IMU-Net 74: November 2015
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
In Summer 2003, John Ball, then President of IMU, offered me an unexpected
gift: becoming the Editor of a new media named "IMU-Net", an
Electronic Newsletter aimed to improve communication between IMU and
the worldwide mathematical community.
During these 12 years, it was a real pleasure for me to track down the
information relevant to this public.
This is my last IMU-Net newsletter, and I take this opportunity to
thank all those who helped me in this task, in particular Ragni Piene,
Christiane Rousseau and Dick Gross, my contacts in the Executive
Committee of IMU and above all Wolfgang Dalitz, who took care of the
technical aspects with an everlasting efficiency.
Finally, I am also grateful to IMU-Net, which gives me the opportunity
to say goodbye to more than 10.000 subscribers!
We frequently say that mathematics is the only truly international
language, and it is hard to think that any nation can prosper without
an active mathematics community. And IMU is the international body
representing mathematics globally – “the UN of mathematics”. How come
that the IMU has only 71 member states (in addition to 11 associate
members) while for instance the UN has 193 member states, and the
FIFA, the International Federation of Football Association, and the
IAAF, the International Association of Athletics Federations, have a
staggering 209 and 214 members, respectively? Clearly, the UN is more
important than the IMU, and there are more commercial interests in
football [soccer] and athletics [track and field] than in mathematics.
Even if the four organizations have their own definition of what it
means to be a “member”, the IMU certainly has a potential to improve.
The IMU is trying to convince countries to become members of the IMU.
There are several countries with a stable mathematics community and a
reasonable financial situation, yet they are not members of the IMU.
Through our Commission for Developing Countries we meet mathematicians
from all over the world and we should try to convince them to become
IMU members. It is both easy and difficult – the country needs a
stable organization, called an Adhering Organization, that the IMU can
communicate with. It can be the national mathematical society, an
academy, a university or a governmental ministry. That is the easy
part. The difficult part is find a system for a robust and sustainable
way of paying the annual dues. Right now several countries may have to
terminate their membership due to outstanding payment of dues. This
is not a new problem, ever since the early days of the IMU, various
members have been in danger of terminating their membership.
Financial crisis, non-convertible currencies, political turmoil,
fragile national mathematical societies will probably always be a part
of the world we live in. But looking back at the history of the IMU
since 1920, the overall global situation probably has never been better.
We should always try to increase membership, and there are many
countries that certainly should become IMU members. When we meet
colleagues from these countries, we should always inquire about why
they are not members of the IMU. And countries having trouble with
their dues, could seek temporary “sponsorship” from other friendly
The IMU should increase its membership!
Secretary of the IMU
The new and final information is:
ICM 2018, August 1 – 9, 2018, Rio Centro Convention Center, Rio de
The General Assembly of the IMU will be held in São Paulo, on July 29
– 30, 2018.
It is possible to register for the newsletter on the website:
The IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) was created by the
IMU Executive in March 2015. CWM has a website
http://www.mathunion.org/cwm/ whose aim is to provide an
internationally based resource for women mathematicians.
During our first meeting on September 4-5, 2015, reports of activities
for women in mathematics from the various parts of the world were
presented. In the last two years, women in mathematics have come
together to launch meetings and network in many countries. Helping
establishing and supporting such networks at the continental or
subcontinental level especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa is
our most important goal from now until ICM Rio 2018 and our budget
will be used mainly for this purpose.
CWM is inviting proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activitiesor
initiatives taking place in 2016 aimed at establishing or supporting
networks for women in mathematics, preferably at the continental or
regional level, and with priority given to networks and individuals in
developing or emerging countries. For more details see the CWM website
CWM also plans to organize a pre-ICM 2018 event: (WM)² - World Meeting
for Women in Mathematics, in Rio, Brazil.
As the only international Committee for Women in Mathematics, we
believe CWM has a vital role to play and we are grateful to the IMU
for giving us this platform and support.
