IMU-Net 70: March 2015
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France


Editorial: new Committee on women and mathematics of the IMU

In March 2015 the newly-elected IMU Executive Committee, at its  
meeting in Berlin, decided to establish a new Committee for Women in 
Mathematics (CWM) to
promote international contacts between national and regional 
organizations for women in mathematical sciences; maintain up-to-date 
content on the Committee for Women in Mathematics part of the IMU 
website and, with appropriate assistance from the IMU, to ensure its 
technical development; consider how best to facilitate electronic 
communications among the community of women mathematicians 
internationally; work with groups, committees and commissions of 
IMU on topics pertaining to women mathematicians and their 
publicise, and where needed to suggest, working practices that ensure 
equal opportunities for women mathematicians in universities and 
research institutions, for example appropriate funding arrangements, 
family friendly policies and facilities; report annually to the IMU 
Executive Committee and to propose actions that would lead to an 
improvement in the position women in the mathematical community and to 
an increase in the representation of women in mathematics at all levels.
The new CWM will have a chair, a vice-chair and 6-8 members at large,  
with one member having specific responsibility for the CWM web site 
and electronic communication. Membership of CWM, which will be for 
four years terms coinciding with the terms of the IMU Executive 
Committee, should be widely distributed internationally and the CWM 
should meet at least once a year, preferably by video-conferencing. A 
member of the IMU Executive Committee will liaise with the CWM and 
attend meetings while remaining outside the committee.
CWM will have a budget from IMU that can be used to support meetings  
of the committee (electronic or in person), contacts between regional 
women-in-mathematics organizations and committee members, and for 
expenses such as those needed to establish and maintain international 
or regional websites and support regional meetings. The funds granted 
from the IMU budget will be administered by the IMU Office.
Management of funds specifically donated from other bodies or persons  
to support the purposes of CWM may be done through the Friends of IMU.
Membership of the Committee for Women in Mathematics (2014-18)
Chair:  Marie-Françoise Roy (France)
Vice-chair and responsibility for the website: Caroline Series (UK)
Members at large: Carolina Araujo (Brazil); Bill Barton (New Zealand); 
Ari Laptev  (Sweden and UK); Kristin Lauter (USA); Sunsook Noh (South 
Korea); Marie Francoise Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso); Sujatha Ramdorai 
(India); Betul Tanbay (Turkey)
  with  John Toland (UK) as the IMU Executive Committee  observer.
This committee should expect to serve until the next IMU General  
Assembly, which is to be held in Brazil in 2018. To set the ball 
rolling its first meeting will be face-to-face in Cortona, Italy, on 
the 4th and 5th September 2015, immediately after the 17th General 
Meeting of European Women in Mathematics
Web site:
John Toland  (IMU EC 2014-18)

CEIC Notes and Comments: Quick Reads, Recent Developments

Recently seen on the internet, we wish to alert the mathematical  
community to these developments.
1.  The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group has been cleared by regulators  
for its merger with Springer S+B Media. The resulting company will be 
the second largest behind Elsevier. It's name will be Springer Nature.
2. New statement from Elsevier regarding its policy on sharing manuscripts.
It seems that questions and clarifications are flowing in reaction, so 
the actual impact is not very clear.
3.  Finally, noted mathematician David Mumford, has posted the  
following on his blog.

Call for suggestions for applications to ICSU

IMU is calling for suggestions for applications to the ICSU 2016 grant
program. Grants are up to 30,000 Euros. It is recommended that 
projects meet some of the following criteria:
1. The project fits within one of ICSU's priorities:
a) Science and Technology for Sustainable Development
b) Capacity Building and Science Education
c) Dissemination of Data and/or Information from Science and Technology
d) Emerging Science -- Creation of New Knowledge.
for ICSU Strategic Plan)
The proposed activity should take place between January 1st 2016 and 
September 30 2017.
2. The project involves at least one other scientific union inside ICSU.
3. The project has some capacity building objective in one of the ICSU  
regional offices: ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean), ROA 
(Africa), ROAP (Asia Pacific).
A one page letter of intention should be sent by June 30 2015 to
Christiane Rousseau: rousseac(at)

