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IMU-Net 63: January 2014

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


Five years ago, in the spring of 2009, I had the idea of MPE2013. At the time, it was to be an initiative of North-American institutes consisting of workshops and joint scientific programs. Because of my personal interest in education and popularization of mathematics, it was clear in my mind that there should also be related outreach activities.

The initiative spread around the world as a fire in dry grass and got the patronage of UNESCO. Why? Certainly the idea was timely. As mathematicians, we are aware of the role that mathematics can play in understanding and facing the planetary challenges of protecting the environment, understanding climate change and targeting sustainability. Also, explaining the role of mathematics in understanding our planet, its structure, movements, atmosphere and oceans, and in addressing the planetary issues is a good seller for our discipline in the schools and among the public.  

Now that MPE2013 is over, it has become more obvious that the research effort needed on the planetary challenges of climate change and sustainability is immense. We are dealing with complex systems, all intertwined, and interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary for building the right models and tools. We know that we need to train a new generation of scientists in these issues, and that it is not an easy task both to provide the right broad training, and to recruit brilliant candidates for the training programs. The work is only starting. This is why MPE2013 moved into MPE (, which will support and centralize the initiatives in the different countries.

IMU endorsed MPE2013 and has been involved in several ways. Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel organized for IMU the MPE Day at UNESCO on March 5 2013, which included the launch of the MPE Open Source Exhibition and the presentation of the winners of the MPE competition. IMU co-organized with IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) and IUTAM (International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) the "Workshop on Climate change, related hazards and risks" in CIMAT (Guanajuato) from July 29 to August 2, 2013. This workshop, supported by a grant from ICSU, as well as by IMU, IUGG, IUTAM, CIMAT and ICIAM, was a school for young researchers from latin America and the Caribbean, with 8 mini-courses given by world experts on topics related to the theme. Jointly with UNESCO and ICMI, IMU also supported the distribution of a special MPE issue of the magazine Accromath in 14 francophone countries of Africa.
More activities are coming. In particular, the MPE Exhibition will be presented at ICM2014, and Mathematics of Planet Earth will be a theme of the fourth Capacity and Network Project (CANP4) Program of ICMI planned to be held on September 1-12, 2014 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Surely, a distinctive feature of MPE2013 has been the extraordinary collaboration around the world. It illustrates brilliantly that, by joining forces, we can achieve great things for our discipline, and significantly improve its image in the schools and among the public and the medias. We should make sure to continue this collaboration in the coming years. By sharing educational and outreach material, including Open Source exhibitions, it becomes easy to highlight how mathematics is everywhere present and needed in modern science and technology.

The collaborations with other disciplines is no less important and efforts to increase these are to be maintained in the future. This is something on which IMU is working within the International Council of Science (ICSU), which is the body where the international scientific unions meet on a regular basis.  

On the personal level, chairing MPE2013 has been time consuming, but extremely rewarding. I am very grateful to all those who shared my dream and worked hard for  MPE2013. MPE2013 owes its success to all of them. And let's hope that MPE2013 will lay fertile ground for further dreams.

Christiane Rousseau, Vice-president of IMU

Seoul ICM 2014

The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place at COEX in Seoul, Korea, from August 13 through August 21, 2014. The early advanced registration process for the ICM 2014 is underway. If you have not yet registered, please do so by following the simple instructions at the homepage:

Here are some important deadlines:

  • Registration at a reduced rate: from January 6 to May 10, 2014
  • Submission of abstracts for contributions: from January 1 to February 28, 2014
  • IMU GA registration: from January 17 to May 31, 2014

The Satellite Conferences are listed at

NANUM 2014: 911 grantees were selected
The selection for the NANUM 2014 Travel Grant is now completed. The selection process took months of deliberation by five regional review committees. Notification letters of NANUM selection results were sent out to all applicants on Jan. 17, 2014. Already 911 grantees were selected, and additional 89 grantees will soon be selected from developing country participants of IMU GA and MENAO and also of some regions requiring special attention including North Korea. One hundred grantees from the selection have received the NANUM TOGETHER (ICWM 2014) Travel Grant. Important dates:
January 17, 2014: Notification letter were sent out
Mid-February 2014: Detailed grant guideline will be sent out Proclamation Ceremony of the Year 2014 as the Korean Mathematical Year Following a recent resolution passed by Korean Legislature (National Assembly) in support of Seoul ICM 2014, an official proclamation ceremony for Korean Mathematical Year was held on January 13, 2014 at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul. With over 100 representatives from science community, the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Minister of Education addressed the audience at the ceremony. Prior to the ceremony, a forum on "Mathematics, a Key Player of Creative Economy" was held to kick-start the activities planned for the year to commemorate "Korean Mathematical Year", in which Professor Maria J. Esteban, the forthcoming President of the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), delivered a keynote lecture on "Linkage Between Mathematics and Industry". The keynote lecture was followed by two invited lectures and a panel discussion.
For more information please visit at

