IMU-Net 36: July 2009

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France


1. Editorial
2. ICM Videos
3. News from ICMI
4. Klein project
5. Shaw Prize
6. IMU on the Web
7. OECD report
8. Subscribing to IMU-Net



International Congress of Mathematicians - 2010

As many of IMU-NET readers would know, India is to host the
International Congress (ICM-2010) for the year 2010. The congress will
take place in the city of Hyderabad during August 19-27.

Mathematics is the language of science and India is proud to have coined
one of the most important words of its lexicon - "zero" - in the distant
past; and we have a long tradition of pursuit of mathematics. India
joined the IMU soon after it was revived after the second world war. The
Indian mathematical community feels greatly honoured that the IMU has
accepted our bid to hold the ICM 2010 in India, thereby extending
recognition to our efforts at promoting mathematics. We look forwrad to
welcoming our colleagues from all over the world in Hyderabad, the venue
of the Congress and expect to learn a great deal that is new. The
Congress will be of great help to us to raise the level of public
awareness about mathematics in our country.

India has been a professional destination for many mathematicians over
the last 75 years and more. Many British academics had come to India to
teach mathematics in our colleges during the colonial period. W H Young,
the British analyst accepted a part-time chair, the Hardinge
Professorship of Pure Mathematics in Calcutta University which he held
from 1913 to 1917. Andre Weil spent two years at an Indian university as
a professor during 1930 - 32.

R A Fisher spent several extended periods of time at the Indian
Statistical Institute in Kolkata (ISI), his first visit dating back to
1937. ISI laso hosted visits by Norber Wiener and A N Kolmogorov. Many
other distinguished mathematicians, mainly probabilists from the
erstwhile Soviet block visited ISI during the cold war years. In
later years, after that institution set up branches in Delhi and
Bangalore, also at the same time broadening its areas of research it has
had a string of visitors, many of them big names in matheamtics.

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. TIFR too had
a regular stream of visitors almost from its inception in 1945, many of
them spending extended periods of time in Mumbai. Carl Ludwig Siegel
and Laurent Schwarz made several visits each of a duration of two months
and more to during the fifties and sixties. Armand Borel and David
Mumford made several visits to TIFR during the sixties and seventies
(and later). The visitors' list to TIFR includes several Fields
Medalists and other reknowned mathematicians. The International
Colloquiua held once in every four years by TIFR have been an important
forum for international exchange at the highest level.

To mention a few more distinguished visitors who spent extended
periods of time in TIFR during the fifties and sixties: H Rademacher, H
Mass, Eichler, J L Lions, K Yosida, B Malgrange, F Bruhat, J P Kahane,
M Deuring, G de Rham, K Ito, G D Mostow, R Bott, R Langlands.......Many
others have come on shorter visits mainly to participate in conferences:
A Selberg, H Grauert, R Thom, A Grothendieck, M F Atiyah, L Hormander, J
Milnor, I Pjatetskii-Shapiro, J P Serre, H Furstenberg, G A Margulis, D
Kazdan .....These visits were of course of great help to us in building
mathematics in the country

Hyderabad the venue of the Congress is home to several IT companies and
rivals Bangalore as a IT hub in the country. The city is well connected,
with many airlines flying to and from it. It was founded in the 15th
century and is steeped in history. It is also famous for its cuisine.
India of course has a lot to offer by way of tourism catering to a wide
range of interests: wild life, scenic splendour, historical monuments,
art and music, great food and sports as well.

On behalf of the Indian mathematical community I would like to urge
mathematicians from all over the world to participate in ICM 2010 and
help us make it a great success.
For more information:

M.S. Raghunathan
Chairman of the organizing committee



At ICM 1998 in Berlin the first attempt at an
International Congress of Mathematicians was
made to record the opening ceremony, plenary
lectures, and other major events on video.
The videos were archived in a format that is
"gone" in the meantime, but they could be recovered
and transformed with some effort to the current
video standard "flash".

The videos are not "great", but some of them are
undoubtedly of long term historic interest (e. g.,
see A. Wiles' lecture on Fermat's problem). At
ICM 2002 in Beijing most of the major events and
lectures were recorded as well. The video recording
at ICM 2006 in Madrid became more professional, but
we still have to learn how to "shoot" better videos
of such events with a very limited budget.

IMU is grateful to the organizing committees of these
ICMs for donating the videos to IMU and allowing
IMU to place them on the Internet. IMU is making
now the videos produced at these three ICMs available
on its Web site at

IMU maintains the copyright of the videos but gives
everyone interested the permission to download and
show the videos. IMU just modestly requests to mention
where these videos come from.

