IMU-Net 8: November 2004

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



  1. Editorial
  2. ICME 10
  3. PACOM 2004
  4. IMU Developing Countries Strategy Group
  5. IMU on the Web
  6. ICM 2006
  7. EMS Article Competition
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear Reader,

The Executive Committee (EC) is committed to strengthening IMU's
support for mathematics research and education in developing
countries. In this issue of IMU-Net you will find a report of the first
meeting of a newly formed body, the Developing Countries Strategy Group. You
will also find short reports on the International Congress of Mathematical
Instruction  and the Pan African Congress of Mathematics that took place

Another aim of the EC is to establish improved election procedures for IMU.
Calls for proposals for the various nominating committees have recently been
sent to the Adhering Organizations. Please urge your representatives to
respond to these calls! More information can be found on

If you have a suggestion for an item or a piece of news from your part of
the world that you think might be of interest to the international
mathematical community, please let the editor of IMU-Net know! You can also
help us increase the distribution of the newsletter by forwarding this
issue to colleagues and encouraging them to subscribe.

Ragni Piene
Member of the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union

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2. ICME 10

The 10th International Congress on Mathematical Education was held on the
campus of the Technical University of Denmark on July 4-11, 2004. More than
2,300 participants from 120 countries - researchers in mathematics and in
mathematics education, teacher trainers and mathematics  teachers from all
levels of the educational system from primary school to university -
discussed new developments in mathematics education as a field of research
and practice.

The scientific programme of ICME-10 was composed of a rich mixture of
classical, renovated classical, and quite novel innovative components. The
classical components comprised Plenary Lectures, a Plenary Panel  Debate,
Regular Lectures and Topic Study Groups. The renovated classical components
included Discussion Groups and Workshops. The novel components
were numerous. A Plenary Interview Session, in which four highly prominent
mathematics education veterans were interviewed by another prominent
scholar, was very well received. Five so-called Survey Teams had worked for
three years to survey recent developments in a particular sub-fields of
mathematics education. A Thematic Afternoon, Sharing Experiences Groups and
Poster Round Tables completed the novel part of the Congress. The Congress
displayed an interesting travelling exhibition on mathematical objects and
phenomena, Experiencing Mathematics, mounted by UNESCO and ICMI (see: A Mathematical Circus addressing the general public,
accompanying persons, and delegates, offered a variety of mathematical acts
performed by Congress participants.

Proceedings of the congress will appear early in 2006.
The next ICME, ICME-11 will be held in Mexico in 2008. 

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3. PACOM 2004

The 6th Pan-African Congress of Mathematicians took place in Tunisia during
the period September 1-6, 2004. The congress, which was preceded by the
General Assembly of the African Mathematical Union and the 14th Pan African
Mathematical Olympiad, gathered around 300 mathematicians from 60 countries
from all over the world. In addition to 12 plenary lectures and 15 parallell
sessions, the congress offered
- a symposium on long distance education, diffusion and circulation of
scientific knowledge in Africa,
- a special session on electronic services to African mathematics
- a special session on Mathematics Competitions and Prizes.
The first Third World Academy of Science Mathematics Prize, a prize aimed at
rewarding talented young African mathematicians, was awarded to Ihsen Yengui
from Tunisia. The seventh PACOM, PACOM 2008, will be held in Egypt in 2008. 

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The first meeting of the IMU's Developing Countries Strategy Group was held
at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, on
October 16-17. The group, with representation from the Executive Committee
of the IMU, the IMU's Commission on Development and Exchanges, ICMI, and
ICTP itself, is responding to a call from IMU President, John Ball, to
increase the organization's attention to the needs of mathematics and
mathematicians in the many countries of the world which do not have the
national development or resources necessary for official IMU membership.
DCSG immediately moved to engage mathematical needs and opportunities in the
developing world on the basis of a 50,000 USD start-up grant from the
Norwegian Abel Fund, with the possibility of subsequent additional Norwegian
support. DCSG also moved to gather information about activities of regional
and national mathematical societies in support of mathematics in the
developing world. Former CDE member Jean-Pierre Gossez is coordinating the
information gathering in Europe and will serve as DCSG's European liaison.
Offers of cooperation were received from the Mathematical Society of Spain,
the London Mathematical Society, and the European Mathematical Society
(EMS), as well as from the International Council of Industrial and Applied
Mathematics (ICIAM). CIMPA, EMS, and ICIAM sent observers to the DCSG
meeting to present the activities and interests of their organizations in
developing countries.

The first order of DCSG business was to move to support the African
Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI), focused on sub-Saharan
Africa. AMMSI is one of two recent mathematical initiatives in Africa, the
other being the newly founded African Institute of Mathematical Sciences
(AIMS) near Cape Town, South Africa. DCSG authorized 25,000 USD for AMMSI to
partially match a 75,000 USD Mellon Foundation grant. The funds will
underwrite the first year of AMMSI operation, in which it will pilot
programs of assistantships for graduate students at selected PhD programs on
the African continent, as well as a program of intensive courses at those
centers by highly qualified visiting professors. The AIMS and AMMSI
initiatives met in Nairobi, Kenya, in late June, to form a coalition in
support of mathematical development on the African continent. AIMS brings
graduate students from all over Africa to its Cape Town institute for one
year of intensive training and exposure to opportunities in research in the
mathematical sciences. AMMSI-supported graduate programs will rotate
advanced students through the AIMS. Together the two groups will work with
DCSG to create a web-based Clearinghouse for African Mathematics, which will
be based at ICTP and be guided by DCSG member and ICTP Head of Mathematics
L? Dung Trang.

