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IMU-Net 53: May 2012

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France


The International Congress of Mathematicians and the IMU Awards are at the heart of the mission of the International Mathematical Union. Indeed, the International Congress of Mathematicians is considered one of the most prestigious mathematical meetings worldwide. It is, by far, the largest meeting that unites mathematicians from all countries with active research communities, and from a very wide range of mathematical disciplines. It is also the congress where several of the most prestigious prices in mathematics and mathematical sciences are announced, including the Fields medals. While we are still two years from the ICM, the preparations are intense. The Program Committee has started its work more than a year ago and the Adhering Organizations have received calls for input for plenary and invited lectures. IMU is now issuing a call for nominations for the IMU awards with a deadline of December 31, 2012. The awards are the Fields medals, the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize, the Chern Medal Award, the Leelavati Prize and the ICM Emmy Noether Lecture. The Local Organizing Committee in Seoul started its work several years ago and preregistration is already open! Through its “Solidarity in mathematics” program, the Korean mathematical community is committed to support 1000 mathematicians from developing countries. It is time to do a brainstorming about the greatest achievements in mathematics for the past four years. It is also time to book your agenda for August 13-21 2014 and to encourage your young colleagues to do the same.

Chistiane Rousseau
Vice-President, IMU Executive Committee

Nominations for IMU Awards 2014

The President of the IMU, Ingrid Daubechies, has written to the Adhering Organizations, asking them to submit nominations for the IMU awards listed below.

* Fields Medals - The Fields Medals are awarded every 4 years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement.

* Rolf Nevanlinna Prize - The Nevanlinna Prize is awarded once every 4 years at the International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding contributions in mathematical aspects of information sciences.

* Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize - The Gauss Prize is awarded once every 4 years to honor a scientist whose mathematical research has had an impact outside mathematics - either in technology, in business, or simply in people's everyday lives.

* Chern Medal Award - The Chern Medal is awarded every 4 years on the occasion of the International Congress of Mathematicians to an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics.

* Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys - The Leelavati Prize, is intended to accord high recognition and great appreciation of the IMU and Infosys of outstanding contributions for increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.

* ICM 2014 Emmy Noether Lecture - The ICM Emmy Noether lecture is a special lecture at an ICM which honors women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences.

More details about each of these awards and the Noether lecture, as well as lists of past laureates, can be found on the IMU Web site, at URL:

Deadline for nominations: December 31, 2012

The names of the chairs of the various prize committees and their contact information can be found here.
The names of the other prize committee members remain confidential and will be announced at the Opening Ceremony of ICM 2014 only.

News from IMU

Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP)

This program is developed and sponsored by the Commission for Developing Countries(CDC) of the International Mathematical Union, in cooperation with the Centre International de Mathématique Pures et Apliquées (CIMPA), the U.S National Committee for Mathematics, and the London Mathematical Society. The objectives are
* Building capacity in mathematics and mathematics education in developing countries.
* Increasing mathematical interaction between the mathematical community in the developed world and the vast, mostly untapped reservoir of mathematical talent in the developing world.
The program seeks mathematicians interested to lecture for intensive 3-4 week courses at universities in the developing world.

Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Abel, Fields, and Turing Laureates meet the next generation.

Starting in September 2013, the "Heidelberg Laureate Forum" will bring together winners of the Abel Prize, the Fields Medal, and the Turing Award with young scientists from all over the world.
On the occasion of the 10th Abel Prize Ceremony the agreement on collaborating in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum between the Klaus Tschira Stiftung who establishes this Forum and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the International Mathematical Union, and the Association for Computing Machinery who grant the prestigious Abel Prize, Fields Medal, and Turing Award respectively, was signed in Oslo on May 22, 2012.

Latsis Prize 2012

The European Science Foundation (ESF) invites nominations for the European Latsis Prize 2012.
The Prize, of a value of 100 000 Swiss Francs, is awarded each year by the Latsis Foundation through the ESF to a scientist or research group in recognition of outstanding and innovative contributions in a selected field of research. The research field for the 2012 Prize is:
The European Latsis Prize 2012 seeks nominations for outstanding contributions to research in mathematics. Nominations are encouraged from all parts of mathematics, both pure and applied. The deadline for nominations is 15 July 2012.

