IMU-Net 73: September 2015
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Welcome to the IMU-NET! I am Alicia Dickenstein, a mathematician
working in Argentina, where I also completed my studies.
I am delighted to be a member of the Executive Committee of the IMU as
one of two Vice-Presidents (2015-2018), and to be able to contribute
to promote international cooperation in mathematics.
There are many subjects I would like to discuss, but in this first
contact, I decided to send some links to interesting information about
several of the important questions with which the IMU is involved.
Increasing the levels of mathematical activity in diverse areas of the
world has been one of the major goals of the IMU for many years. The
choice of Brazil as the host of the next ICM in 2018:
http://www.icm2018.org is ample evidence of the success of these
efforts. We are all very proud of this choice made by the IMU General
Assembly in Korea. You can find more information on emerging
mathematical activities in different parts of the world in this page
of the IMU Commission for Developing Countries (CDC):
The recently launched new journal model, an ArXiv overlay journal:
seems to be a great initiative concerning the future of mathematical
publications and our role as researchers. Other important issues for
all of us involving publications and the preservation of digital
information can be found in this page of the IMU Committee on
Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC):
The new IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) has started
working, helping the consolidation of the African Women in Mathematics
Association. More interesting information can be found in their
I feel that it is our responsibility as mathematicians to contribute
to the “mathematization” of the society, which starts with the
improvement of mathematics education. One of my tasks, as a member of
the executive committee, is to be the liaison person with the IMU
International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). I was
happily surprised to learn about the many interesting activities
carried out by the commission. One of the challenges of the ICMI is to
make sure that the information about its activities reaches
mathematics educators throughout the world. And at the IMU we are
interested to promote more collaboration between mathematicians and
mathematics educators. You can find some nice readings in this ICMI
and some thoughts on Math Education in Latin America in this link:
ICMI organizes an international congress every four years call ICME.
The next edition will take place in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2016: http://www.icme13.org/ .
Interesting historic materials, including videos, are available here:
I would like to end with a short quiz:
The IMU was founded in 1920 and was reborn in 1952 after the two World Wars.
1) Which has been the geographic distribution of the members of the
EMU EC since then ?
2) In which year was the first female member of the EC elected? How
many female President or Secretary of the IMU have ever been ?
Even if you don’t have the precise answers (which can be obtained from
the information here:
http://www.mathunion.org/organization/ec/ec-1952-2014/ ), you can
figure out that we still have a long way to go to integrate and
represent the whole international community, but this also means that
the future is full of opportunities.
Alicia Dickenstein, Vice-President IMU
CEIC Notes and Comments: Correction to IMU-Net 72
In IMU-Net 72, in the section CEIC NOTES AND COMMENTS : THE STORY OF
ONE JOURNAL a regrettable error was made. The paragraph
"Unfortunately, there is repetition in our story. Once again,
editorial displeasure has led this journal's board to cut tie with
CUP." is incorrect, and should be deleted.
CUP acted solely as the printer and distributor of the journal, and
the decision of the editorial board did not relate to these matters.
We apologize to CUP for this erroneous statement.
Member of the Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC)
2015 Ramanujan Prize
The 2015 Ramanujan Prize has been awarded to Amalendu Krishna jointly by
ICTP, the Department of Science and Technology (DST, Government of
India) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
The Prize recognizes Krishna's outstanding contributions in the area
of algebraic K-theory, algebraic cycles and the theory of motives.
Krishna had all his education in India; after schooling and college in
Bihar, where he was born, he obtained a Masters degree from the Indian
Statistical Institute, followed by a Ph.D..in 2001 from the Tata
Institute of Fundamental Research. After postdoctoral visits abroad,
he rejoined the Tata Institute as a
faculty member, and is now an Associate Professor.
Mathematics and Mathematicians in the ICSU
One of the concerns in my work with the IMU Executive Committee was
the participation of our union in the International Council for
Science (ICSU). Recall that the ICSU was largely made up of two big
collectives: the scientific unions and the nations. We understood very
well that a body like the ICSU could not remain on the fringes of
mathematics, and for three very good reasons: mathematics is
indispensable in the sphere of education and the role of the ICMI had
to be reflected there; the mathematical training of young scientists
in other areas depends strongly on their mathematical content; and
finally, research cannot be conducted in any discipline without its
During my time at the IMU, one of my tasks was to represent the IMU at
the ICSU, and we could say that with the full support of the IMU
Executive Committee and the ICMI we have achieved an on-going
presence, far less sporadic than hitherto. It has been a slow process,
but we are able to say that the IMU has earned the respect of the
other scientific unions as a result of participation in the meetings
of these bodies, attendance at the ICSU General Assemblies with
official representation, and also taking part with other unions in the
grants that the ICSU provides.
In a parallel way, collaboration with the three regional offices of
the ICSU: ROLAC, ROA and ROAP has been strengthened with, in some
cases, the designation of representatives, and with direct
participation with some of these offices in different activities.
The IMU has regularly nominated mathematicians for the different
committees and commissions that the ICSU has set up to handle its
different programs, in many cases with little success due to the
complexities inherent in the system of governance as well as the need
to maintain a geographical, thematic and gender balance. In any case,
nominating someone means sending the message that the IMU wishes to be
present, and in the long run the message is striking home.
But not only mathematics has filtered into the ICSU as a discipline;
mathematicians have also done so too. At the ICSU General Assembly
held in 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand, a notable event occurred for
the international mathematical community: no fewer than three
mathematicians were elected to the EB: I myself, proposed by the IMU;
John Ball, proposed by the United Kingdom, and even more
significantly, Daya Reddy, as President-Elect from February 2016. The
fact that three mathematicians are serving simultaneously at the ICSU
is quite unprecedented, and in my view it is undoubtedly a reflection
of the commitment of mathematicians to the difficult challenges facing
humanity in order to guarantee the sustainability and welfare of our
Manuel de León (ICMAT-CSIC), member of the ICSU Executive Board
ICIAM is the International Council of Industrial and Applied
Mathematics. It is an associate member of ICSU, the International
Council for Science, which groups all international scientific unions.
Currently it is pursuing the possibility of becoming a full member of
Barbara Keyfitz is finishing up her tenure as the president of ICIAM,
and Maria Esteban is succeeding her.
ICIAM holds an international congress every four year. ICIAM 2015, the
International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics took
place at China National Convention Center in Beijing on Aug 10-14,
2015 with 3,400 participants, making it the largest in the history of
ICIAM. Olga Taussky-Todd Lecture by Éva Tardos, 23 plenary lectures, 5
ICIAM prizes and 3 SIAM prize lectures were delivered during the
The next ICIAM congress in 2019 will be held in Valencia, Spain. Its
academic program is to be determined under the leadership of Alfio
Quarteroni, the chairman of the ICIAM 2019 scientific panel committee.
Workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion"
The workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species
expansion" will take place at the African Institute for Mathematical
Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016.
The website will accept applications from early October 2015:
African participants will receive full funding.
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 planned for 50 participants is mostly aimed to young
researchers and postgraduate students, with a majority coming from
Africa. The confirmed speakers and leaders of working groups are Peter
Daszak, Kristie Ebi, Abba Gumel, John Hargrove, Mark Lewis, Andrea
Pugliese, Judith Omumbo, David Richardson. There will be a limited
number of contributed talks and a poster session.
The workshop, supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU)
and UNESCO, is co-organized by 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).
Organizers: Jacek Banasiak (South Africa) banasiak(at)ukn.ac.za
Christiane Rousseau (Canada) rousseac(at)dms.umontreal.ca
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