IMU-Net 70: March 2015
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Editorial: new Committee on women and mathematics of the IMU
In March 2015 the newly-elected IMU Executive Committee, at its
meeting in Berlin, decided to establish a new Committee for Women in
Mathematics (CWM) to
promote international contacts between national and regional
organizations for women in mathematical sciences; maintain up-to-date
content on the Committee for Women in Mathematics part of the IMU
website and, with appropriate assistance from the IMU, to ensure its
technical development; consider how best to facilitate electronic
communications among the community of women mathematicians
internationally; work with groups, committees and commissions of
IMU on topics pertaining to women mathematicians and their
publicise, and where needed to suggest, working practices that ensure
equal opportunities for women mathematicians in universities and
research institutions, for example appropriate funding arrangements,
family friendly policies and facilities; report annually to the IMU
Executive Committee and to propose actions that would lead to an
improvement in the position women in the mathematical community and to
an increase in the representation of women in mathematics at all levels.
The new CWM will have a chair, a vice-chair and 6-8 members at large,
with one member having specific responsibility for the CWM web site
and electronic communication. Membership of CWM, which will be for
four years terms coinciding with the terms of the IMU Executive
Committee, should be widely distributed internationally and the CWM
should meet at least once a year, preferably by video-conferencing. A
member of the IMU Executive Committee will liaise with the CWM and
attend meetings while remaining outside the committee.
CWM will have a budget from IMU that can be used to support meetings
of the committee (electronic or in person), contacts between regional
women-in-mathematics organizations and committee members, and for
expenses such as those needed to establish and maintain international
or regional websites and support regional meetings. The funds granted
from the IMU budget will be administered by the IMU Office.
Management of funds specifically donated from other bodies or persons
to support the purposes of CWM may be done through the Friends of IMU.
Membership of the Committee for Women in Mathematics (2014-18)
Chair: Marie-Françoise Roy (France)
Vice-chair and responsibility for the website: Caroline Series (UK)
Members at large: Carolina Araujo (Brazil); Bill Barton (New Zealand);
Ari Laptev (Sweden and UK); Kristin Lauter (USA); Sunsook Noh (South
Korea); Marie Francoise Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso); Sujatha Ramdorai
(India); Betul Tanbay (Turkey)
with John Toland (UK) as the IMU Executive Committee observer.
This committee should expect to serve until the next IMU General
Assembly, which is to be held in Brazil in 2018. To set the ball
rolling its first meeting will be face-to-face in Cortona, Italy, on
the 4th and 5th September 2015, immediately after the 17th General
Meeting of European Women in Mathematics
Web site: http://www.mathunion.org/cwm
John Toland (IMU EC 2014-18)
Call for suggestions for applications to ICSU
IMU is calling for suggestions for applications to the ICSU 2016 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.
for ICSU Strategic Plan)
The proposed activity should take place between January 1st 2016 and
September 30 2017.
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 June 30 2015 to
Christiane Rousseau: rousseac(at)dms.umontreal.ca
News from ICSU: The Visibility of ICSU
One of the recurring subjects that come up for discussion in ICSU
(International Council of Science) General Assembly meetings is its
low level of visibility. This is something we are all familiar with in
our respective scientific communities; when we ask our colleagues if
they know what ICSU is, most of them have no knowledge of this
institution. On the other hand, most mathematicians, physicists,
chemists, astronomers and so on know their own respective unions very
well (IMU, IUPAP, IUPAC, IAU,…).
What are the reasons for this situation and what can be done to remedy
it? ICSU is a kind of agent that drives forward great projects of
enormous importance for our planet (take, for example, the ambitious
Future Earth program), and thus for the future of the human species.
It is perhaps here where the main drawback lies that prevents the
institution from being better known: it is aimed at governments,
scientists and society in general with projects that require the
combination of many sciences at once (even social sciences are vital
at ICSU). At present, ICSU consists of 31 members of scientific
unions, 121 national members representing 141 countries, and 23
international associate scientists. It maintains relations with
UNESCO, the UN and scientific academies all over the world, and to
make its role more effective it has set up three Regional Offices
covering a wide area: the ROA (Africa), the ROAP (Asia and the
Pacific) and the ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean). This
necessary multidisciplinarity and relocation, as well as the general
nature of the undertaking, blunts the impact in each of the different
disciplines, which are more accustomed to working within the confines
of their own frontiers.
Nevertheless, ICSU carries out very important activities, such as
acting as a lobby to persuade governments and funding agencies to get
involved in great sustainability projects and scientific development,
as well as defending the universal nature of science, the free access
of everyone to science, the free circulation of scientists, and the
role of research as a guarantor of well-being.
How can this Council achieve the social impact that it deserves? We at
ICSU Executive Board are aware that efforts must be made to step up
communication both with society and with scientists. The institution
has a press office that will be strengthened in the coming months,
while its image and website will also undergo substantial improvement.
A greater visibility of ICSU will eventually bring a greater
visibility for science and its importance.
