IMU-Net 25: September 2007

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


  1. Editorial
  2. IMU on the Web
  3. ICM 2006
  4. ICM 2010 Program structure
  5. ICME 11
  6. Fifth European Congress of Mathematics
  7. Passing away of Professor A. Selberg
  8. Subscribing to IMU-Net


Dear Reader,
First of all, let me say that it is a great honour for me to serve on
the Executive Committee of the IMU, even more since I am the first
Spanish mathematician who has such privilege.

Two are my main concerns in IMU: one is the relation of mathematics
with other disciplines, and for IMU this means to increase and to
stress relations and common programs with the other scientific unions
which form ICSU, the International Council for Science Mathematicians are inclined to maintain
themselves whithin their own territories; this is good to do nice
mathematics, but not to get more public appreciation. Furthermore, our
implication with IUPAP (Physics), IUTAM (Mechanics) or IAU
(Astronomy), among other ICSU's, is so natural and has a long history.
Moreover, the needs of mathematical modelling for the modern
scientific challenges like climate change, biodiversity or sustainable
development make necessary this interdisciplinary collaboration. We
should as well recall UNESCO resolution 29 C/DR126, with occasion of
the World Mathematical Year 2000, considering the central importance
of mathematics and its applications in today's world regarding
science, technology, communications, economics and numerous other

The second concern is related with Mathematical Education. In many
countries, one can observe an increasing gap between the mathematical
community of researchers and the mathematical community of secondary
professors and education researchers. For this reason, the General
Assembly of IMU celebrated last year in Santiago de Compostela
approved the following Resolution 8: "The General Assembly of the IMU
reaffirms the importance of the issues treated by ICMI. It recognizes
the importance of continuing and strengthening the relationship of IMU
with ICMI and urges the increased involvement of research
mathematicians in mathematical education at all levels." This is just
the beginning of a new trend initiated by IMU and I am sure that in
the coming years we will collect the fruits of such politics.

A different aspect is the relation among mathematics and statistics.
In my view, Probability and Statistics are emergent fields showing a
lot of activity in the last years; remember the recent Abel prize
(Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan), the Gauss Prize (Kiyoshi Ã?to) or the 2006
Fields Medal awarded to Wendelin Werner. A closer collaboration with
the International Statistical Institute and the Bernoulli Society for
Mathematical Statistics and Probability should be encouraged and I am
sure that IMU will do.

IMU should be the reference point for the many organizations in all
the countries in these two issues, relations with other sciences and
approaching of the "different" mathematical communities.

Manuel de León
Member, IMU Executive Committee
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Scan this book! Not even wrong. The WDML vision.

Should we goggle at Google? "In the race to digitize the public
domain, is the future of the library at stake? For all the potential
of Web.2.0 technologies, our literary future still rests on what we
make of our past, specifically, the centuries of ideas and human
thought recorded in the miles of print books sitting on library
shelves around the world." (August 15, 2007)
reports the views of the Open Content Alliance.

In the very first IMU on the Web (March 2004) the CEIC commented sadly
that some actions may have unintended consequences that will actually
increase the strain on the journals system. The recent holus bolus
resignation of yet an another editorial board (that of the journal
"K-theory") gives rise to useful commentary that warrants thoughtful
reading and some prompt action in advising your university library ...

The vision of the World Digital Mathematics Library includes our being
able to click on any citation and to be led seamlessly to that
reference and thence onto its bibliography and then ... . Total
costless seamlessness is still distant but the vision is being
realised by the mathematical sciences review journals as clearly
manifested in the June 2007 update of the Jahrbuch Database forming
part of the Electronic Research Archive for Mathematics ... .

... find relevant URLs and more on these matters at

Alf van der Poorten (, member of the CEIC
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There are new material in the ICM2006 web site (
- the proceedings
- the videos

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Program Structure

The ICM 2010 Program Committee is going to meet in early October to
define the program structure of the International Congress to take
place in Hyderabad in August 2010. If you have suggestions for the PC
please write to Hendrik Lenstra, the PC Chair, at immediately.
See also
for further information.
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The International Congress on Mathematical Education is held every
four years under the auspices of the International Commission on
Mathematical Instruction (ICMI).
The 11th International Congress on Mathematics Education [ICME-11]
will be held in Monterey, Mexico, 6-13 July 2008.
For information, go to
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The Fifth European Congress of Mathematics will be held in Amsterdam
(The Netherlands) 14-18 July 2008.
The calls for nominations for the EMS Prizes and for the Felix Klein Prize
are still open.
For more information see:
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7. ATLE SELBERG (1917-2007)

Renowned Norwegian mathematician Atle Selberg, Professor Emeritus at
the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, died on 6 August 2007.
Among his many honors was the Fields Medal (1950) for his elementary
proof of the prime number theorem.
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