IMU-Net 67: September 2014
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Welcome to IMU-Net. I am Shigefumi Mori, President elect of IMU. Since
this is my first time to be here, I would like to introduce myself and
explain how I view the IMU Presidency.
I am an algebraic geometer based in Japan and have visited many
countries since 1977. I served IMU Executive Committee (EC) as Member
during 1995 - 1998 and as Vice President during 1999 - 2002. It was a
good experience and I understand the basic structure and function of
IMU. When I was asked if I was willing to be a candidate for IMU
President, I thought I had already graduated from the IMU business
since I had finished my IMU EC service ten years before. I would like
to explain why I accepted after all to be the candidate.
I served my institute as Director during April 2011 - March 2014.
Thanks to the cooperation of the highly capable administrative staff
and excellent colleagues, I could successfully serve the term and I am
very grateful to them. As a mathematician I had worked mainly alone
and had not paid much attention to managing an organization. But
during the directorship I appreciated and even enjoyed the
cooperation, and I learned to think as Director. Furthermore while the
directorship was for the institute alone, the IMU Presidency is for
the global mathematical community and more worthwhile to devote myself
to. These together pushed me to accept the offer.
Thanks to the thoughtful arrangement of the current EC, I and
Professor Helge Holden, the IMU Secretary elect, could attend the
ICM2014 related events together and made a good team. I thought that
the EC activities were more complex than those during my previous
service and that IMU EC was performing more systematic activities,
which I should keep in mind for the next term. Fortunately all the
elected members of the next EC happened to be at ICM2014. We made a
very timely start, and I feel confidence in the next IMU EC.
There are important issues in front of us.
The aim of IMU is the promotion of international cooperation of
mathematics, and one of the most important topics is the next ICM. It
will take place in 2018 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first ICM site
ever in the southern hemisphere. IMU will organize it jointly with the
Local Organizing Committee chaired by Professor Marcelo Viana of IMPA.
I am happy to announce Professor János Kollár of Princeton University
as the chair of the Program Committee. We have started preparing for
ICM2018 though our official term starts in January 2015.
Until ICM2002, the ICM which I served last time, the Fields Medal and
the Nevanlinna Prize were the only IMU prizes and they are awarded to
young mathematicians under forty for their eminent achievements.
Now IMU awards three more IMU prizes, on which there is no age
restriction. The Gauss Prize is for an impact outside mathematics, the
Chern Medal is for a lifetime achievement, and naturally their
recipients are widely known mathematicians. The Leelavati Prize is for
outstanding public outreach work for mathematics and its recipient is
not necessarily a mathematician. This way, IMU celebrates a variety of
achievements at ICM2014 and I do support it.
ICM2014 was marked by the first woman President and the first woman
Fields Medalist as well as remarkable activities of women
mathematicians including the International Congress of Women
Mathematicians. In order to maintain and promote the trend, the
current EC has decided to set up a committee for women in mathematics.
The next EC will continue promoting the movement.
The mathematical activities in developing countries/areas have been
flourishing in recent years as symbolized by the fact that among the
Field Medalists and the Nevanlinna Prize recipient of ICM2014 are
mathematicians from Brazil, Iran and India. I am very happy to see it,
and IMU hopes to encourage and cooperate with the mathematical
communities in those countries/areas to promote mathematics together.
There are other issues which have also been handed over to the next IMU EC.
Like the case of directorship, President cannot fulfill anything
alone. I look forward to creating a network with colleagues all over
the world and enjoying working together.
President elect of IMU
Report on ICM2014
The 27th International Congress of Mathematicians (SEOUL ICM 2014) has
completed in a great success! Here is some footage of its
nine-days-long journey. A total of 5,217 registrants and 21,578
non-registered visitors participated in the Congress. This year’s
Congress has been exceptionally rich in cultural and special
activities to serve as a steppingstone in expanding the role of
mathematics for the broader community.
