A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) is about to start. It has grown from North-American initiative to an unprecedented gathering under the patronage of UNESCO of more than one hundred partners from all around the world. And new partners join regularly. The success of MPE2013 comes from the fact that it is timely. Indeed, addressing the climate change and sustainability issues requires the use and development of sophisticated mathematical tools. A concerted, massive, long-term involvement of the mathematical sciences in collaboration with other disciplines is essential to any significant progress in the understanding of planetary problems. The world mathematical community is becoming more and more aware of the urgency of planetary and sustainability issues, and it is time to train a new generation of young researchers to sustainability problems. For all these reasons, an impressive number of scientific programs and workshops have been organized around the world. And the effort will not stop in 2013. Already in the US, the NSF has funded follow-up activities in 2014.
The outreach component of MPE2013 is no less important. National launches of MPE2013 are organized in several countries with public activities. MPE public lectures will take place around the world in 2013. Congresses of teachers will highlight MPE2013. In the US, the theme of the Math Awareness month will be sustainability, while the French week of mathematics will be on MPE. Mathematical magazines and enrichment material are prepared so as to raise the interest of the future scientists still in the schools.
An important component of MPE2013 is its Open Source Exhibition of museum-quality exhibits (modules) that will be hosted through the Imaginary Project by Mathematischen Forschungsinstituts Oberwolfach. The launch of the exhibition is organized by IMU jointly with MPE2013. Il will occur at the Headquarters in Paris on March 5th 2013 and modules will be exhibited at UNESCO on March 5 to 8. The basis of the exhibition will come from the MPE competition (www.mpe2013.org/competition), the winners of which will receive their prize at the launch.
MPE2013 is an exceptional opportunity of increasing the collaborations of mathematicians with other disciplines. For IMU, it provides an occasion of strengthening its links with other scientific unions, with ICIAM and with ICSU bodies, on capacity-building projects in different areas of the world. The workshop on mathematics of climate change, related hazards and risks (see item 3) as a satellite activity of the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2013 is a first step in this direction.
It is not too late to join MPE2013, to benefit from collaborating with the planet, and to share your enthusiasm with your students or the public. The spirit of MPE2013 is there to stay.
Vice-president of IMU
IMU on the Web
- IMU's CEIC has been represented by Olga Caprotti at the sessions organized by the ICSU's World Data System at the 23rd CODATA International Conferenceb Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet -- held in Taipei on 28b 31 October 2012 . Discussions have centered on data publication and data citation, the summary 'Research Data enters Scholarly Communication' is online . IMU's poster was presented during the WDS Membersb Forum b to update member organizations on ongoing activities .
- Open Access Week was recognized at many schools, research institutes, universities and colleges across the world last month. A good summary of the spectrum of such activities is presented at this web page, http://www.openaccessweek.org/ .
- At the same time, concerns about ongoing sustainability of the various financial aspects of OA are voiced in various quarters. For instance, three mathematical societies in France have gone on record with cautionary advice to the government regarding undesirable effects of attempts to rely upon author-funded publication. http://smf.emath.fr/sites/smf.emath.fr/files/open_access_3_soc-trans.pdf
- We continue to track the progress of the effort to redesign the governance and support model for arxiv.org. As of September 2012, the Simons Foundation has announced beginning 2013 through 2017 support in the amount of up to $300,000 per year as matching funds to that from contributing institutions. If arxiv.org is important to you, please check its web site for the list of institutional contributors. Is yours there? http://arxiv.org/help/support
- Some interesting things happen without much fanfare. It is not clear that many noticed that Elsevier has recently made open access a number of backfiles of mathematical journals. This is a good outcome, one might wish they had come to this decision much earlier. http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/P11.cws_home/archivedjournals
Please have a look.
Workshop of Mathematics of Climate Change, Related Natural Hazards
This is the first announcement of a 5-day workshop that is organized as a satellite activity of the 2013 Mathematical Congress of the Americas at CIMAT in Guanajuato (Mexico) during July 29 -- August 2 2013. The workshop will bring together about 40 young researchers, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean and a dozen distinguished scientists, each of which will give several lectures on a chosen topic.
