IMU-Net 68: November 2014
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France



ICM 2018 Rio de Janeiro
Dear Colleagues,
On August 11, at Gyeongju, the General Assembly of the IMU unanimously
approved the Brazilian bid to organize the International Congress of
Mathematicians ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. This will be the first
time, in its more than centennial history, that the ICM will take
place in the Southern Hemisphere.
We are honored by the IMU-GA's decision and thrilled by the
perspective of bringing the ICM - and all that it embodies - to Latin
America. Ours is a young region of the world, where the Congress can
and will be a powerful tool to disseminate Mathematics in the whole
society, especially among the younger generations. Indeed we have
chosen "Sowing Seeds" as the theme for the Rio de Janeiro Congress.
We are also daunted by the challenge of following on our Korean
colleagues footsteps: Hyungju Park and his team did a terrific job in
making this year's Congress a big success and theirs will indeed be a
tough act to follow. But be assured that, as I promised at the closing
ceremony in Seoul, we will put the best of Brazilian creativity and
ingenuity to the task of making ICM 2018 an equally memorable event.
Preparations for the Congress are already actively under way. The
website went live in August (check and it is now
possible to submit proposals for satellite events. Most specially, I
invite you all to sign-up for the ICM 2018 Newsletter: just go to the
website, click on Newsletter and fill-in your name, email address and
country. It only takes a small fraction of a minute! And it will help
us keep you current with the preparations.
Até breve no Rio de Janeiro! (See you soon in Rio de Janeiro!)
Marcelo Viana
IMU Vice-president
Chair of the ICM 2018 Organizing Committee

CEIC Notes and Comments: IMU at World Data System (WDS)

On behalf of CEIC, Dr. Olga Caprotti attended the biennial World Data
System Members' Forum, held in New Delhi November 2, in order to
present the view of the Global Digital Mathematical Library to the
data science community.
The World Data System is an interdisciplinary body of the
International Council for Science (ICSU).  ICSU-WDS builds on the 50+
year legacy of the World Data Centres and Federation of Astronomical
and Geophysical data analysis services established by ICSU to manage
data generated by the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958).
IMU participates as an associate member, and the poster presented was
entitled "Trusted services and data from the GDML."
For more details on the meeting see

Heidelberg Laureate Forum

The application process for the 3rd Heidelberg Laureate Forum is up
and running.
Beginning November 17, young computer scientists and mathematicians
from all over the world can apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to
participate in Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual networking
event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great
opportunity to personally meet the winners of the most prestigious
prizes in their fields. For one week, the recipients of the Abel
Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the Fields Medal, and the Nevanlinna
Prize engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young
researchers in Heidelberg, Germany. Applications must be submitted
online at: by
February 28, 2015.
For more information, please visit:


Position of ICSU on evaluation by metrics
Increasingly, those involved in the administration of research rely on
metrics designed to assess the importance and impact of research as an
aid to evaluation, with publication outputs in traditional scientific
journals being the major focus. These metrics in turn affect the
behaviour of researchers, such as their choice of journals, as they
seek to maximize their performance as measured by the metrics used.
Metrics can contribute to the maintenance of high journal prices,
promote intense competition rather than openness and sharing, and fail
to recognise research contributions such as the production of
datasets, software, code, blogs, wikis and forums. On the other hand,
peer review is expensive in terms of time, and it would be an extreme
position to deny altogether the usefulness of quantitative measures if
intelligently used.
The International Council for Science (ICSU) addressed issues
surrounding evaluation by metrics in the recent report It recommended in particular
“In research evaluation and assessment, metrics should be regarded as
an aid, and not a substitute, for good decision-making. They should
not normally be used in isolation to assess the performance of
researchers, to determine appointments, or to distribute funds to
individuals or research groups, for which expert review is
In approving the report at its September 2014  General Assembly in
Auckland, ICSU also endorsed the San Francisco Declaration on Research
John Ball
Member ICSU Executive Board

Passing away of Alexandre Grothendieck

Alexander Grothendieck, one of the most influential mathematicians of
the 20th century, passed away on November 13th.
He got the Fields Medal in 1966.

Mathematics in Africa

1. CANP4, the fourth event in the Capacity and Network Project
organized by the International Commission of Mathematical Instruction
(ICMI) and supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU)
held its first meeting in East Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on
September 1-12 204, with more than 80 participants from Tanzania,
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, This event led to the creation of a new
'East Africa Mathematics Education and Research Network'. The founding
President is Dr Alphonse Uworwabayeho (Rwanda) and the founding
Secretary is Dr. Angelina Bijura (Tanzania).
2. Call for Candidates for Ibni Prize 2014.
The Prize "Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh" has been created in memory of our
colleague and to continue its commitment to Mathematics in Africa. The
prize is awarded annually to a young mathematician from Central Africa
or West Africa. Applications are evaluated by a scientific committee
set up by CIMPA. It funds a scientific visit. It allows a student of
an institution of Central Africa or West Africa, in mathematical
sciences, at the graduate or post-graduate level, to benefit a
scientific training in a country other than his/her own. student.
The application must include:
- An application letter specifying the host laboratory or department
with the name of the scientist in charge.
- A scientific project written by the candidate.
- A curriculum vitae.
- A recommendation letter written by a scientist of the host laboratory.
The application must be send by email before December 15th, 2014 to
one of the following persons:
- Jean Renault (email: jean.renault(at)
- Marie-Francoise Roy (email: marie-francoise.roy(at)
Choice of the recipient in January 2015.
All the relevant information can be found on

Call for Nominations for the Ostrowski Prize, 2015

The aim of the Ostrowski Foundation is to promote the mathematical
sciences. Every second year it provides a prize for recent outstanding
achievements in pure mathematics and in the foundations of numerical
mathematics. The value of the prize for 2015 is 100.000 Swiss francs.
The prize has been awarded every two years since 1989. The most recent
winners are Ben Green and Terence Tao in 2005, Oded Schramm in 2007,
Sorin Popa in 2009, Ib Madsen, David Preiss and Kannan Soundararajan
in 2011 and Yitang Zhang in 2013. See
for the complete list and further details.
The jury invites nominations for candidates for the 2015 Ostrowski
Prize. Nominations should include a CV of the candidate, a letter of
nomination and 2-3 letters of reference. The Chair of the jury for
2015 is Christian Berg of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Nominations should be sent to berg(at) by April 15, 2015.

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