Seoul ICM was preceded by a daylong program of MENAO workshop
(Mathematics in Emerging Nations, achievements and opportunities) on
August 12, in which some successful developing country assistance
programs were introduced and coordinated efforts for future programs
The Opening Ceremony on the 13th marked the beginning of this global
festival of mathematicians, with the announcement of the recipients of
the IMU prizes: the Fields Medalists, Artur Avila, Manjul Bhargava,
Martin Hairer and Maryam Mirzakhani, the Nevanlinna Prize Winner,
Subhash Khot, the Gauss Prize Winner, Stanley Osher and the Chern
Prize Winner, Phillip Griffiths recieved their prize at this ceremony
while the Leelavati Prize Winner was awarded to Adrián Paenza during
the Closing Ceremony on August 21.
A total of 1,278 research presentations were made during this
congress. These include 5 awards lectures, 9 laudations and special
lectures, 19 plenary lectures, 188 invited lectures, 657 contributed
talks and 400 poster presentations.
Diverse cultural performances, both traditional and modern,
embellished the Conference Dinner on the August 16, including a fusion
performance of Korean instrumentals and B-Boying, and a demonstration
Two public lectures, My Life in Mathematics by James Simons and The
Wrong Door by Adrián Paenza, took place on the 13th and the 20th of
The NIMS Imaginary Exhibition was the most visited program, drawing
numerous groups of students and parents.
Baduk (Go) event brought further pizzazz to the Congress. Having
invited five prominent professional Baduk players, 25 lucky
participants were graced with the opportunity to play against them.
Other participants enjoyed watching these simultaneous games both
onsite and in front of screens airing the event. Three Baduk lectures
that preceded the games peaked interest and anticipation about this
traditional combinatorial game.
Math movie night on August 19th was enjoyed by many who gathered to
watch “How I Came to Hate Maths” and engage in a Q&A session with
Cédric Villani, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and Gert-Martin Greuel.
Altogether, the ICM public program drew a massive public audience of
21,227, excluding the registered ICM participants.
We sincerely thank all of our colleagues and friends from every
corners of the globe who have supported immensely for the Seoul ICM.
The miracle of the Congress is to continue in Rio de Janeiro!
Hyungju Park, Chairman of ICM 2014 Organizing Committee
CEIC Notes and Comments: recent Global Digital Mathematics Library developments
Report on recent Global Digital Mathematics Library (GDML) developments
1. A meeting to discuss the next steps towards realizing the GDML was
held August 17 at ICM2014 in Seoul and attended by 14 in person and 8
remote participants. Following a wide-ranging afternoon discussion, an
eight person working group (WG) was created, under the sponsorship of
Patrick Ion (Chair), Thierry Bouche, Bruno Buchberger, Michael
Kohlhase, Jim Pitman, Olaf Teschke, Stephen Watt, Eric Weisstein.
The group began meeting immediately after the main session. It has
been charged with, before the end of the year, designing a road map
for the practical next steps towards the GDML, determining its
structure, prioritizing the different requirements for its
implementation, estimating an incremental budget, both start-up and
sustaining funds, and fostering the writing of proposals to funding
organizations. Inputs and ideas can be sent directly to Patrick Ion:
2. The World Digital Mathematics Library (WDML) was the topic of a
successful and wide-ranging Panel Discussion at ICM2014 in Seoul on
August 20, moderated by Peter Olver.
The panelists were Thierry Bouche, Ingrid Daubechies, Gert-Martin
Greuel, Patrick Ion, Rajeeva Karandikar, and June Zhang. Further
details, including links to the panel brief and background materials
can be found on the CEIC web site:
while a videotape of the entire panel discussion appears on Youtube:
3. As a result of the Meeting and the Panel, the IMU has initiated a
WDML blog, with Peter Olver serving as moderator:
All are encouraged to submit posts and to publicize the blog with the
community at large.
4. The CEIC will be setting up a moderated email list for people
interested in the WDML/GDML, to encourage additional discussions
amongst experts. The address will be gdml(at)mathunion.org, but only
members can post to the list without approval. To ask to join the list
send an email to me:
I am convinced that there is now real potential for significant
progress on the
realization of the GDML, and am looking forward to the results of the
WG and the development of the WDML blog.
Peter Olver, chair of CEIC
General Assembly of ICSU
The International Council of Science (ICSU) held its General Assembly
on September 1-3, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. iMU was represented
by Manuel de Leon and Christiane Rousseau. Cheryl Praeger,
member-at-large of the IMU Executive Committee represented Australia
at this General Assembly. The General Assembly elected the Executive
Board of ICSU for the next three years. Three mathematicians have been
elected on this Executive Board.
