IMU-Net 56: November 2012
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) is about to start. It has
grown from North-American initiative to an unprecedented gathering
under the patronage of UNESCO of more than one hundred partners from
all around the world. And new partners join regularly. The success of
MPE2013 comes from the fact that it is timely. Indeed, addressing the
climate change and sustainability issues requires the use and
development of sophisticated mathematical tools. A concerted, massive,
long-term involvement of the mathematical sciences in collaboration
with other disciplines is essential to any significant progress in the
understanding of planetary problems. The world mathematical community
is becoming more and more aware of the urgency of planetary and
sustainability issues, and it is time to train a new generation of
young researchers to sustainability problems. For all these reasons,
an impressive number of scientific programs and workshops have been
organized around the world. And the effort will not stop in 2013.
Already in the US, the NSF has funded follow-up activities in 2014.
The outreach component of MPE2013 is no less important. National
launches of MPE2013 are organized in several countries with public
activities. MPE public lectures will take place around the world in
2013. Congresses of teachers will highlight MPE2013. In the US, the
theme of the Math Awareness month will be sustainability, while the
French week of mathematics will be on MPE. Mathematical magazines and
enrichment material are prepared so as to raise the interest of the
future scientists still in the schools.
An important component of MPE2013 is its Open Source Exhibition of
museum-quality exhibits (modules) that will be hosted through the
Imaginary Project by Mathematischen Forschungsinstituts Oberwolfach.
The launch of the exhibition is organized by IMU jointly with MPE2013.
Il will occur at the Headquarters in Paris on March 5th 2013 and
modules will be exhibited at UNESCO on March 5 to 8. The basis of the
exhibition will come from the MPE competition
(www.mpe2013.org/competition), the winners of which will receive their
prize at the launch.
MPE2013 is an exceptional opportunity of increasing the collaborations
of mathematicians with other disciplines. For IMU, it provides an
occasion of strengthening its links with other scientific unions, with
ICIAM and with ICSU bodies, on capacity-building projects in different
areas of the world. The workshop on mathematics of climate change,
related hazards and risks (see item 3) as a satellite activity of the
Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2013 is a first step in this
It is not too late to join MPE2013, to benefit from collaborating with
the planet, and to share your enthusiasm with your students or the
public. The spirit of MPE2013 is there to stay.
Vice-president of IMU
- IMU's CEIC has been represented by Olga Caprotti at the sessions
organized by the ICSU's World Data System at the 23rd CODATA
International Conferenceb Open Data and Information for a Changing
Planet -- held in Taipei on 28b 31 October 2012 . Discussions have
centered on data publication and data citation, the summary 'Research
Data enters Scholarly Communication' is online . IMU's poster was
presented during the WDS Membersb Forum b to update member
organizations on ongoing activities .
- Open Access Week was recognized at many schools, research
institutes, universities and colleges across the world last month. A
good summary of the spectrum of such activities is presented at this
web page, http://www.openaccessweek.org/ .
- At the same time, concerns about ongoing sustainability of the
various financial aspects of OA are voiced in various quarters. For
instance, three mathematical societies in France have gone on record
with cautionary advice to the government regarding undesirable effects
of attempts to rely upon author-funded publication.
- We continue to track the progress of the effort to redesign the
governance and support model for arxiv.org. As of September 2012, the
Simons Foundation has announced beginning 2013 through 2017 support in
the amount of up to $300,000 per year as matching funds to that from
contributing institutions. If arxiv.org is important to you, please
check its web site for the list of institutional contributors. Is
yours there? http://arxiv.org/help/support
- Some interesting things happen without much fanfare. It is not
clear that many noticed that Elsevier has recently made open access a
number of backfiles of mathematical journals. This is a good
outcome, one might wish they had come to this decision much earlier.
have a look.
This is the first announcement of a 5-day workshop that is organized
as a satellite activity of the 2013 Mathematical Congress of the
Americas at CIMAT in Guanajuato (Mexico) during July 29 -- August 2
2013. The workshop will bring together about 40 young researchers,
mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean and a dozen distinguished
scientists, each of which will give several lectures on a chosen topic.
The workshop is part of the world initiative "Mathematics of Planet
Earth 2013" which is endorsed by IMU (www.mpe2013.org). It is jointly
organized by IMU together with the International Union of Geodesy and
Geophysics (IUGG) and the International Union of Theoretical and
Applied Mechanics (IUTAM). It is supported by the International
Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), by ICSU
Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, by two
interdisciplinary bodies of ICSU, namely IRDR (Integrated Research on
Disaster Risk) and WCRP, by the US National Academy of Sciences, by
the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, and by CIMAT (Centro de
InvestigaciC3n en MatemC!ticas) in Mexico. Hopefully the workshop will
be funded by ICSU. The members of the Scientific Committee are Susan
Friedlander (IMU), Ilya Zaliapin (IUGG) and Paul F. Linden (IUTAM).
The website will be ready to receive applications by January 15 2013.
