The International Mathematical Union was founded in its present form in 1951. The purpose of the Union is to promote international cooperation in mathematics, to support and assist the International Congress of Mathematicians and other international meetings and to encourage and support other international mathematical activities considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects , pure, applied, or education. IMU has two commissions, the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction and the Commission on Development and Exchange. The International Commission on the History of Mathematics is a joint commission with the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science.
The members of IMU are countries. At the moment IMU has 57 members.
The major event of the Union was the International Congress of Mathematicians 1994, held in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 3-11. A total of 2536 participants from 87 countries attended together with 363 accompanying members and 77 exhibitors of publishing companies. The Congress was organized under the auspices of the International Mathematical Union by the Swiss Mathematical Society and was supported by the University Foundation of the Canton Zurich, the ETH domain of the Swiss Confederation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the City of Zurich, the Swiss Academy of Sciences and many private corporations.
The Opening Ceremony took place in the Congress Hall of Zurich in the morning of Wednesday, August 3. The President of the International Mathematical Union, Prof. Jacques Louis Lions, declared the Congress open and announced the following members of the Program Committee, which was responsible for the scientific program of the Congress: L.Nirenberg (Chairman), S.K.Donaldson, V. Drinfield, P. de la Harpe, R. Karp, H. Kraft, A.Majda, M. Raynaud and Ya. Sinai. Then, by his proposal, Prof. Henri Carnal, the President of the Organizing Committee, was elected President of the Congress and, by proposal of the Organizing Committee, Beno Eckmann, the founder of the Mathematical Research Institute at ETH-Zurich and former Secretary of IMU, was elected Honorary President. Welcome addresses were given by Mrs. Ruth Dreifuss, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, by Dr. Alfred Gilgen, Head of the Department of Education of the Canton Zurich and by Dr. Thomas Wagner, City Councillor of Zurich. The Chairman of the Fields Medals Committee. Prof. D. Mumford, announced the recipients of the Fields Medals: Jean Bourgain, Pierre-Louis Lions, Jean Christophe Yoccoz and Efim Zelmanov. Prof. Eckman handed the medals and the prizes to the winners. The Chairman of the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize Committee, Prof. J.L.Lions, announced Avi Wigderson as the recipient of the prize, which was again handed by Prof. Eckmann. The Fields Medal Committee consisted of Prof. David Mumford (Chairman), J.Tits, L.Caffarelli, B.Mazur, S.Varadhan, D.Sullivan, M.Kashiwara and A.Schrijver. and the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize Committee consisted of Prof. J.L.Lions (Chairman), H.W.Lenstra, R.Tarjan, M.Yamaguti and J. Matijasevic.
In the afternoon of August 3, addresses on the works of the prize winners were given. L.Caffarelli described the work of J.Bourgain, S. Varadhan the work of P.L.Lions, J.Matijasevic the work of A.Widgerson, A.Douady the work of J.C. Yoccoz and W.Feit that of E.Zelmanov.
From August 4 to August 11, except for Saturday, August 7, one-hour plenary addresses were delivered in the Congress Hall in the morning (on the last day also in the afternoon) and 45-minutes section lectures in up to 7 parallel sessions were held during the afternoon in the rooms of the University of Zurich and of the ETH Zurich. In total, there were 16 plenary and 148 section lectures. The speakers had been invited by the Organizing Committee according to the decisions of the Program Committee. Six invited speakers declined for different reasons and two could not show up. In addition, there were 4 lectures invited by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), 3 by the International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM) and a special seminar on the history of the ICMs, which were scheduled along with the section lectures and 978 short communications appeared in a Book of Abstracts. Most of them and some 100 additional contributions were presented at the poster sessions which took place at ETH during the afternoon. There were also several informal seminars as well as a symposium organized on Thursday, August 4, by the Association for Women in Mathematics and the European Women in Mathematics.
The Organizing Committee was able to support the prize winners, 19 of the invited speakers and some 200 participants from Eastern Europe. The International Mathematical Union, through its Special Development Fund, paid the travel expenses of 79 young scholars from developing countries whose living expenses were covered by the Organizing Committee.
At the Closing Ceremony in the afternoon of August 11, Prof. J.L.Lions announced the new members of IMU Executive Committee and of ICMI, CDE and ICHM for the term 1995-1998 (listed below) and the site or ICM98, as decided by the General Assembly in Lucerne. Prof. F. Hirzebruch invited the mathematicians of the world to meet in Berlin in 1998. A banquet was offered to the participants on Friday, August 5, a classical concert by H.H.Schneeberger (violin) and G.Wyss (piano) on Tuesday, August 9 and a performance by the pantomime group Mummenschanz together with the folk music group Trio da Besto on the same evening.
The General Assembly of IMU, on its 12th meeting that took place in Lucern, Switzerland, from July 31 thorugh August 1, 1994, elected the following IMU Executive Committee for the term 1995-1998:
The following other conferences were supported by IMU in 1994, but without financial help:
IMU published three bulletins in 1994. The 10th World Directory of Mathematicians came out during the summer of 1994. The Proceedings of the ICM-94 in Zurich shall appear soon.
ICMI published 2 Bulletins, both supported by UNESCO grants. Other publications by ICMI were described above. ICHM also had several publications in 1994; they are described above in the topic of the ICHM activities.
The Executive Committee of IMU met twice this year. on April 14-15, 1994 in Budapest, Hungary and on July 30, 1994, Lucerne Switzerland.
The General Assembly was held in Lucerne on July 31-August 1, 1994. It elected a new Executive Committee for IMU as well as for its sub-commission ICMI (International Commission on Mathematical Instruction), a new Commission for Development and Exchange, members to the Executive of its joint International Commission on the History of Mathematicians, as well as representatives to several ICSU bodies. The Assembly also decided the site of the next Congress, Berlin, 1998.
members (countries) - 57
6(IMU ) + 3(ICMI ) + 11(CDE ) + 7(ICHM) == 27 conferences supported
3(IMU) + 2(ICMI) == 5 bulletins; most conferences published their proceedings.