IMU-Net 11: May 2005

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

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CONTENTS

  1. Editorial
  2. European Mathematical Society (EMS)
  3. Latin America Mathematical Union (UMALCA)
  4. Abel Prize
  5. IMU on the Web
  6. ICM 2006
  7. African Mathematical Union Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa (AMUCHMA)
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net
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1. EDITORIAL

Mathematics interfaces with the real world in more ways
than most of us realize. Many products and services
have a "mathematical ingredient", i. e., mathematical
modelling, mathematical simulation, or the application
of mathematical software have been utilized in the design
and/or production process. In economic terms, mathematics
has become a production factor.

One of the great achievements of the 20th century in this
respect was the invention and development of linear
programming (and its subsequent extensions to nonlinear,
integer, and stochastic programming). Whenever you fly
an airplane, ride a public bus, make a phone call, buy
sausages or gasoline , receive a letter, or try to get a
loan, somewhere in the supply chain some linear programs
will have been solved. Today, there is excellent commercial
and even open source) software available that can handle
linear programs with millions of variables and constraints.

The economic impact of linear programming was honoured with
a Nobel Prize given to L. V. Kantorovich and T. C. Koopmans
in 1975. The mathematical foundation of linear programming
was laid in 1947 by George B. Dantzig with the invention of
the Simplex Method. Optimizers view Dantzig as the "father
of linear programming". Open until today is whether there
exists a polynomial time version of the Simplex Method. In
1979 Leonid G. Khachiyan employed, in a very surprising way,
the Ellipsoid Method to prove that linear programs can be
solved in polynomial time, a result that has triggered
intensified interest in LP algorithms.

These two leading figures of optimization passed away
within the last four weeks. Leonid Khachiyan died on
April 29, aged 52, George Dantzig on May 13, aged 90.
They both will be remembered forever for their
contributions to optimization theory and practice.


Martin Groetschel
Member of the IMU Executive Committee

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2. EMS MATHEMATICAL WEEKENDS

Since 2003, the European Mathematical Society has been holding joint
'mathematical weekends' with its corporate members, who are the
mathematical societies of individual European countries.  The first was
in Lisbon, with the Portuguese society, the second in Prague, in
September 2004, with the Czech society.   The next will be in Barcelona,
hosted by the Catalan Mathematical Society, 16-18 September 2005
www.iecat.net/institucio/societats/SCMatematiques/emsweekend/
and one is planned for Nantes with the SMF and SMAI in mid June 2006.

The meetings start on a Friday afternoon and last until Sunday lunchtime.
They are usually devoted to  four or five separate areas of pure and
applied mathematics.  In Barcelona, the topics will be Combinatorics
and Graph Theory, Dynamical Systems, Evolution PDEs and Calculus of
Variations, Module Theory and Representations of Algebras, and
Non-Commutative Geometry.

David Salinger
EMS Publicity Secretary 

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3. UMALCA

Two congresses under the auspices of UMALCA :

- The XIV ELAM (Escuela Latino Americana de Matem?tica, Latin
American School of Mathematics) will take place in Solis, Uruguay, from
1-9 December 2005. ELAM is one of the main mathematical events in Latin
America, and this edition is devoted to Probability and Dynamical Systems.
http://imerl.fing.edu.uy/elam

- The Latin American Mathematical Union (UMALCA), the European
Mathematical Society (EMS), the Society for Industrial and
Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the Soci?t? pour les Math?matiques
Appliqu?es et Industrielles (SMAI) are organizing an International
Congress of Applied Mathematics to be held at the Center for
Mathematical Modelling (CMM), Universidad de Chile, in Santiago
de Chile on 13-17 March, 2006

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4. ABEL PRIZE

Peter Lax, the 2005 Abel Prize laureate, was presented with the award by
the Crown Prince Regent of Norway at a ceremony in Oslo on May 24. The
ceremony was followed by a banquet at the Akershus Castle, hosted by the
Norwegian government.
http://www.abelprisen.no/en/

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5. IMU ON THE WEB
THE WORLD DIGITAL MATHEMATICS LIBRARY

In mid-April, the MSRI at Berkeley held a workshop on digitizing the
mathematical literature. A model instance of what 'retronumerisation'
(that's franglais) can create is instanced by the work at Grenoble,
see <http://www.numdam.org/>.
The IMU's vision of a World Digital Mathematics Library is partly
encapsulated by the draft statement at
<http://www.ceic.math.ca/News/IMUonWeb.shtml#CEIC8>.
I hope soon to be able to use IMU on the Web to provide you with the
agreed endorsed IMU statement better summarising the goals of the project.
The greatest inhibition to the vision of retrodigitizing all the old
literature sadly is that of copyright.
In that context, <http://aaupnet.org/aboutup/issues/0865_001.pdf> makes
fascinating reading.
Where do you (as likely both writer and reader) stand on these matters?
The greatest benefit of digitization is ready immediate access; see the
interesting news at
<http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/17.html> --- and, no:
because of copyright reasons I cannot guarantee that that URL is a
lasting one.

Alf van der Poorten, on behalf of the CEIC 
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6. ICM 2006

Four more satellites approved by the Executive Committee of ICM2006:

- Trends and Challenges in Calculus of Variations and its applications,
  UCLM, Toledo (Spain), 16-19 August 2006

- Conference On Routing And Location 2006 (CORAL 2006), Puerto de la Cruz
  (Tenerife), 14-17 September 2006

- Algebraic Geometry, Segovia (Spain), 16-19 August 2006

- Methods of Integrable Systems in Geometry: An LMS Durham Research
  Symposium, University of Durham (UK), 12-20 August 2006

http://www.icm2006.org

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7. AMUCHMA

Issue 30 of the Newsletter of the African Mathematical Union Commission
on the History of Mathematics in Africa (AMUCHMA) has appeared. This
issue contains a (first) list of over 600 examples of African doctorates
in mathematics, mathematics education and the history of mathematics.

AMUCHMA webpage: http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/AMU/amuchma_online.html

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8. SUBSCRIBING TO IMU-NET

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Previous issues can be seen at:

http://www.mathunion.org/Publications/Newsletter/archive/

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