IMU-Net 61: September 2013

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union

Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Women mathematicians form an important force in the mathematical

research and education. After the establishment of organizations of

women mathematicians in USA and Europe, in 2012 Chinese Mathematical

Society established also its Working Committee for Women in

Mathematicians (WCWM-CMS). Recently WCWM-CMS has made a report on the

current situation of women in the mathematical community in China (see

below). According to this report, in seven major universities in China

among 651 teaching and research staff members in mathematics, there

are 139 women, which occupies 21.35% of the total. If one counts women

doing the research in them, the number is much smaller. Comparing with

the developed countries, world well-known women mathematicians are

much fewer in developing countries. Another example is that in my

university in China, among about 30 new bachelor degree students

majoring in pure mathematics every year, there are only 1 or 2 girls,

although for applied mathematics, numerical analysis, probability and

statistics, there are more girls get in. In this situation, I believe

that it is important to encourage more young girls to get into

mathematics, and the societies including the mathematical communities

should provide to them a good mathematical education system, loose and

suitable environments for working, and good opportunities for their

career developments. At the same time, the communication among women

mathematicians around the world is also very important for enlarging

their voices for their own rights and for the development of

mathematics in the world. It is hoped that in the near future, the

current situation of women mathematicians in the world, especially in

the developing countries, can be improved substantially after common

efforts of our mathematical community.

Yiming Long,

Member-at-large of the IMU Executive Committee

P.S.

The WCWM-CMS and women mathematicians in China

The Working Committee for Women in Mathematics, Chinese Mathematical

Society (WCWM-CMS) was founded in October 2012. Its present chair is

Xing Li, Ningxia University. As one of the branches of Chinese

Mathematical Society (CMS), this committee is a national non-profit

academic organization in which women mathematicians who are engaged in

research, teaching and applications of mathematics could share their

scientific research through academic exchanges both in China and

abroad and let their voice be heard by the world not only as scholars

but also as female.

The aims and objectives of the WCWM-CMS are the following:

1. To encourage women to study and make careers in the mathematical sciences.

2. To promote women mathematicians and women who teach mathematics in

schools and colleges to exchange their experience and cooperate with

each other.

3. To ensure the academic rights and interest of women mathematicians

and women who are doing relative jobs.

4. To cooperate with other organizations on similar objectives in

other countries.

5. To support women mathematician and women members participating

democratic supervision, and encourage them to join in social welfare

activities.

In Chinese universities, the female teachers engaged in teaching and

researches are about 45.5% of the total, but the proportions are

variable from one university to the other. Among them, the professors

(senior) account for 28.4%, the associate professors (sub-senior)

43.6%, and the lecturers (middle) 51.9%. The female teachers who work

on Mathematical research are fewer. We did a survey about the number

of teaching and research faculty of the department of mathematics in

Fudan University, Zhejiang University, Peking University, Tsinghua

University, Jilin University and Shandong University. The total number

of teaching and research staff in this survey is 651, among which

there are 139 women, which takes 21.35% of the total. There are 264

professors (senior), 30 are female, this number account for 11.36% of

the total; the number of associate professors (sub-senior) is 230,

including 57 female members, accounting for 24.78%, the number of

lecturers (middle) is 157, including 52 female members, accounting for

33.12%.

The Working Committee for Women in Mathematics of the Chinese

Mathematical Society hopes to get support from the International

Mathematical Union and to increase communications with other countries

to achieve further progress, and we do believe that such support and

communications will be a crucial help for our future development.

The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place at

COEX in Seoul, Korea, from Wednesday August 13, through Thursday

August 21, 2014. The pre-registration process for the ICM 2014 is

underway. If you have not yet pre-registered, please do so by

following the simple instructions at the homepage:

http://www.icm2014.org. The ICM e-News is being circulated to the

people who pre-registered for the congress. We strongly recommend that

you visit the homepage regularly for updated information and ICM

related activities.

* NANUM 2014: Application Period Extended

1,000 mathematicians from developing countries will be invited to

Korea during ICM 2014 under the ICM 2014 signature travel grant

program, called “NANUM 2014”. NANUM means ‘generoussharing’ in

Korean. Travel grants awarded will be in the range of approximately

US$1,500 -US$2,500 per person according to the regional groups, making

the total sum of US$2 million. See

http://icm2014.org/en/participants/mathematicians for more details,

e.g., the prerequisites to be eligible for a travel grant.

Applications can only be submitted online at http://nanum2014.org. By

Aug. 31, 2013, about 2,800 NANUM applications were received. The

online submission system was deactivated by Aug. 31, 2013. However, by

popular demand, the submission site will be re-opened on Oct. 16, 2013

and will remain open until Oct. 31, 2013. We hope that this grace

period may enable the people who missed the deadline to submit their

applications.