The workshop is part of the world initiative "Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013" which is endorsed by IMU (www.mpe2013.org). It is jointly organized by IMU together with the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM). It is supported by the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), by ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, by two interdisciplinary bodies of ICSU, namely IRDR (Integrated Research on Disaster Risk) and WCRP, by the US National Academy of Sciences, by the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, and by CIMAT (Centro de InvestigaciC3n en MatemC!ticas) in Mexico. Hopefully the workshop will be funded by ICSU. The members of the Scientific Committee are Susan Friedlander (IMU), Ilya Zaliapin (IUGG) and Paul F. Linden (IUTAM).
The website will be ready to receive applications by January 15 2013.
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 - fields14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 - nevanlinna14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 - gauss14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 - chern14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 - leelavati14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 - noether14-chair(at)mathunion.org 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 Website.
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.
Call for Nominations for the Mathematical Congress of the Americas Prizes
The organizers of the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2013 invite nominations for the prizes to be delivered in connection with the Congress (see http://www.mca2013.org/prizes.html).
There are 12 Prizes:
- five MCA Prizes of USD$ 1,000 each will be awarded to mathematicians who are no more than 12 years past their PhD in August 2013 and either received their graduate education or currently hold a position in one or more countries in the Americas.
- five Americas Prizes of USD$ 5,000 each will be awarded to individual or groups in recognition of their work to enhance collaboration and the development of research that links mathematicians in several countries in the Americas.
- two Solomon Lefschetz Medals carrying a cash award of USD$ 5,000 will be given to mathematicians in recognition of their excellence in research and their contributions to the development of Mathematics in a country or countries in the Americas.
Nominations and requests for information concerning the nominating process should be sent by e-mail to
The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2013.
Call for Nomination for the 2013 Ramanujan Prize
The Ramanujan Prize has been awarded annually since 2005. The 2013 Prize will be jointly funded and administered by ICTP and the IMU.
The Ramanujan Prize is usually awarded to one person, but may be shared equally among recipients who have contributed to the same body of work. Eligible for the prize is a person who has conducted outstanding work in a developing country, he/she must be less than 45 years of age on 31 December of the year of the award.
February 1, 2013 is the deadline for nominations.
Nominations are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fome (Friends of Mathematics Education) Conference
The Committee on Education of the European Mathematical Society is organizing a Conference on March 14b 15, 2013 in Berlin "Friends of Mathematics Education - A European Initiative -" to which all European foundations, NGOs and institutions which are engaged in mathematics education, are invited. Contact: Prof. Dr. Guenter Toerner, Chair of EMS Committee on Education) email@example.com
Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013)
Several news about MPE2013 can be found in the editorial and in the item 3.
It is not too late to participate to the "Mathematics of Planet Earth Competition for an open source exhibition of virtual modules" (museum-quality exhibits): www.mpe2013.org/competition. The modules submitted will form the basis of the permanent Mathematics of Planet Earth Open Source Exhibition which will be launched at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on March 5-8 2013.
Examples of modules or themes to be covered are available on the website. The competition is open until December 20, 2012.
If you have not visited the website recently (www.mpe2013.org), then please do so: new partners and new activities are posted regularly. Also, some educational and bibliographic resources are now starting to be posted on the website, and several partners committed to produce many more during 2013.
In addition to the MPE blog, several countries intend to run their national blogs in 2013, including Australia and France. Links to these blogs will be posted on the main MPE website.
The South African launch already occured on October 30 2012 (http://www.sams2012.org/public-lecture/). The Canadian launch will take place on December 7-10 2012 (http://cms.math.ca/Events/winter12/), the UK launch on December 17 2013 (http://www.newton.ac.uk/mpe2013/), and the US launch at the JMM on January 9-12 2013 (http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/jmm).
Code of Practice of the European Mathematical Society
An important issue for our whole community is the clear formulation and understanding of ethical principles and accepted practice related to the publication of mathematical results; this is all the more important in view of troubling examples that have surfaced in recent years. (See e.g. http://www.siam.org/news/news.php?id=1663.)
Several learned societies around the world have published a Code of Ethics addressing these issues, and advertise it to their members. In 2010, the European Mathematical Society constituted a Committee of Ethics, and asked it to draft a Code of Practice. The resulting document was approved by the EMS Executive Committee at the end of October 2012; it can be found on