ICM Forum on "Beyond and After Seoul ICM”
ICM Forum on "Beyond and After Seoul ICM" was held in celebration of the recent adoption by Korean Legislature of a resolution in support of Seoul ICM 2014. The forum was held on December 10 2013, and was attended by two legislators, a delegation from the National Assembly Standing Committee, a Deputy Minister of the Science, ICT and Future Planning, and over 120 mathematicians. For more information please visit at

ICM Invited Plenary, Sectional, and Special Lectures
The full list of the plenary speakers and sectional invited speakers of Seoul ICM is available at Plenary lectures are invited one-hour lectures to be held without other parallel activities. Sectional lectures are invited 45-minute lectures, several of which are scheduled in parallel.

ICM Local Programs
The following ICM local programs are scheduled, and more are coming: The Public Lecture for a general audience by James Simons, President of Euclidean Capital and Board Chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC, on August 13, 2014,
The Abel Lecture by John Milnor on August 15, 2014, Several panels on mathematical education, mathematical publications, and mathematics popularization during August 18-20, 2014.

ICM Events: Call for Proposals (e.g. meeting and/or reception) The ICM 2014 Organizing Committee welcomes any organization to plan an event in and around the congress (e.g. meeting and/or reception). Applications can be via email at Once submitted, subsequent price quotes will be issued for applicant’s review.

ICM Exhibitions: Call for Proposals
We invite organizations and colleagues to submit applications for exhibition booths. The exhibitions will take place in Hall C1 (3F), COEX and the allotment of booths will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Applications for an exhibition space should be submitted via email at by May 31, 2014. For more details, refer to the Exhibition Prospectus at We look forward to welcoming you at the congress in Seoul, Korea.

Hyungju Park
Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee

IMU on the Web: The ISSN Network: update on its work

The ISSN - International Standard Serial Number - is probably as familiar to us as is the ISBN for books.  ISSN numbers are intended as unique identifiers, much as a U.S. social security number for a person. ISSNs are assigned through a network of local offices, governed by the International Centre in Paris.

Mathematicians and others might wish to learn the latest on assignment of such numbers.  You can visit their new web site at Of special interest is a document issued as of 30 July 2013 "Guidelines for Requesting an ISSN Through the ISSN International Centre."

New to the practice of the Centre is the following:

d) We reserve the right to refuse an ISSN assignment if it is considered that misleading informations has been provided by the requestor or printed/displayed on the publications regarding, for instance: the place of publication (publisher's address), the members of the editorial board, the referencing by indexing services or databases, the participation in digital preservation programs or the authorship of the articles provided.    
e) We also reserve the right to revoke an ISSN if it subsequently comes to light that misleading information has been provided.

The center will no longer assign numbers to new titles before such titles have any substantial amount of content such as a "first issue."

Finally, representatives of the ISSN network make no claim of analysis of quality of content.

Carol Hutchins
Head, Courant Library and member CEIC

ICWM 2014: International Conference for Women in Mathematics 2014

ICWM2014 will take place in Seoul on August 12 and 14 2014. The purpose of the ICWM 2014 is to bring together women mathematicians and supporters of women in mathematical sciences from around the world to showcase the mathematical contributions of women, to exchange ideas about supporting and encouraging active careers for women in the mathematical sciences, and to provide opportunity for young women mathematicians, to meet and talk with women in the mathematical sciences from around the world.

On August 12, ICWM2014 will take place in Ewha Womans University. ICM2014 opens on August 13. Hence, the program of ICWM2014 on August 14 is partially integrated in that of ICM2014, and occurs at the same place, COEX. The program includes plenary lectures by distinguished mathematicians: Laura DeMarco, Isabel Dotti, Jaya Iyer, Motoko Kotani, Hee Oh, Gabriella Tarantello and Donna Testerman, a panel session "Mathematics and Women: different regions, similar struggles", a poster session on August 12, and the ICM Emmy Noether lecture by Georgia Benkart on August 14, followed by a reception at ICWM Night. Transportation to the ICM welcoming reception on August 12 will be provided.

Information and registration at

The participation of young female mathematicians is greatly encouraged.

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