A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union

Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, Université René Descartes, Paris, France

## Editorial

Mathematics interfaces with the real world in more ways than most of us realize. Many products and services have a "mathematical ingredient", i. e., mathematical modelling, mathematical simulation, or the application of mathematical software have been utilized in the design and/or production process. In economic terms, mathematics has become a production factor.

One of the great achievements of the 20th century in this respect was the invention and development of linear programming (and its subsequent extensions to nonlinear, integer, and stochastic programming). Whenever you fly an airplane, ride a public bus, make a phone call, buy sausages or gasoline , receive a letter, or try to get a loan, somewhere in the supply chain some linear programs will have been solved. Today, there is excellent commercial and even open source) software available that can handle linear programs with millions of variables and constraints.

One of the great achievements of the 20th century in this respect was the invention and development of linear programming (and its subsequent extensions to nonlinear, integer, and stochastic programming). Whenever you fly an airplane, ride a public bus, make a phone call, buy sausages or gasoline , receive a letter, or try to get a loan, somewhere in the supply chain some linear programs will have been solved. Today, there is excellent commercial and even open source) software available that can handle linear programs with millions of variables and constraints.

These two leading figures of optimization passed away within the last four weeks. Leonid Khachiyan died on April 29, aged 52, George Dantzig on May 13, aged 90. They both will be remembered forever for their contributions to optimization theory and practice.

Martin Groetschel

Member of the IMU Executive Committee

## EMS Mathematical Weekends

Since 2003, the European Mathematical Society has been holding joint 'mathematical weekends' with its corporate members, who are the mathematical societies of individual European countries. The first was in Lisbon, with the Portuguese society, the second in Prague, in September 2004, with the Czech society. The next will be in Barcelona, hosted by the Catalan Mathematical Society, 16-18 September 2005 www.iecat.net/institucio/societats/SCMatematiques/emsweekend/ and one is planned for Nantes with the SMF and SMAI in mid June 2006.

The meetings start on a Friday afternoon and last until Sunday lunchtime. They are usually devoted to four or five separate areas of pure and applied mathematics. In Barcelona, the topics will be Combinatorics and Graph Theory, Dynamical Systems, Evolution PDEs and Calculus of Variations, Module Theory and Representations of Algebras, and Non-Commutative Geometry.

David Salinger

EMS Publicity Secretary

## UMALCA

Two congresses under the auspices of UMALCA :

- The XIV ELAM (Escuela Latino Americana de Matem?tica, Latin American School of Mathematics) will take place in Solis, Uruguay, from 1-9 December 2005. ELAM is one of the main mathematical events in Latin America, and this edition is devoted to Probability and Dynamical Systems. http://imerl.fing.edu.uy/elam
- The Latin American Mathematical Union (UMALCA), the European Mathematical Society (EMS), the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the Soci?t? pour les Math?matiques Appliqu?es et Industrielles (SMAI) are organizing an International Congress of Applied Mathematics to be held at the Center for Mathematical Modelling (CMM), Universidad de Chile, in Santiago de Chile on 13-17 March, 2006

## Abel Prize

Peter Lax, the 2005 Abel Prize laureate, was presented with the award by the Crown Prince Regent of Norway at a ceremony in Oslo on May 24. The ceremony was followed by a banquet at the Akershus Castle, hosted by the Norwegian government.

## IMU on the Web

The world digital Mathematics Library

In mid-April, the MSRI at Berkeley held a workshop on digitizing the mathematical literature. A model instance of what 'retronumerisation' (that's franglais) can create is instanced by the work at Grenoble, see <http://www.numdam.org/>.

The IMU's vision of a World Digital Mathematics Library is partly encapsulated by the draft statement at <http://www.ceic.math.ca/News/IMUonWeb.shtml#CEIC8>.

I hope soon to be able to use IMU on the Web to provide you with the agreed endorsed IMU statement better summarising the goals of the project. The greatest inhibition to the vision of retrodigitizing all the old literature sadly is that of copyright.

In that context, <http://aaupnet.org/aboutup/issues/0865_001.pdf> makes fascinating reading.

Where do you (as likely both writer and reader) stand on these matters? The greatest benefit of digitization is ready immediate access; see the interesting news at <http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/17.html> --- and, no: because of copyright reasons I cannot guarantee that that URL is a lasting one.

Alf van der Poorten, on behalf of the CEIC

## ICM 2006

Four more satellites approved by the Executive Committee of ICM2006:

- Trends and Challenges in Calculus of Variations and its applications, UCLM, Toledo (Spain), 16-19 August 2006
- Conference On Routing And Location 2006 (CORAL 2006), Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), 14-17 September 2006
- Algebraic Geometry, Segovia (Spain), 16-19 August 2006
- Methods of Integrable Systems in Geometry: An LMS Durham Research Symposium, University of Durham (UK), 12-20 August 2006

## AMUCHMA

Issue 30 of the Newsletter of the African Mathematical Union Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa (AMUCHMA) has appeared. This issue contains a (first) list of over 600 examples of African doctorates in mathematics, mathematics education and the history of mathematics.