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IMU-Net 25: September 2007

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union 
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, Universit&eacute René Descartes, Paris, France


Dear Reader,
First of all, let me say that it is a great honour for me to serve on the Executive Committee of the IMU, even more since I am the first Spanish mathematician who has such privilege.

Two are my main concerns in IMU: one is the relation of mathematics with other disciplines, and for IMU this means to increase and to stress relations and common programs with the other scientific unions which form ICSU, the International Council for Science Mathematicians are inclined to maintain themselves whithin their own territories; this is good to do nice mathematics, but not to get more public appreciation. Furthermore, our implication with IUPAP (Physics), IUTAM (Mechanics) or IAU (Astronomy), among other ICSU's, is so natural and has a long history. Moreover, the needs of mathematical modelling for the modern scientific challenges like climate change, biodiversity or sustainable development make necessary this interdisciplinary collaboration. We should as well recall UNESCO resolution 29 C/DR126, with occasion of the World Mathematical Year 2000, considering the central importance of mathematics and its applications in today's world regarding science, technology, communications, economics and numerous other fields.

The second concern is related with Mathematical Education. In many countries, one can observe an increasing gap between the mathematical community of researchers and the mathematical community of secondary professors and education researchers. For this reason, the General Assembly of IMU celebrated last year in Santiago de Compostela approved the following Resolution 8: "The General Assembly of the IMU reaffirms the importance of the issues treated by ICMI. It recognizes the importance of continuing and strengthening the relationship of IMU with ICMI and urges the increased involvement of research mathematicians in mathematical education at all levels." This is just the beginning of a new trend initiated by IMU and I am sure that in the coming years we will collect the fruits of such politics.

A different aspect is the relation among mathematics and statistics. In my view, Probability and Statistics are emergent fields showing a lot of activity in the last years; remember the recent Abel prize (Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan), the Gauss Prize (Kiyoshi Ã?to) or the 2006 Fields Medal awarded to Wendelin Werner. A closer collaboration with the International Statistical Institute and the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability should be encouraged and I am sure that IMU will do.

IMU should be the reference point for the many organizations in all the countries in these two issues, relations with other sciences and approaching of the "different" mathematical communities.

Manuel de León
Member, IMU Executive Committee

IMU on the Web

Scan this book! Not even wrong. The WDML vision.

Should we goggle at Google? "In the race to digitize the public domain, is the future of the library at stake? For all the potential of Web.2.0 technologies, our literary future still rests on what we make of our past, specifically, the centuries of ideas and human thought recorded in the miles of print books sitting on library shelves around the world." (August 15, 2007) reports the views of the Open Content Alliance.

In the very first IMU on the Web (March 2004) the CEIC commented sadly that some actions may have unintended consequences that will actually increase the strain on the journals system. The recent holus bolus resignation of yet an another editorial board (that of the journal "K-theory") gives rise to useful commentary that warrants thoughtful reading and some prompt action in advising your university library ...

The vision of the World Digital Mathematics Library includes our being able to click on any citation and to be led seamlessly to that reference and thence onto its bibliography and then ... . Total costless seamlessness is still distant but the vision is being realised by the mathematical sciences review journals as clearly manifested in the June 2007 update of the Jahrbuch Database forming part of the Electronic Research Archive for Mathematics ... .

... find relevant URLs and more on these matters at

Alf van der Poorten, member of the CEIC

ICM 2006

There are new material in the ICM2006 web site (

  • the proceedings
  • the videos

ICM 2010 Program structure

The ICM 2010 Program Committee is going to meet in early October to define the program structure of the International Congress to take place in Hyderabad in August 2010. If you have suggestions for the PC please write to Hendrik Lenstra, the PC Chair, at immediately.


The International Congress on Mathematical Education is held every four years under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI).
The 11th International Congress on Mathematics Education [ICME-11] will be held in Monterey, Mexico, 6-13 July 2008.

Fifth European Congress of Mathematics

The Fifth European Congress of Mathematics will be held in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) 14-18 July 2008.
The calls for nominations for the EMS Prizes and for the Felix Klein Prize are still open.

Passing away of Professor A. Selberg

Renowned Norwegian mathematician Atle Selberg, Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, died on 6 August 2007. Among his many honors was the Fields Medal (1950) for his elementary proof of the prime number theorem.

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Previous issues can be seen here.