IMU will continue this tradition and has asked the
ICM 2010 organizing committee to also record the
plenary lectures and the opening ceremony in Hyderabad.



* A new Website for ICMI (International Commission on Mathematical
Instruction) has been opened:

The site will house the ICMI Digital Library, where various documents
related to ICMI, including the ICMI Study volumes and ICME
Proceedings, will be freely downloadable.
The ICMI Executive Committee also wishes the site to serve as a portal
to various sources of information on the teaching and learning of
mathematics in all parts of the world.

* Call for Nominations for the ICMI awards:
- the Hans Freudenthal Award, for a major programme of research on
mathematics education,
- the Felix Klein Award, for lifelong achievement in mathematics
education research.
The ICMI Awards Committee is now entering a fourth cycle of selecting
awardees for 2009. The result of this process will be known by the end
of 2009. The 2009 Awards will be presented to the recipients at
ICME-12 in Seoul, Korea in 2012. The ICMI Awards Committee welcomes
suggestions coming from the mathematics education community, hence
this call for nominations.

A nomination of a candidate for the Felix Klein or the Hans
Freudenthal Award has to be accompanied by a summary presenting the vita
and the achievements of person nominated, as well as the reasons for
the nomination. Moreover, nominations also have to include the
names and coordinates of two or three persons from whom the committee
may seek further information. All proposals must be sent by e-mail
( to Mogens Niss, Chair of the Committee no later than 15
September 2009.



In 2008 IMU and ICMI commissioned a project to revisit the intent of Felix
Klein when he wrote Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint.
That is, to produce a book for secondary teachers that communicates the
breadth and vitality of the research discipline of mathematics and
connects it to the senior secondary school curriculum.

The international Design Team for the project confirmed the production
of a 300-page book written to inspire teachers to present to their
students a more complete picture of the growing and interconnected
field represented by the mathematical sciences in today's world.

The actual writing will be done by invited authors of proven
experience in expert and inspiring authorship.
Anyone wishing to be on a mailing list to be kept up to date and receive
draft material is invited to send an email in the first instance to
<>. A website is in the process of being



The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences 2009 is awarded in equal shares to
Simon K Donaldson (former IMU EC member) and Clifford H Taubes for
their many brilliant contributions to geometry in 3 and 4 dimensions.

Please refer to the following links for details:



This note contains various updates on the state of "mathematics on the
web" gleaned from the authors' visit to Conferences in Intelligent
Mathematics '09 (

At this meeting there was a face-to-face meeting of the MathML Working
Group. MathML 3.0 is nearing completion. The new features include support for
right-to-left (e.g. Arabic) mathematics, typical school notations for
long division etc., and support for line breaking and reflowing (see
also IMU-Net 34). Much of the meeting was taken up with Content
MathML, which this column will return to when the dust has finally

Patrick Ion of Mathematical Reviews gave an amusing historical talk. He
drew attention to the next release of the Mathematics Subject
Classification, at He presented graphs of the growth
of the MR database, which showed fairly convincingly that the growth in
the database is cubic with time, i.e. the rate of publishing is growing
quadratically rather than exponentially.

Of the several workshops and meetings, the most relevant was Digital
Mathematical Libraries (DML) 2009:

Several national and international DML projects, or surveys, were
presented. The main theme was "top-down is dead", and that a lot of
"bottom-up", local or national, projects are being pursued. The
community should therefore be pursuing the digital equivalent of a
federation of libraries, or possibly a federated library.

There is also a lot more "direct-from-the-author availability", as in
the IMU 2001 call:
and the advent of Google (and Google Scholar) has meant that these
versions are much more accessible. However, this means that finding
"the authoritative version", or knowing the status of the version one
has found, becomes more challenging. In addition, the ability to add
annotations to papers after publication, while clearly valuable and
easy, can only exacerbate this problem.

There was a presentation from JSTOR, which now has over 5000
institutional subscribers. Every year, 80% of the papers in JSTOR are
downloaded, which forms an interesting counterweight to citation
statistics. While it is common to view JSTOR as a repository, they are
also interested in collaborative projects which use their database.

James Davenport/Mike Doob
Members of the CEIC


7. OECD report of the Global Science Forum Experts Group on
Mathematics in Industry

The report of the OECD Global Science Forum Experts Group on
Mathematics in Industry is now a public document. It is a reasoned
compendium of mechanisms that can be used for strengthening the links
between industry and academic mathematics. The report is available at



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