, 2014. It is
time to register and book your accommodation!
You can do so by following the simple instructions at its homepage:
Here are some important deadlines:
- Registration at a reduced rate: from January 6 to May 10, 2014
- IMU GA registration: from January 17 to May 31, 2014
The 53 ICM 2014 Satellite Conferences are listed at www.icm2014.org/sc/
- NANUM 2014: Detailed grant guidelines were sent out.
The second letter including award details was sent out to NANUM
grantees via email. Special rates for dormitory reservations are
available for NANUM 2014 (including TOGETHER) grantees until May 10,
2014. From May 11, 2014, other congress participants may proceed with
remaining dormi-tory reservations on a first-come-first-serve basis.
More information can be found at
- Abstracts Submission: 1,975 Abstracts Received from 110 Countries.
By popular demand, the abstract submission deadline for the SEOUL ICM
2014 was extended to Mar. 14, 2014. By the new due date, 1,975
abstracts were received. The abstracts will be reviewed by the end of
March, and the review results will be announced by Apr. 10, 2014.
- ICM Invited Plenary, Sectional, and Special Lectures
The full list and schedule of the plenary speakers and sectional
invited speakers is available at
- ICM Events: Call for Proposals (e.g. meeting and/or reception)
We welcome any organization to plan a reception or a meeting in and
around the congress (e.g. meeting and/or reception). Applications can
be sent via email at email@example.com. Once submit-ted, subsequent
price quotes will be issued for applicant’s review.
- ICM Exhibitions: Call for Proposals
The ICM exhibition booths are available on a first-come-first-serve
basis. Application for an exhibi-tion space should be submitted via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2014. For more details, refer to
the Exhibition Prospectus at icm2014.org/en/sponsors/exhibitors.
We look forward to welcoming you at the congress in Seoul, Korea.
Hyungju Park, Chairman of ICM 2014 Organizing Committee
From the chair of the Program Committee for ICM2014
The Program Committee (PC) for ICM 2014 had as its charge from the
Executive Committee of the IMU to plan and organize the scientific
program of ICM 2014. The general structure of the program chosen by
the PC was similar to that of previous ICMs. There are going to be 21
plenary lectures and 181 sectional lectures in 19 different sections.
The speakers chosen come from 28 different countries. In addition,
there will be 3 panel discussions in Section 18, Mathematics and
Popularization of Mathematics. The sectional speakers were chosen by
the PC, mostly following the nominations made by the sectional panels
appointed by the PC. The plenary speakers were chosen by the PC,
following recommendations made by the sectional panels, mathematical
societies and individuals, as well as the PC’s own suggestions. I am
very grateful to the many mathematicians, from all over the world, who
generously helped the PC carry out the very difficult and delicate
task that was entrusted to us. The PC is extremely excited about the
quality, depth, breadth and diversity of the scientific program of ICM
2014. We sincerely hope that all the attendees will share this feeling
and that they will greatly enjoy and profit from their experiences at
See you in Seoul!
Chair, Program Committee, ICM 2014
CEIC Panel Discussions at ICM 2014
The Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC) is
organizing three evening panel discussions at the upcoming ICM in
Seoul, Korea. These are:
1. Monday, August 18, 18-19:30
Panel on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and new developments in
online education, and their impact on research, teaching, and
education throughout the world. This session will be held in
conjunction with the “How can we teach better” panel/round table to be
organized by ICMI. See ICMI/CEIC 2013 survey:
2. Tuesday, August 19, 18-19:30
Panel on the Future of Mathematical Publishing. This will include
such topics as journal rankings and metrics, open access, publishing
costs and ethics, the cost of knowledge boycott, new models of
publishing, epijournals, and related developments.
3. Wednesday, August 20, 18-19:30
A presentation and discussion of the World Digital Mathematics
Library, covering recent initiatives funded by the Sloan Foundation,
including a workshop at the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, a
Report issued by the National Research Council in March, 2014, and
Further details will be presented in the next issue of IMU-Net.