Nevertheless, all scientists, whatever their specialty, should be
prepared to contribute to making ICSU more well-known; this is already
an obligation for all we who belong to its Executive Committee. ICSU
is necessary and its work has been decisive since its foundation in
1931. We refer the reader to the website
http://www.icsu.org/about-icsu/about-us/a-brief-history for a brief
history of the institution, and also suggest that he or she read the
book Science International: A History of the International Council,
written by Frank Greenaway, published in 1996 by Cambridge University
Press, which will undoubtedly change one’s view of ICSU.
Manuel de León (ICMAT-CSIC), member of the ICSU Executive Board
Announcement of the workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" supported by ICSU
Workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species
expansion" to take place at the African Institute for Mathematical
Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016.
The International Mathematical Union (IMU), the International Union of
Biological Sciences (IUBS), the International Union of Immunological
Societies (IUIS), the International Union of Microbiological Societies
(IUMS), the International Social Science Council (ISSC). the
International Council of INdustrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM),
the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA), ecoHEALTH from Future
Earth, the International Society for Biometeorology (ISB), the African
Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the South African
Mathematical Society (SAMS), the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for
Invasion Biology (CIB) and Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) are
co-organizing a capacity building workshop "Global change impact on
diseases and alien species expansion" supported by the International
Council of Science (ICSU).
This international, interdisciplinary, educational and capacity
building workshop will bring together the two subjects of infectious
diseases and invasive species and the context of climate change, thus
allowing sharing the methods and building partnerships. The workshop
will address the whole range of topics from field-work and collecting
of data to the building and validating of models, to the adjustment of
models to take into account the changing environment and the social
characteristics, and to the design and implementation of strategies to
fight infectious diseases and invasive species. Special emphasis will
be put on African diseases and invasive species, as well as the
characteristics of changing environment in Africa.
The workshop is mostly aimed to young researchers and postgraduate
students, with a majority coming from Africa. International experts
from around the world will give the minicourses and lectures and will
lead the working groups. There will be a limited number of contributed
talks and a poster session.
Applications: the website will be open for applications around October
2015. The workshop is planned for 50 participants. The participants
from Africa will receive full funding.
Organizers: Jacek Banasiak (South Africa) banasiak(at)ukn.ac.za
Christiane Rousseau (Canada) rousseac(at)dms.umontreal.ca
Abel Prize 2015
John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize from His
Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony at the University Aula in
Oslo on 19st of May 2015 “for striking and seminal contributions to
the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its
applications to geometric analysis.”
John F. Nash Jr., aged 86, spent his career at Princeton University and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Louis Nirenberg, aged 90, worked at New
York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Even though
they did not formally collaborate on any papers, they influenced each other
greatly during the 1950s. The results of their work are felt more strongly
today than ever before.
For more information please consult the Abel Prize website
Passing away of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife Alicia
It is with great sadness that the International Mathematical Union
learnt the tragic deaths of John Nash and his wife Alicia, in a car
accident, on May 23, 2015. This occurred a mere four days after Nash
received the Abel Prize from the hands of the Norwegian King for
striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial
differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.
John Nash shared a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, the year before
he joined the Princeton mathematics department as a senior research
IMU send its condolences to all of his and Alicia's family and friends.
Nomination for the 2016 Breakthrough Prize and a new prize
The nominations website for the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes is opened,
and a new prize in the mathematics category is announced.
In addition to the main Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, up to three
$100,000 New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes available annually for
junior researchers who have already made important contributions are
This is the first public call for nominations for these prizes, and
this year's Selection Committee is comprised of Simon Donaldson, Maxim
Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor.
For more information and to make a nomination, please visit the website.
News from AMU: African Mathematical Schools
The African Mathematical Union (AMU) in collaboration with CIMPA is
requesting proposals for African Mathematical Schools (AMS) to be
organized in 2016 from Mathematical Scientists and Institutions in all
regions of the African continent. Proposals should be sent by email to
application.ams(at)gmail.com before October 1st, 2015.
Call for Special Session Proposals at the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2017 (MCA2017)
Proposals of special sessions at MCA 2017 are welcomed by the Special
Sessions Subcommittee. Early submission of proposals is encouraged:
good proposals will be approved on a regular basis before the
deadline, so that session speakers may be invited in plenty of time to
make travel and funding arrangements.
A proposal should include :
• the names, affiliations and contact information (including email
addresses) of all the organizers, with one organizer designated as
• a brief presentation of the topic and scope (up to one page),
• a preliminary list of the expected speakers.
The topics should be broad and fairly well represented throughout the
Americas. The list of organizers must include at least two
mathematicians from different countries in the Americas. Preference
will be given to proposals whose list of suggested speakers represents
diversity in all aspects.
Each special session will consist of two 4-hour periods. We recommend
that the organizers base their sessions on a total of 16 half-hour
time slots for their speakers.
Although it is anticipated that limited financial support will be
available to help with expenses of some of the participants, at
present we cannot promise financial support for the special sessions.
Proposals should be sent to mca2017.sessions(at)gmail.com before July 31, 2016.
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