IMU-Net 7: September 2004

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, Universit&eacute René Descartes, Paris, France



  1. Editorial
  2. Nomination Committees update
  3. IMU on the Web
  4. The Fourth European Congress of Mathematics
  5. Ramanujan Prize
  6. Call for nominations for the Abel Prize
  7. Shaw Prize
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear Reader,

With this issue IMU-Net celebrates its first birthday. I hope that you will
agree that the newsletter is performing a useful service to the world
mathematical community. This success is the result of the expert guidance
and hard work of our Editor, Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, with valuable
technical assistance from Wolfgang Dalitz.
In this edition the founding of the new Ramanujan Prize is reported.
IMU is proud and delighted to be associated with this Prize, and hopes that
it will act as an inspiration to young mathematicians working in developing
countries. It could not have come into being without the generous support
made available to IMU by the Abel Memorial Fund to help mathematics in the
developing world, and it further strengthens the growing cooperation between
IMU and ICTP with the same objective.
I hope you will continue to read and react to IMU-Net, and encourage
those who do not subscribe to do so.

John Ball
President, International Mathematical Union

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The new procedures for forming the slates of candidates for the IMU
Executive Committee and IMU Commissions were described in IMU-Net 6 (see The Chair of the
Nominating Committee for the Executive Committees of IMU, CDE and ICHM is
Ludwig Faddeev of the Euler International Mathematical Institute, St
Petersburg, Russia. Professor Faddeev was President of IMU from 1987-1990.
A call to Adhering Organizations for proposals for members of this
Nominating Committee has been made with a deadline of 31 December 2004.
A similar call will be made for the ICMI Nominating Committee when its
Chair has been chosen. 

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Open access? Paying to write instead of paying to read and, an example of
non-optimal practice.

How do *you* go about finding preprints and articles on the web? You do
use LaTeX in writing your articles, don't you? Do you maintain a useful
homepage? Peter Michor (CEIC) explains at
how *he* uses internet facilities to ease his life as a mathematician.
In 'Nature' (Sunday 19 September 2004), John Ewing comments on the orthodoxy
of open access; see

An apology: last issue, IMU on the Web referred readers to a fine article
in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Chronicle Review, February 20, 2004),
entirely forgetting that the URL provided becomes inaccessible to
non-subscribers a little while after first publication. This oversight
was not an example of best practice.

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4. The Fourth European Congress of Mathematics

The Fourth European Congress of Mathematics 4ecm (
was held at Stockholm University at the end of June. During the opening
ceremony in the Aula Magna, the winners of the ten ECM prizes:
Frank Barthe
Stefano Bianchini
Paul Biràn
Elon Lindenstrauss
Andrei Okounkov
Sylvia Serfaty
Stanislav Smirnov
Xavier Tolsa
Warwick Tucker
Otmar Venjakob 
were announced (for citations see
For a change, the announcement was not controversial: the prize committee
had managed to award outstanding mathematical achievement by mathematicians
aged 35 or less, with a good spread of nationalities and subjects.
The Carl-Eric Fröberg prize was awarded to Anna-Karin Tornberg. 
The Congress was an opportunity to hear about advances across the whole
spectrum of mathematics, with a particular emphasis on applications. Taking
advantage of the conference’s location, the organising committee had been
able to attract two Nobel prizewinners and four other scientists to talk
about their work and its link with mathematics.
A further new feature was to hear European network coordinators talk about
the mathematical progress achieved by their networks. 
My own selection of talks included subjects such as: waves in forest floor
bacteria, knots as stable singularities in waves, the development of MRI
scanning, evolutionary dynamics, isoperimetric inequalities, quantum chaos,
and complexity theory. The conference proceedings will be produced by the
EMS Publishing House (, hopefully next spring.
Because of the new features, there were no round table discussions, which
had been such a distinctive feature of previous ecms, but it will be open
to the organisers of 5ecm to restore them to the programme in Amsterdam
in 2008.

David Salinger, EMS Publicity Secretary

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5. Ramanujan Prize

The founding has been announced of the "Ramanujan Prize for Young
Mathematicians from Developing Countries" by the Abdus Salam International
Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, in cooperation with
IMU, and with support from the Niels Henrik
Abel Memorial Fund, Norway.
The Prize will be awarded annually for the highest mathematical
achievement by young researchers from developing countries, who conduct
their research in a developing country. The recipient must be less than 45
years old. Work in any branch of the mathematical sciences is eligible for
the prize. The Prize amount will be $10,000. The goal is to make the
selection of the first Prize winner in 2005. Further information will appear
on the IMU and ICTP websites.
(ICTP website: 

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6. Call for nominations for the Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters calls for nominations of
candidates for the Abel Prize 2005.
The Abel Prize, which was awarded for the first time in 2003, amounts to
NOK 6 million (EUR 750.000). It is an international prize for outstanding
scientific work in the field of mathematics, including mathematical
aspects of computer science, mathematical physics, probability, numerical
analysis and scientific computing, statistics, and also applications of
mathematics in the sciences.
For information, see

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The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2004 has been awarded to
Professor Shiing-Shen Chern of Nankai University (China).
For more information see:

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