Call for suggestions for an IMU application to ICSU
IMU is calling for suggestions for applications to the ICSU grant
program. Grants are up to 30,000 Euros. It is recommended that
projects meet some of the following criteria:
1. The project fits within one of ICSU's priorities:
a) Science and Technology for Sustainable Development
b) Capacity Building and Science Education
c) Dissemination of Data and/or Information from Science and Technology
d) Emerging Science -- Creation of New Knowledge.
www.icsu.org/publications/reports-and-reviews/icsu-strategic-plan-2012-2017 for ICSU Strategic
2. The project involves at least one other scientific union inside ICSU.
3. The project has some capacity building objective in one of the ICSU
regional offices: ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean), ROA
(Africa), ROAP (Asia Pacific).
A one page letter of intention should be sent by May 15 2015 to
Christiane Rousseau: rousseac(at)dms.umontreal.ca
The Fields Medal Symposium 2014
November 17 - 20 2014 at the Fields Institute, Toronto, Canada
The Fields Medal Symposium 2014 will honour the work of Cedric Villani
(Fields Medal 2010) (Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris, Université of
The title of the Symposium is: "The many facets of entropy: Kinetic
Theory, Optimal Transport, Geometry".
The goals of the program for the Fields Medal Symposium are to present
the work of the medalist and its impact, to explore the potential for
future directions and areas of its influence, to provide inspiration
to the next generations of mathematicians and scientists, as well as
to present the medalist to a broader public. The theme of the
symposium program this year is the concept of entropy, and the variety
of its aspects that pervade many scientific topics, including
analysis, physics and geometry. The scientific program of the
symposium is aimed at a wide audience, including graduate students,
mathematicians in other research areas, and scientists who use
mathematics in an important way. This year, it will be focused on
aspects of Dr. Villani's work, and its current and future potential
impact. Theme areas include the mathematics of kinetic theory, optimal
transportation, and transport
phenomena in a broad variety of applications.
The Fields Medal Symposia feature public events and events for
students. This year, the plan is for the scientific program to run
from Monday to Thursday, with more detailed scientific seminars in the
mornings, and colloquium style and public lectures taking place in the
afternoon program. Events that are centered about presentations to
high school and undergraduate university students will occupy a full
day, and are planned to include an encounter with high school students
(in French) at the Lycée Français de Toronto in the morning, and a
second session with high school and undergraduate students (in
English) in the afternoon at the Fields Institute. One of the evenings
will feature, in conjunction with the Alliance Française of Toronto,
the showing of one or several films, some which feature Dr. Villani
and other well known mathematicians; titles include Olivier Peyon's
film "Comment j'ai detesté les maths" (How I came to hate math). The
short film festival will be followed by a panel discussion. The coming
Symposium includes evening public lectures, including one by Cedric
Villani. There will also be short remarks and greetings by a number of
well known Canadian public figures and by members of the French
diplomatic corps, all followed by a reception.
All events of the Fields Medal Symposium, including the public
lectures, will be broadcast on line in real time, and will also be
archived for future access.
More information on
Abel Prize 2014
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel
Prize for 2014 to Yakov G. Sinai of Princeton University, USA, and the
Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences,
fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and
Yakov G. Sinai will receive the Abel Prize from His Royal Highness The
Crown Prince at an award ceremony in Oslo on 20 May.
For more information :
The IMU congratulates Yakov Sinai on receiving this well-deserved award!
The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies
The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL
2015) was proclaimed on 20 December 2013 at the United Nations General
Assembly in New York.
This International Year has been the initiative of a large consortium
of scientific bodies together with UNESCO working together since 2009,
and will bring together many different stakeholders including
scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology
platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners. IYL
2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding
of the central role of light in the modern world while also
celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studiesof
optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that
power the Internet today.
The theme of light is ideal to promote links between many different
disciplines, and of course many of the pioneers of the science of
light have also made seminal contributions to mathematics. Moreover,
many areas of leading edge research in photonics such as nonlinear
optics and telecommunications involve major collaborations between
physics, engineering and pure and applied mathematics, and we look
forward to many exciting joint meetings and events during 2015
focusing on these exciting developments.
A project related to IYL 2015 could be considered for an IMU
application to ICSU (see item 5).
More details at: www.eps.org
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