Important dates:

? Jun. 1, 2013 – Aug. 31, 2013: Applications received

? Oct. 16, 2013 – Oct. 31, 2013: Submission site re-opened

? Dec. 31, 2013: Review of Applications completed

? Jan. 2014: Notification of acceptance

* ICM Invited Plenary, Sectional, and Special Lectures

The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee is delighted to announce the full

list of the plenary speakers and sectional invited speakers of Seoul

ICM. For the list of confirmed speakers, visit

http://icm2014.org/en/program/scientific. Plenary lectures are invited

one-hour lectures to be held without other parallel activities.

Sectional lectures are invited 45-minute lectures, several of which

are scheduled in parallel.

* ICM Local Programs

This section gathers other scientific activities mostly promoted or

organized by the ICM 2014 Organizing Committee.

The following ICM local programs are already scheduled as of Sep. 31, 2013:

- The Public Lecture for a general audience by James Simons, President

of Euclidean Capital and Board Chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC,

on Aug. 13, 2014,

- The Emmy Noether Lecture by Georgia Benkart, Professor of

Mathematics at University of Wisconsin-Madison, on Aug. 14, 2014,

- The Abel Lecture on Aug. 15, 2014,

- The Panels on the risks of assessment and comparisons in

mathematical education, mathematics teaching, and mathematical

publicity during Aug. 18-20, 2014.

* ICM Event: Call for Application (e.g. meeting and/or reception)

The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee welcomes any organization that

wishes to plan an event in and around the congress (e.g. meeting

and/or reception). Any of the events can be staged at COEX (congress

venue) and/or COEX Intercontinental Hotel (350m from COEX) and

applications can be submitted to the appointed PCO of the congress,

MECI, via email at icm2014(at)meci.co.kr. Once submitted, subsequent

price quotes will be issued for applicant’s review. Please return the

completed application forms no later than Feb. 28, 2014.

* ICM Sponsorship

Several institutions have already committed their contribution to ICM

2014, especially for NANUM 2014 program. Any organizations willing to

support this important event is invited to contact the Secretariat at

icm(at)icm2014.org.

* ICM Exhibition: Call for Application

The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee invites organizations and colleagues

to submit an application for exhibition booths. The ICM 2014

Exhibition is open to any organization, which may seek an opportunity

to promote one’s experience, programs, products and services through

operating commercial and/or non-commercial booths at the congress. The

exhibition will take place in Hall C1 (3F), COEX and the allotment of

booths will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications for an

exhibition space should be submitted to the appointed PCO of the

congress, MECI, via email at es(at)icm2014.org by May 31, 2014. For more

details, refer to the Exhibition Prospectus at

http://icm2014.org/en/sponsors/exhibitors.

We look forward to welcoming you at the congress in Seoul, Korea.

Hyungju Park

Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee

IMU letter's to ICSU on Questions on Open Access and Evaluation by Metrics

1. What requirements do funders of research in your country or subject

area currently make, or plan to make, as regards open access

publication, including open access to data? (Please give links to

relevant documents.) What advantages and disadvantages do you see in

such open access requirements, whether in your country/subject area or

elsewhere?

Requirements vary from country to country and even within agencies in

a country, e.g. NIH vs. NSF in the US. (Although NSF has recently been

tasked by the Administration with formulating an open access policy

for funded research.)

The mathematical community is fully in favor of open access to its

publications. This is exemplified by the success of arXiv, along with

other preprint repositories and personal web pages. Indeed, in 2001

the IMU issued a "Call to All Mathematicians to Make Publications

Electronically Available"

http://www.mathunion.org/fileadmin/CEIC/Publications/Call_to_All_Mathematicians_to_Make_Publications_Electronically_Available.pdf

There is a concern that a rapid switch to open access could affect the

publishing system as a whole, thus putting at risk the integrity,

quality, and long-term availability of the mathematical record.

A number of small independent publishers (such as societies) fear that

there is no alternative source of revenue to subscription, that

author-pay models will create an incentive to publish more or relax

quality control, in addition to being unfair to authors with different

profiles.

Most mandates are based on CC-BY licenses, which is of concern to

mathematicians in that it is unsuitable for preserving the integrity

of the scientific record. For instance, the copyright policy of

Documenta mathematica is much more restrictive:

http://www.math.uni-bielefeld.de/documenta/tex/akzept-eng.ps

The obsession on open access might divert attention to some real issues:

a) The term open access is itself steadily losing its meaning (in

principle: refereed publications are freely available to anyone over

the internet as they are published, either at publisher's website

(gold), or through some repository (green)). Mandates tend to accept

embargo periods for green open access (OA), which is thus not OA),

publishers tend to accept deposit of some preliminary version of the

published paper (which is thus not OA), etc.

b) To empower authors in view of green OA, funders tend to develop

open archives and mandate depositing there, where one can find

preprints, postprints or other kinds of reports. This is considered a

good thing in math, but mostly as the natural successor to preprint

dissemination, while not replacing the reference library that

mathematicians need on the long term to keep the version of record of

validated papers. In some fields, notably cryptography, there is a

growing tendency to place "long versions" in open archives and publish

"short versions", which makes "the version of record" a subject of

debate, especially when page numbers, or even theorem numbers, change.

c) Similarly, gold OA publishers tend to recover costs by charging for

publication of new material. The preservation and availability of old

papers not being a priority of today, there is a high risk to lose

important reference papers in the mid term.