Professor Daya Reddy from South Africa, who was an invited speaker at
ICM 2014, became the new President-elect of ICSU. He will take over
from the current ICSU President, Gordon McBean, in October 2017.
See the press release
Former IMU President John Ball and current IMU EC member Manuel de
Leon were elected Ordinary Members of the ICSU Executive Board (John
Ball is going to serve his second term on the Board) till October 2017.
Considering that several of these activities of ICSU are of interest
to mathematicians, IMU-Net will introduce a new section (ICSU News) on
a regular basis.
The International Council for Science and Open Access
The International Council for Science (ICSU) is an umbrella
organization whose members are national academies of science and
international scientific unions, and to which IMU belongs. At its
recent General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand, the International
Council for Science made a strong statement concerning open access to
scientific data and literature (for the full report, which also covers
the assessment of research by metrics, see http://www.icsu.org/general-assembly/news/ICSU%20Report%20on%20Open%20Access.pdf ).
The report stakes out 5 key goals for open access, namely that
access to the scientific record should be
(i) free of financial barriers for any researcher to contribute to;
(ii) free of financial barriers for any user to access immediately on
(iii) made available without restriction on reuse for any purpose,
subject to proper attribution;
(iv) quality-assured and published in a timely manner; and (v)
archived and made available in perpetuity.
Among various recommendations concerning open access, the report says
that ways should be developed for signposting to authors and readers
those journals and data repositories that have the necessary quality
assurance and secure archiving processes in place, and that authors
provide explicit references to the data sets underlying published
papers, using unique persistent identifiers, as well as to any
software or code used. It also recommends that the terms of contracts
governing the purchase of scientific periodicals and databases by
libraries serving universities and research establishments should be
John Ball, member of ICSU Executive Board
Report on ICWM 2014
The International Congress of Women Mathematicians 2014 (ICWM 2014)
was successfully held on August 12th and 14th in Seoul, Korea with
over 500 attendees representing more than 50 countries.
The meeting was held at Ewha Womans University on the 12th and at the
COEX ICM 2014 venue on the 14th. This meeting was especially timely
for women mathematicians around the world since Dr. Maryam Mirzakhani
of Stanford University became the first woman mathematician to be
awarded the Fields Medal at the opening ceremony of ICM 2014. An
internationally cooperative effort of the International Mathematical
Union, the Local Organizing Committee in Korea, the Korean Women in
Mathematical Sciences, the International Program Committee and the
International Advisory Committee helped to make ICWM 2014 a truly
special global event. In particular, the Local Organizing Committee of
ICWM 2014 provided travel grants to 100 of the 1,000 NANUM Travel
Grant recipients of ICM 2014 through the initiated the ‘Together
Travel Grant Project (TOGETHER 2014)’, thus allowing participation of
women from all parts of the world to both ICWM 2014 and ICM 2014.
ICWM 2014 brought together many women who were given the opportunity
to see, learn, and understand from each other about the field of
mathematics and the dedication required to succeed in this difficult
career field. The meeting provided a sense of community and a sense of
connection to women in mathematics around the world, from students to
experienced educators and researchers.
The two day program consisted of the 2014 ICM Emmy Noether lecture by
Georgia Benkart (USA) together with 7 plenary lectures given by
invited speakers around the world (Laura Demarco, USA; Isabel Dotti,
Argentina; Motoko Kotani, Japan; Hee Oh, USA; Gabriella Tarantello,
Italy; Donna Testerman, Switzerland), a special lecture from Ingrid
Daubechies, IMU President, a poster presentation session by about 100
presenters around the world (20 of which received a best poster
award), a Mathematics-Arts Workshop led by Reza Sarhangi of Towson
University, a panel discussion about issues surrounding women in
mathematics led by invited panel members representing different
regions of the world (Shihoko Ishii, Japan; Soon-Yi Kang, Korea;
Barbara Keyfitz, USA; Marie Francoise Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso;
Marie-Francoise Roy, France; Dongmei Xiao, China), finally a
WiM-Networking ICWM banquet.