Fields Symposium

The Fields Institute is delighted to announce the inaugural Fields Medal Symposium, to take place October 15 – 18, 2012 at the Fields Institute, Toronto, Canada. The medalist to be honoured this year is Ngô B?o Châu (University of Chicago, Fields Medal 2010). The Symposium will be centered on the work of Ngô, and its current and potential impact. The goal is to bring the general area of automorphic forms and the Langlands Program to a broader audience, and to present recent developments in related areas. There will be public lectures by Ngô B?o Châu and James Arthur (University of Toronto), as well as a panel discussion for high-school and undergraduate students.


ICSU has invited Christl Donnelly (Imperial College, Londo, UK) for the ICSU Scientific Committee for the new programme Health and Wellbeing.

News from ICM 2014

The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place in Seoul, Korea, from Wednesday August 13, through Thursday August 21, 2014 and the Korean mathematical community is delighted to host the congress for the first time in its history. As the premier conference for mathematics, the ICM 2014 will be a major scientific event, bringing together mathematicians from all over the globe and demonstrating the vital role that mathematics plays in science and society.

We are thrilled to announce that the pre-registration process for the ICM 2014 is on the way, and you are welcome to pre-register for the congress. If you have not yet pre-registered, please do so by following the simple instructions at our homepage: ICM e-News with information about pre-registration, scientific program, satellite conferences, financial support program, family-friendly aspects of cultural program, and practical information about visiting Korea etc. will be circulated to the people who pre-registered for the congress. We strongly recommend that you visit the homepage regularly for updated information on the scientific program and ICM related activities.

To make the congress a true world-wide gathering, the Organizing Committee places special emphasis on attracting mathematicians from developing countries. Members of the Korean Mathematical Society fully acknowledge the gracious support received from IMU and the international mathematical community in the 70’s and 80’s, and hope more countries can share the benefits. This has motivated the theme of “Solidarity in Mathematics”, and the 1,000 mathematicians from developing countries to be invited to Korea during ICM 2014, many of whom would not have been able to visit an ICM otherwise, stand to bring the ICM excitements and new knowledge back to their home countries. The potential positive impacts their experiences will have on future generations in their respective countries will be huge and will surely linger for many years to come. Within the IMU, the level of participation and activity of traditionally passive member countries is expected to increase, and a closer collaborative and harmonious mathematical community is likely to ensue.

The SEOUL ICM Travel Fellowship Fund was set up for this purpose, and the fund is expected to receive over US$2 million by 2014 mainly from global corporations. We are now working with IMU, especially with the cooperation from IMU/CDC (Commission for Developing Countries), to draft guidelines for this travel assistance program, and a call for travel grant applications will be announced as soon as it is available. Directed by the International Exchanges Committee, a subcommittee of the ICM LOC, the application and selection procedure will be activated, and we welcome our colleagues from around the world to the congress, and very much hope that you will also be able to attend it and savour some of the fine attractions that Korea offers.

Hyungju Park
Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE 2013)

MPE2013, a world initiative to hold scientific and outreach activities on the theme of "Mathematics of Planet Earth" in 2013:, received the patronage of UNESCO.

A redesigned website will be released beginning of June, with posting of activities, a calendar. There will also be a blog starting in January 2013. Mathematicians interested to contribute to the blog are invited to communicate their interest at

A competition has been announced in order to generate designs for a permanent Open Source exhibition of physical or virtual museum-quality exhibits related to some aspects of Mathematics of Planet Earth ( In order to allow for a larger number of contributions, the deadline of the competition has been extended to December 20 2012.

Passing away of Friedrich Hirzebruch

The first president of the European Mathematical Society, Friedrich Hirzebruch, has passed away. Fritz Hirzebruch studied mathematics at Münster. In 1956 he became professor at Bonn where he remained until his retirement. In 1980 he founded the Max-Planck-Institut fur Mathematik, serving as Director until 1995. His profound contributions to mathematics – in applications of topology to algebraic manifolds and number theory – and to German mathematical life, were honoured by many prizes, including that of the Wolf foundation in 1988 and the Georg Cantor medal of the DMV in 2004. He was honorary president of the 1998 International Congress of Mathematics in Berlin.
He was a member of the IMU Executive Committee during the period 1963-66. European mathematics has lost a great scholar and the EMS has lost one of its architects.

Detailed biographies:

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