2. To what extent are metrics being used to evaluate universities,

departments and individuals in your country or subject area, what

metrics are used, and how are these influencing publication trends and

incentives for researchers?

`Again, this varies by country, by institution and by discipline. At`

most major US research universities, metrics play no role in Science

`and Engineering --- at least so far. On the other hand, in other`

countries, e.g. the research assessment exercises in the UK, in Spain,

the Czech Republic, South America, China, etc. they play a very

significant role in individual and/or departmental evaluations.

The U.K's 2013 REF exercise, the successor to the earlier metric-free

Research Assessment Exercises, will use citation data from SCOPUS

(Elsevier) in some subject (including Computer Science but not

Mathematics). This is a supplement to peer assessment. (See

http://www.ref.ac.uk/pubs/2011-02/#d.en.69578)

Among serious mathematicians, metrics have essentially no influence on

publication or research incentives, although there is evidence of

their influence in certain countries, e.g. China which rewards

monetarily publication in high ranked journals, and among researchers

in second tier institutions. Ranking of journals was tried in

Australia, and subsequently withdrawn in part due to pressure from

mathematicians. In their paper "Nefarious Numbers", in Notices of the

American Math. Soc., Volume 58, issue 3 (2011) Douglas Arnold and

Kristine Fowler document the unreliability and misuse of citation

metrics, making them completely unusable in mathematics.

The mathematics community would generally agree that use of "Impact

Factors", and other measures based on the journal rather than the

article, are very flawed. We commend that the evaluation must be based

on the articles and not on the journals. (see for instance

http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00604117)

3. What useful role, if any, do you think ICSU can play in these matters?

One potential role would be to keep careful track of the differences

between fields, and try to ensure that policies are suitably

formulated so that they can be adapted to the culture and standards of

each individual scientific field.

ICSU should also bear in mind the wider utility of science and that

citation data is an introspective measure. (See for instance p. 83 of

Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses.

UNESCO, 2013,

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002207/220789e.pdf.)

The African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI) is a

distributed network of mathematics research, training and promotion in

Africa. Overall coordination of AMMSI is from the Programme Office,

under the directorship of Wandera Ogana, at the School of Mathematics,

`University of Nairobi, Kenya. Initially the network operated only in`

Sub-Saharan Africa but, in August 2013, it was extended to North

Africa. Hence there are now six AMMSI regions, namely: Central Africa,

`Eastern Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa Zone 1,`

and Western Africa Zone 2. Each region is made up of a number of

countries and has an office which promotes AMMSI activities in the

constituent countries, under the direction of a Regional Coordinator.

Details can be found at the AMMSI website given below.

By joining AMMSI, North Africa will now benefit from a number of

activities and projects which include: (a) Annual postgraduate

scholarships, funded by IMU/CDC (b) MARM, a project which promotes

mentorship and linkages and is implemented in collaboration with IMU

and the London Mathematical Society (LMS) (c) Conference grants to

enable postgraduate students attend conferences in Africa, funded by

LMS. Envisaged future activities include visiting and postdoctoral

fellowships, research funding, and support for organization of

scientific meetings.

`More details can be found at: http://www.ammsi.org`

TWAS, the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in

developing countries (http://twas.ictp.it/) offers access to a lot of

scientific resources (including mathematics), which are either

1. "Open Access", 2. freely accessible for developing countries, or 3.

accessible at reduced price for developing countries:

http://twas.ictp.it/links/open-access-scientific-information.

The special access to scientific literature for developing countries

is through http://www.research4life.org/, which consists of the four

networks HINARI, AGORA, OARE and ARDI. The ARDI network is the most

relevant for mathematicians. On their website

(http://www.wipo.int/ardi/en/)

one can click in the left column on "Journals" and find the list of

`journals concerned by this program (see also`

(http://www.wipo.int/ardi/en/journals.html). These journals are either

freely accessible or accessible at reduced price (depending on the

country's GBP) to the scientists of the countries appearing on the

list approved by the World Intellectual Property Organization

Organization (WIPO). This list can be consulted at

http://www.research4life.org/institutions/

For the researchers who do not have access to sufficient bandwidth to

download material from the Internet in a timely manner and/or cannot

afford the connection, the Abdus Salam International Center for

Theoretical Physics (ICTP) offers to send articles in mathematics and

physics as email attachments. This is offered through the electronic

Journals Delivery Service (eJDS): see http://ejds.ictp.it/ejds/,

which requires registration and is cost-free.

There are two ways of subscribing to IMU-Net:

1. Click on http://www.mathunion.org/IMU-Net 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)mathunion.org 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:

http://www.mathunion.org/imu-net/archive/