Marie-Francoise Roy & Caroline Series
The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11)
conference on climate change in Paris is taking place from November 30
to December 11 2015.
At this conference, ICSU will provide a community hub for scientists
on the ground to help information sharing, coordinating and networking
within the scientific community present at the meeting.
In particular, ICSU will have a booth at COP21 for most of the 2
weeks, shared with Future Earth, the International Social Science
Council and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The hope is to provide a
lively focal point for the scientific community attending COP21 via a
number of services, such as regular briefings on the negotiations from
members of our community and providing daily highlights about relevant
side events and off-site events via email for the scientific
community. ICSU is also putting together an expert database for the
accredited media (3,000 journalists) to facilitate timely and
efficient connections among journalists and attending scientists.
The 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will be held on September 18 – 23, 2016.
The application deadline is February 3, 2016.
The workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species
expansion" will take place at the African Institute for Mathematical
Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016.
The website accepts applications:
African participants will receive full funding.
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 planned for 50 participants is mostly aimed to young
researchers and postgraduate students, with a majority coming from
Organizers: Jacek Banasiak (South Africa) banasiak at ukn.ac.za
Christiane Rousseau (Canada) rousseac at dms.umontreal.ca
The winners of the Felix Klein and the Hans Freudenthal Awards of the
International Commission of Mathematics Instructions for 2015
Felix Klein Medal: Professor Alan J. Bishop, Emeritus Professor of
Education at Monash University, Melbourne.
Hans Freudenthal Medal: Professor Jill Adler, Chair of Mathematics
Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
The 2013 and the 2015 medals will be awarded in the opening ceremony
of ICME-13, in Hamburg, on July 25, 2015.
The citations of the ICMI Awards Committee can be found here:
The quadrennial Congress of the European Mathematical Society, 7ECM,
will be held in Berlin, Germany, July 18 - 22, 2016.
The Programme contains ten Plenary Lectures, 31 Invited Lectures,
several Prize Lectures, the Hirzebruch Lecture, the Abel Lecture and
100 Grants will be offered to mathematicians from less developed countries.
All abstracts and proposals must be submitted via the 7ECM
The Prize " Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh" was created to keep alive the
memory of our colleague and to continue his commitment to Mathematics
It is awarded every year to a young mathematician from Central Africa
or West Africa by a scientific committee set up by ICPAM. The prize
funds a scientific visit of several months in a research institute.
The Ibni Prize is hosted by the Foundation of the University of
a) A new round of fund raising is now opened for the Ibni Prize 2015.
Donations can be made through the Foundation of the University of
b) The 2015 call for applications is on the website
The deadline is November 30, 2015.
- Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach
Snapshots are short, easy to understand articles on recent topics of
mathematical research. They explain mathematical problems and ideas in
an accessible and understandable way, and provide exciting insights
into current topics of the mathematical community for everyone who is
interested in modern mathematics.
- The IMAGINARY Conference 2016 (IC16)
The IMAGINARY Conference on open and collaborative communication of
mathematical research is an interdisciplinary gathering for
mathematicians, communicators and interested professionals to discuss
and work together on current issues of communication and knowledge
transfer in mathematics.
IC16 will be held in Berlin, Germany on July 20-23 2016.
Alicia Dickenstein (Argentina) won the TWAS (World Academy of Sciences
for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries) 2015 Prize in
"for her outstanding contribution to the understanding of discriminants"
Congratulations to Alicia, who is also Vice-president of IMU.
The Ramanujan Prize for young mathematicians from developing countries
has been awarded annually since 2005. The Prize is funded by the
Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India (DST).
It is administered jointly by the Abdus Salam International Centre for
Theoretical Physics, the International Mathematical Union, and the DST.
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. The Prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a
developing country who is less than 45 years of age on 31 December of
the year of the award, and who has conducted outstanding research in a
The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2016.
Nominations can only be made by using the online system. See
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