IMU-Net 76: March 2016 (pdf)
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Martin Raussen, Aalborg University, Denmark
I am writing this as a Member at Large of the IMU Executive Committee, serving a
second term now. In my sixth year, I continue to find this a learning
experience: it is enlightening to see how the talented and experienced
colleagues on the EC deal with various matters, some requiring delicacy, so that
the IMU can be as effective as possible in promoting mathematics.
The IMU does not have extensive financial resources, but it does have a currency
of goodwill among mathematicians. There is also an appreciation of IMU as
representing a worldwide community of scholars who pursue their intellectual
interests, and whose work does ultimately benefit society in various ways, both
material and cultural.
Thus the IMU can have influence in some situations, which may be of help to some
colleagues in troubled situations, but care is also needed in exercising this
influence, so as not to lose the non-partisan and universal character of the
Another aspect of this universal character is in the strong efforts which the
IMU makes to be as broadly representative of the mathematics community as
One of the important tasks of the IMU EC is to nominate individuals in various
capacities, either functioning directly on behalf of the IMU, or in roles where
there is a need for mathematical expertise; here particular attention is paid to
try and fulfill the task, keeping the specific objectives in mind, while also
seeking to achieve regional and gender balance. The IMU strives to bring
diversity to its choices, and that this has been an important priority for all
of us on the EC.
I look forward to serving the rest of my term with the IMU EC. And on another
note, I also look forward to seeing, and sometimes participating in, the
preparations for the next ICM at Rio.
IMU-CDC: New programme for developing countries
The first call of the new program IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship will be open
from the 15th April to the 15th June.
Thanks to a generous donation by the winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in
Mathematics – Ian Agol, Simon Donaldson, Maxim Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence
Tao and Richard Taylor – IMU with the assistance of FIMU (Friends of the IMU)
and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences) is launching a fellowship program to
support postgraduate studies, in a developing country, leading to a PhD degree
in the mathematical sciences. The IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships will offer a
limited number of grants for excellent students from developing countries.
Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated and
mathematically talented students from developing countries who plan to complete
a doctoral degree in a developing country, including their own home country.
Nominees must have a consistently good academic record from the high school
level and must be seriously interested in pursuing a career of research and
teaching in mathematics.
For a nomination to be eligible, the country of citizenship of the student, the
country of residency and the country where the study will take place must be
contained in the list of Developing Countries as defined by IMU for the period
2016-2019. More information: http://www.mathunion.org/cdc .
Secretary for Policy of the CDC
Ibni prize awarded
On February 3, the Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh Prize for 2015 was awarded to
Valaire Yatat Djeumen, a Cameroonian PhD student at the University of Yaoundé
1. The Prize will enable him to visit the research institute CIRAD in
Montpellier, France, in the framework of his PhD on mathematical models of
The prize has been funded by a subscription. It benefits from the support of
CIMPA and CDC-IMU (Committee for Developing Countries-International Mathematical
For more information on the Chadian politician and mathematician Ibni Oumar
Mahamat Saleh, the circumstances of his abduction, and the prize itself, please
consult http://www.univ-orleans.fr/en/prixibni .
IMU-CWM announces project winners
Following its funding call in December 2015 for initiatives aimed at
establishing or supporting networks for women in mathematics, the IMU Committee
for Women in Mathematics (CWM) has announced that in 2016 it will be funding
seven of the nearly 50 submitted proposals.
Events will take place in Colombia (for Latin America), India, Indonesia (for S.
and E. Asia), Kazakhstan (for Central Asia), Mexico (for Latin America),
Senegal (for West Africa), and Tunisia (for North Africa).
In 2015-16, similar activities were also funded in Kenya (for Africa) and Brazil
(for Latin America).
More information: http://www.mathunion.org/cwm/events/cwm-sponsored-events/
Announcement of a new Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) competition
A second international MPE competition for science museum exhibits (modules) was
announced at the Next Einstein Forum in Dakar, Senegal on March 10 2016. The
competition is organized jointly by Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE), the
International Basic Science Program (IBSP) at UNESCO, the International
Mathematical Union (IMU), the International Commission of Mathematical
Instruction (ICMI) and IMAGINARY.
The modules submitted to the competition will enrich the virtual Open Source MPE
Exhibition. They can be downloaded and adapted by science museums and schools
and can serve as examples for inputs for the new competition. The modules
submitted can be of four types:
- Program: An interactive software exhibit to be used either on the web or in a
- Hands-on: A module explaining how to realize a physical module in a museum.
- Film: A short video that can be shown in an exhibition.
- Image gallery: A collection of images accompanied of their mathematical
The deadline for the new MPE competition is June 30 2017, and the competition
will be judged by an international jury.
- First prize: 5000 USD
- Second prize: 2000 USD
- Third prize: 1000 USD
- Special prize for African module: 2000 USD.
Abel Prize 2016 awarded to Sir Andrew Wiles
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize
for 2016 to Sir Andrew J. Wiles (University of Oxford) "for his stunning proof
of Fermat’s Last Theorem by way of the modularity conjecture for semistable
elliptic curves, opening a new era in number theory." In 1994 Wiles cracked
Fermat’s Last Theorem, which at the time was the most famous, and long running,
unsolved problem in the subject’s history. Andrew J. Wiles will receive the Abel
Prize from H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon at an award ceremony in Oslo on 24 May.
More information: http://www.abelprize.no/seksjon/vis.html?tid=67109
V Congreso latinoamericano de matemáticos
The V Congreso latinoamericano de matemáticos under the auspices of Unión
Matemática de América Latina y el Caribe (UMALCA) takes place in the period July
11-15, 2016, at the Universidad del Norte, Barrranquilla, Columbia.
The quadrennial Congress of the European Mathematical Society, 7ECM, will be
held in Berlin, Germany, July 18 - 22, 2016. The program contains ten plenary
lectures, 31 invited lectures, several prize lectures, the Hirzebruch Lecture,
the Abel Lecture, several history and public lectures, 43 mini-symposia, and
much more. Almost 100 grants have been offered to mathematicians from less
developed countries. More than 1000 participants have already registered. Early
registration ends on 31 March 2016!
The event is preceded by the Council of the European Mathematical Society at
Humboldt University, Berlin, on July 16-17. Council will have to choose between
two bids for the 8ECM in 2020; one from Portoroz (Slovenia) and one from Seville
(Spain). It elects two new vice-presidents and five members of the executive
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