News from ICSU: The Visibility of ICSU

One of the recurring subjects that come up for discussion in ICSU  
(International Council of Science) General Assembly meetings is its 
low level of visibility. This is something we are all familiar with in 
our respective scientific communities; when we ask our colleagues if 
they know what ICSU is, most of them have no knowledge of this 
institution. On the other hand, most mathematicians, physicists, 
chemists, astronomers and so on know their own respective unions very 
well (IMU, IUPAP, IUPAC, IAU,…).
What are the reasons for this situation and what can be done to remedy  
it? ICSU is a kind of agent that drives forward great projects of 
enormous importance for our planet (take, for example, the ambitious 
Future Earth program), and thus for the future of the human species. 
It is perhaps here where the main drawback lies that prevents the 
institution from being better known: it is aimed at governments, 
scientists and society in general with projects that require the 
combination of many sciences at once (even social sciences are vital 
at ICSU). At present, ICSU consists of 31 members of scientific 
unions, 121 national members representing 141 countries, and 23 
international associate scientists. It maintains relations with 
UNESCO, the UN and scientific academies all over the world, and to 
make its role more effective it has set up three Regional Offices 
covering a wide area: the ROA (Africa), the ROAP (Asia and the 
Pacific) and the ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean). This 
necessary multidisciplinarity and relocation, as well as the general 
nature of the undertaking, blunts the impact in each of the different 
disciplines, which are more accustomed to working within the confines 
of their own frontiers.
Nevertheless, ICSU carries out very important activities, such as  
acting as a lobby to persuade governments and funding agencies to get 
involved in great sustainability projects and scientific development, 
as well as defending the universal nature of science, the free access 
of everyone to science, the free circulation of scientists, and the 
role of research as a guarantor of well-being.
How can this Council achieve the social impact that it deserves? We at  
ICSU Executive Board are aware that efforts must be made to step up 
communication both with society and with scientists. The institution 
has a press office that will be strengthened in the coming months, 
while its image and website will also undergo substantial improvement. 
A greater visibility of ICSU will eventually bring a greater 
visibility for science and its importance.
Nevertheless, all scientists, whatever their specialty, should be  
prepared to contribute to making ICSU more well-known; this is already 
an obligation for all we who belong to its Executive Committee. ICSU 
is necessary and its work has been decisive since its foundation in 
1931. We refer the reader to the website for a brief 
history of the institution, and also suggest that he or she read the 
book Science International: A History of the International Council, 
written by Frank Greenaway, published in 1996 by Cambridge University 
Press, which will undoubtedly change one’s view of ICSU.
Manuel de León (ICMAT-CSIC), member of the ICSU Executive Board

Announcement of the workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" supported by ICSU

Workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species  
expansion" to take place at the African Institute for Mathematical 
Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016.
The International Mathematical Union (IMU), the International Union of  
Biological Sciences (IUBS), the International Union of Immunological 
Societies (IUIS), the International Union of Microbiological Societies 
(IUMS), the International Social Science Council (ISSC). the 
International Council of INdustrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), 
the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA), ecoHEALTH from Future 
Earth, the International Society for Biometeorology (ISB), the African 
Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the South African 
Mathematical Society (SAMS), the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for 
Invasion Biology (CIB) and Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) are 
co-organizing a capacity building workshop "Global change impact on 
diseases and alien species expansion" supported by the International 
Council of Science (ICSU).
This international, interdisciplinary, educational and capacity  
building workshop will bring together the two subjects of infectious 
diseases and invasive species and the context of climate change, thus 
allowing sharing the methods and building partnerships. The workshop 
will address the whole range of topics from field-work and collecting 
of data to the building and validating of models, to the adjustment of 
models to take into account the changing environment and the social 
characteristics, and to the design and implementation of strategies to 
fight infectious diseases and invasive species. Special emphasis will 
be put on African diseases and invasive species, as well as the 
characteristics of changing environment in Africa.
The workshop is mostly aimed to young researchers and postgraduate  
students, with a majority coming from Africa. International experts 
from around the world will give the minicourses and lectures and will 
lead the working groups. There will be a limited number of contributed 
talks and a poster session.
Applications: the website will be open for applications around October  
2015. The workshop is planned for 50 participants. The participants 
from Africa will receive full funding.
Organizers: Jacek Banasiak (South Africa) banasiak(at)
Christiane Rousseau (Canada) rousseac(at)