More details at: http://cams.usc.edu/mathgeo/
The President of the IMU, Ingrid Daubechies, has written to the
Adhering Organizations, asking them to submit nominations for the IMU
awards listed below.
* Fields Medals - fields14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The Fields Medals are awarded every 4 years on the occasion of the
International Congress of Mathematicians to recognize outstanding
mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of
* Rolf Nevanlinna Prize - nevanlinna14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The Nevanlinna Prize is awarded once every 4 years at the
International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding
contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences.
* Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize - gauss14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The Gauss Prize is awarded once every 4 years to honor a scientist
whose mathematical research has had an impact outside mathematics -
either in technology, in business, or simply in people's everyday lives.
* Chern Medal Award - chern14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The Chern Medal is awarded every 4 years on the occasion of the
International Congress of Mathematicians to an individual whose
accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for
outstanding achievements in the field
* Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys - leelavati14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The Leelavati Prize, is intended to accord high recognition and great
appreciation of the IMU and Infosys of outstanding contributions for
increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual
discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.
* ICM 2014 Emmy Noether Lecture - noether14-chair(at)mathunion.org
The ICM Emmy Noether lecture is a special lecture at an ICM which
honors women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to
the mathematical sciences.
More details about each of these awards and the Noether lecture, as
well as lists of past laureates, can be found on the IMU Web site, at URL:
Deadline for nominations: December 31, 2012
The names of the chairs of the various prize committees and their
contact information can be found at:
The names of the other prize committee members remain confidential and
will be announced at the Opening Ceremony of ICM 2014 only.
The organizers of the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2013
invite nominations for the prizes to be delivered in connection with
the Congress (see
http://www.mca2013.org/prizes.html). There are 12 Prizes:
- five MCA Prizes of USD$ 1,000 each will be awarded to mathematicians
who are no more than 12 years past their PhD in August 2013 and
either received their graduate education or currently hold a position
in one or more
countries in the Americas.
- five Americas Prizes of USD$ 5,000 each will be awarded to
individual or groups in recognition of their work to enhance
collaboration and the development of research that links
mathematicians in several countries in the Americas.
- two Solomon Lefschetz Medals carrying a cash award of USD$ 5,000
will be given to mathematicians in recognition of their excellence in
research and their contributions to the development of Mathematics in
a country or countries in the Americas.
Nominations and requests for information concerning the nominating
process should be sent by e-mail to
The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2013.
The Ramanujan Prize has been awarded annually since 2005. The 2013
Prize will be jointly funded and administered by ICTP and the IMU.
The Ramanujan Prize is usually awarded to one person, but may be
shared equally among recipients who have contributed to the same body
of work. Eligible for
the prize is a person who has conducted outstanding work in a
developing country, he/she must be less than 45 years of age on 31
December of the year of the award.
February 1, 2013 is the deadline for nominations.
Nominations are to be sent to math(at)ictp.it.
The Committee on Education of the European Mathematical Society is
organizing a Conference on March 14b 15, 2013 in Berlin "Friends of
Mathematics Education - A European Initiative -" to which all European
foundations, NGOs and institutions which are engaged in mathematics
education, are invited. Contact: Prof. Dr. Guenter Toerner, Chair of
EMS Committee on Education) guenter.toerner(at)uni-due.de
Several news about MPE2013 can be found in the editorial and in the item 3.
It is not too late to participate to the "Mathematics of Planet Earth
Competition for an open source exhibition of virtual modules"
(museum-quality exhibits): www.mpe2013.org/competition. The modules
submitted will form the basis of the permanent Mathematics of Planet
Earth Open Source Exhibition which will be launched at the UNESCO
Headquarters in Paris on March 5-8 2013.
Examples of modules or themes to be covered are available on the website.
The competition is open until December 20, 2012.
If you have not visited the website recently (www.mpe2013.org), then
please do so: new partners and new activities are posted regularly.
Also, some educational and bibliographic resources are now starting to
be posted on the website, and several partners committed to produce
many more during 2013.
In addition to the MPE blog, several countries intend to run their
national blogs in 2013, including Australia and France. Links to these
blogs will be posted on the main MPE website.
The South African launch already occured on October 30 2012
(http://www.sams2012.org/public-lecture/). The Canadian launch will
take place on December 7-10 2012
(http://cms.math.ca/Events/winter12/), the UK launch on December 17
2013 (http://www.newton.ac.uk/mpe2013/), and the US launch at the JMM
on January 9-12 2013 (http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/jmm).
An important issue for our whole community is the clear formulation and
understanding of ethical principles and accepted practice related to the
publication of mathematical results; this is all the more important in
view of troubling examples that have surfaced in recent years. (See e.g.
Several learned societies around the world have published a Code of
Ethics addressing these issues, and advertise it to their members. In
2010, the European Mathematical Society constituted a Committee of
Ethics, and asked it to draft a Code of Practice. The resulting document
was approved by the EMS Executive Committee at the end of October 2012;
it can be found on
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