DCSG also agreed to support the efforts of France's CIMPA to rebuild the
mathematical infrastructure in Cambodia, with prospects of cooperation from
Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia, several of whom have
considerable mathematical resources. A small exploratory support of USD 5000
was given this year, with the prospect of more support in future years. The
International Council of Mathematics Instruction (ICMI) is represented in
the DCSG by its Vice President Mich?le Artigue. DCSG approved USD 6000 to
support the circulation in Africa of the international mathematics
exhibition, "Experiencing Mathematics," developed in cooperation with ICMI
and being exhibited internationally under ICMI auspices. Sustained funding
for the continuation of these efforts must come from the international
mathematical community itself, particularly the adhering bodies and national
societies in developed countries. Jacob Palis, former IMU President and DCSG
member, will lead a DCSG campaign to encourage national mathematical
societies in developed countries to incorporate a 'donation to developing
country' check-off box on annual membership renewal forms.

Further information about the IMU's Developing Country Strategy Group can be
obtained from the group's Administrative Secretary, Ms. Sharon Laurenti, at


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See <> for a detailed 
version of the brief following notes.


Under the slogan 'Your Research. Your Choice', Springer announces that:

"Springer Open Choice gives you the power to choose how you want your 
research published. As an author-focused publishing company, Springer 
believes that authors should have the right to determine what publication 
model best meets their needs." 
Readers will find it interesting to google the phrase "Springer Open Choice"
and then to read the details of Springer's offer.


Joseph Esposito agrees that Open Access is a panacea: for the publishers!

Readers will undoubtedly get pleasure from glancing at the fine essay: 
"The devil you don't know: The unexpected future of Open Access publishing" 
by Joseph J. Esposito, First Monday, volume 9, number 8 (August 2004),


Steven Harnad <> 
suggests that the core of the recent UK parliamentary report 
"Scientific publication: Free for all?" on open access is to mandate 

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6. ICM 2006

1. Proceedings.
The Proceedings of the ICM 2006 will be published by the European
Mathematical Society Publishing House.

2. Short communications and Posters.
Registered participants will have the opportunity to present their
mathematical work in the form of a short communication, a poster, or a
contribution on mathematical software. Each short communication will last 20
minutes, including discussion. The Local Program Committee plans to organize
a poster competition inside each scientific section. Submission of abstracts
will start on January 1, 2006. Abstracts submitted after March 30, 2006,
will not be considered. The Local Program Committee will notify authors of
acceptance/rejection of their contribution before May 30, 2006. Further
information on the organization of short communications, posters, and
mathematical software sessions, as well as the Instructions on how to
prepare an abstract, will be posted at the home page of the ICM by the end
of 2005.

3. Travel grants and support for local expenses.
IMU and the Organizing Committee will award a limited number of travel
grants to active young research mathematicians from developing and
economically disadvantaged countries, and to senior mathematicians from
developing and economically disadvantaged countries (not necessarily members
of IMU) to enable them to attend ICM 2006. The local organizers will cover
the grantees' living expenses in Madrid during the Congress. The age limit
for the young travel grantees is 35 years at the time of the meeting. *The
IMU travel grants, provided by the IMU Special Development Fund, will
support travel costs and are intended primarily for young mathematicians
from developing and economically disadvantaged countries (not necessarily
members of IMU).
The Organizing Committee will also launch partial support
for a limited number of senior mathematicians from Latin America and from
developing Mediterranean countries, as well as for young Spanish
mathematicians. Applicants are kindly requested to seek travel support from
other sources. Spanish grantees may not be more than 32 years old at the
time of the congress. For more detailed information consult the home page of
ICM 2006:

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The Committee for Raising Public Awareness of Mathematics of the European
Mathematical Society invites professional mathematicians, or others, to
submit manuscripts for suitable articles on mathematics for one of two

Articles for the educated layman
An article must be published, or be about to be published, in an
international magazine, or a specialized national magazine, bringing
articles on mathematics for an educated public. Articles shall be submitted
both in the original language (the published version) and preferably also in
an English translation. Articles (translations) may, however, also be
submitted in French, German, Italian or Spanish. Deadline for submission to
this competition: August 1, 2005.

Articles for the general public
An article must be published, or be about to be published, in a daily
newspaper, or some other widely read general magazine, thereby providing
some evidence that the article does catch the interest of a general
audience. Articles for the competition shall be submitted both in the
original language (the published version) and preferably also in an English
translation. Articles (translations) may, however, also be submitted in
French, German, Italian or Spanish. Deadline for submission to this
competition: January 1, 2006.

For further information see the web server of the European Mathematical

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