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IMU-Net 27: January 2008

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


Among other activities, International Congresses of Mathematicians (ICM) are the most important activity supported and assisted by the International Mathematical Union. Needless to say, every ICM should reflect the best work of mathematics being carried out in the world - this has been a significant feature and a strong tradition of ICMs. At the same time we must ensure that the ICMs should present the best work being carried out in all mathematical subfields and in different regions of the world. By doing this, the ICM is indeed recognized as the highest academic festival of mathematicians all over the world. But, the significance of the ICMs is not confined to this, it gives also an important opportunity to highlight the beauty, the influence, and the power of mathematics to the whole society, which in turn brings big impact for the further development of mathematics. The 15th General Assembly in Santiago de Compostela in 2006 approved new PC/OC guidelines that describe the roles of the various parties involved in the preparation of the scientific program of an ICM, and the Executive Committee was charged with the task of upgrading the Guidelines whenever appropriate. In the current version of the guidelines, endorsed by the IMU EC on November 21, 2007, the purpose of ICMs is described as follows:
"International Congresses of Mathematicians are the most important IMU activity and need correspondingly careful preparation. Every ICM should reflect the current activity of mathematics in the world, present the best work being carried out in all mathematical subfields and different regions of the world, and thus, point to the future of mathematics. The invited speakers at an ICM should be mathematicians of the highest quality who are able to present current research to a broad mathematical audience."
The details of the current version of the guidelines for the Program Committee and the Organizing Committee can be found at the IMU website

Zhi-Ming Ma
Vice President, IMU Executive Committee

News from IMU

  • Colombia is a new member of IMU, as of 1st January 2008.
  • The IMU Executive Committee will have its annual meeting on 20 and 21 April 2008 in Budapest (Hungary). Requests that need EC decisions should be sent to Martin Groetschel, Secretary of IMU by the end of February 2008.

IMU on the Web: Digital Feedback

The remarks "Digital Downside" of the previous IMU on the Web provided an unusual volume of feedback. For example, Stevan Harnad of the American Scientist Open Access Forum supplied comments explaining that Open Access comes in colours, specifically green and gold, the colours sported by Australia's representative teams. I recommend googling the Forum and studying its discussions.

For full details amplifying this and the remarks below see

Mention of "Journal and Conference scams" led a reader to suggest I also issue a warning to respectable conference organisers. In brief, there is strong anecdotal evidence (instanced in the case of ICM2006) of persons claiming to intend to attend a conference and seeking a formal letter of invitation; yet their purpose likely is solely to obtain an entry visa to the host nation.

CEIC 1998-2008

The International Mathematical Union's Committee on Electronic Information and Communication was created at the behest of the Dresden Quadrennial Assembly of the IMU, in 1998 and now commences its tenth year. It should be no secret that a primary purpose of the CEIC was to advise on the matter of journal prices. Its first formally endorsed recommendation was one we spoke of as "Personal Collected Works" and that officially became a "Call to All Mathematicians to Make Publications Electronically Available".

Alf van der Poorten, member of the CEIC.

ICM 2010 Web site

The ICM 2010 Website has been started. It will be constantly updated, giving relevant information as and when it becomes available. The web address is:

ICMI News, the new Newsletter from ICMI

ICMI (International Commission on Mathematical Instruction, an official commission of IMU), launched last December the first issue of its bimonthly email newsletter with the name ICMI News. This newsletter aims at improving communication between ICMI and the worldwide community interested in mathematics education, informing about actions and recommendations of ICMI, highlighting issues that are under discussion, and reporting about ongoing activities. In addition, ICMI News will report on major activities by the ICMI Affiliated Study Groups (HPM, PME, IOWME, WFNMC and ICTMA), on major international events related to mathematics education and on other topics of general interest to the community of educational researchers, curriculum designers, educational policy makers, teachers of mathematics, mathematicians, mathematics educators, and others interested in mathematical education around the world.

The first issue of ICMI News included, among other items, updated information about the 11th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME -11) and about ICMI Study 18 - Statistics Education in School Mathematics: Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education. ICMI News reported on the first meeting of the current Executive Committee of ICMI, included a calendar of events of interest to the ICMI community, and featured a historical vignette about the Swiss mathematician Henri Fehr (1870-1954), the first secretary general of ICMI, who played a very important role in the international cooperation in mathematics education for more than 50 years.

If you are interested in subscribing to ICMI News, there are two ways to do it:

Jaime Carvalho e Silva, Editor of ICMI News

ICME-11 and ICME-12

  • ICME-11
    Important deadlines for the Eleventh International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-11), to be held in Monterrey, México, on 6-13 July 2008, are: 15 February 2008: Submission of applications to the ICME-11 Grant programme 2 March 2008: "Early bird" registration More information on ICME-11, including a pdf of the Second Announcement, is available on the congress website
  • ICME-12
    The site for ICME-12 has been selected: It will take place in Seoul (Korea) in 2012. The precise dates of ICME-12 will be announced later and a Korean delegation will be present at ICME-11 to provide information on the ICME-12

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Previous issues can be seen here.