The WiM-Networking banquet was a time of celebration, and networking
as short presentations introduced the major women in math
organizations in U.S., Africa, Europe, Korea, and the newly created
international Women in Mathematics Committee of IMU by their
representatives (Ruth Charney, AWM; Marie Francois Ouedraogo, AWMA;
Marie-Francoise Roy, EWM; Pyung-Lyun Kang, KWMS; Ingrid Daubechies,
Information about ICWM 2014 including the program book and the photos
of the attendees of the meeting can be found on the website
Sunsook Noh, Chair of Local Organizing Committee
IMAGINARY panel at ICM2014
Vision Slam: Mathematics communication for the future
After an introduction into the mathematics communication platform
IMAGINARY by the project’s scientific advisor Gert-Martin Greuel, the
panelists presented their approaches to and visions for mathematics
communication of the future in a ‘vision slam'. First, Cédric Villani
recounted how he became a mathematics communicator via the receipt of
his Fields medal and the subsequent media attention. He illustrated
how he is able to attract attention and stimulate interest in
mathematics by means of being personal and by telling people about but
not necessarily explaining or breaking down the details of a
mathematical theory. Next, David Grünberg, a mathematics teacher and
member of the IMAGINARY team, presented ideas of how to use tools like
IMAGINARY’s SURFER software to enhance mathematics instruction. His
vision is that mathematicians and the mathematics research community
support mathematics teachers by providing materials for schools, for
example via the IMAGINARY platform. Afterwards, Carla Cederbaum
reported on a new project of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut
Oberwolfach (MFO), the ’snapshots of modern mathematics from
Oberwolfach’, of which she is the senior editor. The snapshots are
short accessible texts written by the participants of the workshops at
the MFO, edited by a team of young editors and distributed on the
IMAGINARY platform. Her vision is that teachers and journalists use
the snapshots to find out about modern mathematics and mathematical
research. Then, the chair of the ICM organizing committee and
initiator of the NIMS-IMAGINARY exhibition at ICM, Hyungju Park gave
an overview over mathematics communication activities in Korea. In
particular, he presented the lecture series KAOS — Knowledge Awake On
Stage — that features lectures enhanced by stage effects, given by
experts in various sectors of academia and society including natural
scientists, social scientists, writers, critics, musicians, and
artists, each of which is followed by a conversation with two host
Moderator: Alicia Dickenstein, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Carla Cederbaum, MFO and University of Tübingen, Germany
Gert-Martin Greuel, MFO and University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
David Grünberg, International School of Lausanne, Switzerland
Hyungju Park, National Institute of Mathematical Sciences, South Korea
Cédric Villani, Institut Henri Poincaré, France
African Mathematical Union (AMU) news
AMUCWMA 2015 Conference
The African Mathematical Union Commission for Women and Mathematics in
Africa (AMUCWMA) 2015 Conference / Workshop will take place at Bandari
College in Mombasa, Kenya between 16th-18th of July 2015. The theme of
the conference/workshop is “Women in Mathematics for Social Change and
Sustainable Livelihoods”. The conference is supported by CIMPA and is
intended for African women mathematicians and women postgraduate
students in Mathematical Sciences in Africa.
For detail information, please contact Prof. Marie Françoise Ouedraogo
– President AMUCWMA (omfrancoise(at)yahoo.fr).
Stephen Smale Prize
The second Stephen Smale Prize will be awarded at the FoCM'14 meeting
(Foundations of Computational Mathematics) in Montevideo on December
13th, 2014 to Carlos Beltrán (University of Cantabria, Spain) and Mark
Braverman (Princeton University, USA).
The winners received a "Gömböc" as the prize. More about the Gömböc
ican be found at :
Luis Santaló Medal
The Executive Committee of the Inter-American Committee on Mathematics
Education (iACME, http://ciaem-iacme.org) has awarded the Luis Santaló
Medal to the French Researcher and Educator, Michèle Artigue (France),
ex President of the International Commission on Mathematical
This medal is the most important international recognition awarded by
IACME. It carries the name of Luis Santaló, who was a
Spanish-Argentinian mathematician and educator, President of IACME,
and who contributed significantly to the teaching and learning of
Mathematics in Latin America.
It is presented every four years to someone who has provided
considerable support to the actions of IACME and to Mathematics
Education in the Americas. The medal will be presented on May 3, 2015
during the inaugural ceremonies of IACME XIV
(http://xiv.ciaem-iacme.org) in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
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