Abel Prize 2015

John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize from His  
Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony at the University Aula in 
Oslo on 19st of May 2015 “for striking and seminal contributions to 
the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its 
applications to geometric analysis.”
John F. Nash Jr., aged 86, spent his career at Princeton University and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Louis Nirenberg, aged 90, worked at New
York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Even though
they did not formally collaborate on any papers, they influenced each other
greatly during the 1950s. The results of their work are felt more strongly
today than ever before.
For more information please consult the Abel Prize website (English).

Passing away of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife Alicia

It is with great sadness that the International Mathematical Union  
learnt the tragic deaths of John Nash and his wife Alicia, in a car 
accident, on May 23, 2015. This occurred a mere four days after Nash 
received the Abel Prize from the hands of the Norwegian King for 
striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial 
differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.
John Nash shared a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, the year before 
he joined the Princeton mathematics department as a senior research 
IMU send its condolences to all of his and Alicia's family and friends.

Nomination for the 2016 Breakthrough Prize and a new prize

The nominations website for the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes is opened,  
and a new prize in the mathematics category is announced.
In addition to the main Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, up to three 
$100,000 New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes available annually for 
junior researchers who have already made important contributions are 
This is the first public call for nominations for these prizes, and  
this year's Selection Committee is comprised of Simon Donaldson, Maxim 
Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor.
For more information and to make a nomination, please visit the website.

News from AMU: African Mathematical Schools

The African Mathematical Union (AMU) in collaboration with CIMPA is  
requesting proposals for African Mathematical Schools (AMS) to be 
organized in 2016 from Mathematical Scientists and Institutions in all 
regions of the African continent. Proposals should be sent by email to 
application.ams(at) before October 1st, 2015.

Call for Special Session Proposals at the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2017 (MCA2017)

Proposals  of special sessions at MCA 2017 are welcomed by the Special  
Sessions Subcommittee. Early submission of proposals is encouraged: 
good proposals will be approved on a regular basis before the 
deadline, so that session speakers may be invited in plenty of time to 
make travel and funding arrangements.
A proposal should include :
• the names, affiliations and contact information (including email 
addresses) of all the organizers, with one organizer designated as 
“contact organizer",
• a brief presentation of the topic and scope (up to one page),
• a preliminary list of the expected speakers.
The topics should be broad and fairly well represented throughout the  
Americas. The list of organizers must include at least two 
mathematicians from different countries in the Americas. Preference 
will be given to proposals whose list of suggested speakers represents 
diversity in all aspects.
Each special session will consist of two 4-hour periods. We recommend  
that the organizers base their sessions on a total of 16 half-hour 
time slots for their speakers.
Although it is anticipated that limited financial support will be  
available to help with expenses of some of the participants, at 
present we cannot promise financial support for the special sessions.
Proposals should be sent to mca2017.sessions(at) before July 31, 2016.

Subscribing to IMU-Net

There are two ways of subscribing to IMU-Net:
1. Click on with a Web browser and
go to the "Subscribe" button to subscribe to IMU-Net online.
2. Send an e-mail to imu-net-request(at) with the Subject-line:
Subject: subscribe
In both cases you will get an e-mail to confirm your subscription
so that misuse will be minimized. IMU will not use the list of IMU-Net
emails for any purpose other than sending IMU-Net, and will not
make it available to others.
Previous issues can be seen at: