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IMU-Net 65: May 2014

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

Editorial

Welcome to the May 2014 edition of IMU Net. I am one of the Members-at-Large on the IMU Executive Committee (EC), and approaching the end of my second four-year term on the EC. It has been a privilege to work on two ECs with colleagues who are all committed to the IMU objectives of promoting international cooperation in mathematics. Each EC member has a special liaison role, for example with IMU’s Commission for Developing Countries, or the International Council for Science ICSU, or monitoring the operation of IMU’s new Berlin Office. One of my special roles was to liaise with IMU’s oldest commission, the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). In each of my two terms I have been the IMU EC liaison person with ICMI, and my contribution there has been through my perspective and networks as an academic mathematics researcher and teacher. My links with ICMI became closer in 2010 when I joined the International Program Committee for the International Congress of Mathematics Education ICME12 in Seoul, and then in 2012 I was elected one of the ICMI Vice Presidents for the ICMI term 2013-16. For more than 30 years I have worked on national educational and scientific bodies in Australia, including terms on the Australian Government’s Curriculum Development Council and Prime Minister’s Science Council, and recently I was elected Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science. It is a pleasure to serve at the international level through the IMU and ICMI. The members of the EC bring together a healthy diversity of experience. This is aided by the IMU election procedures which are designed to produce a balance on the EC across countries with mathematical populations of different sizes, as well as a balance across geographical regions, mathematical sub-fields and gender.  In particular, gender diversity adds an additional dimension to that created by diversities of nationality, size, culture and mathematical sub-discipline, and it is a diversity achieved only relatively recently. Ragni Piene was the first woman elected to an IMU EC. She served on two EC’s, from 2002 to 2010. After Ragni and I were both elected by the 2006 IMU General Assembly, the IMU EC contained two women members for the first time, that is, 20% of its members were women.  Then in 2010, the IMU General Assembly elected the first woman IMU President, Ingrid Daubechies, and the first woman IMU Vice President, Christiane Rousseau, as well as electing me for a second term. So the IMU EC in 2010-2014, for the first time, had as much as 30% female members. I look forward to a time when the EC will routinely contain roughly half men and half women.
The work of the IMU ECs is diverse. During my two terms, for example,

  • two new prizes, the Chern Medal for outstanding achievements in mathematics, and the Leelavati Prize for outstanding public outreach work for mathematics, allow the IMU to celebrate a wider range of mathematical excellence;
  • the ICM Emmy Noether lecture, confirmed by the 2010 IMU General Assembly (GA) as a permanent ICM tradition, honours women’s contributions to mathematics;
  • the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC), established by the 2010 IMU GA, re-focused and strengthened the work of IMU for promoting mathematics in developing and economically disadvantaged countries;
  • the ICMI Capacity and Networking Project (CANP) launched in 2011 enhances mathematics education at all levels in developing countries;
  • the 2008 “Citation Statistics” report and the 2012 “Best current practices for journals” paper addressed issues of concern to mathematicians in many countries;
  • the IMU Berlin office opened in 2011 enormously improved administrative support for all IMU activities, and made many new initiatives possible; 
  • the introduction of IMU Associate membership by the 2006 IMU GAled so far to ten new countries from four different continents joining the IMU as Associate members.

Cheryl Praeger, member at large of the IMU

Seoul ICM 2014

The next International Congress of Mathematicians (SEOUL ICM 2014) scheduled to take place in Seoul, Korea, from Aug. 13 through Aug. 21, 2014, is fast approaching. It is time to register and book your accommodations! Please visit http://www.icm2014.org for detailed information.

Please mark the following important dates on your calendar:  
July 10, 2014: deadline for Advance Registration with a USD50 markdown than Onsite Registration  
May 11 to June 10, 2014: dormitory reservation period open to all participants on a first-come-first-serve basis

ICM Plenary Lectures and Invited Lectures: The complete list and schedule of the plenary speakers and sectional invited speakers is available at http://www.icm2014.org/en/program/scientific/topics.

Abstracts for Communications and Posters: A total of 1,975 abstracts have been submitted from 110 countries for short communications, both oral and poster presentations. The Local Program Subcommittee has carried out a careful reviewing process and has announced abstract acceptances on April 10, 2014. The complete schedule of short communications will be notified in June, 2014.

ICM Satellite Conferences: Please visit http://www.icm2014.org/sc/ for a complete list an details of the 51 ICM 2014 Satellite Conferences.

ICM Events: Call for Proposals. We welcome organizations to plan either a reception and/or a meeting in and around the Congress. Applications should be made via email to icm2014@meci.co.kr. Subsequent price quotes will be issued for applicant’s review once application is processed.

ICM Exhibitions: Call for Proposals. We welcome organizations to promote programs, products and/or services through commercial and/or non-commercial booths at the Congress, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Applications for an exhibition space should be submitted via email to es@icm2014.org by May 31, 2014. For more details including rates and specifications, please visit http://www.icm2014.org/en/sponsors/exhibitors/information.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Congress in Seoul, Korea!

Hyungju Park, Chairman of ICM 2014 Organizing Committee

IMU on the Web: Announcing New Report: "Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics Research"

Announcing New Report:  "Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics Research"

The U.S. National Academies of Science, with support from the Sloan Foundation, has released a report relevant to infrastructure for mathematics research.  It is available from the National Academies' web at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18619 and also as a download from arXiv.org as arXiv:1404.1905 .

Quoting from the abstract, the report
"discusses how information about what the mathematical literature contains can be formalized and made easier to express, encode, and explore. Many of the tools necessary to make this information system a reality will require much more than indexing and will instead depend on community input paired with machine learning, where mathematicians' expertise can fill the gaps of automatization. This report proposes the establishment of an organization; the development of a set of platforms, tools, and services; the deployment of an ongoing applied research program to complement the development work; and the mobilization and coordination of the mathematical community to take the first steps toward these capabilities. The report recommends building on the extensive work done by many dedicated individuals under the rubric of the World Digital Mathematical Library, as well as many other community initiatives. "

The substance of the report will be the subject of the panel discussion "World Digital Mathematicl Library" at ICM 2014 on August 20, 2014, 18:00-19:30.

Abel Prize 2014

Yakov G. Sinai (Princeton University, USA, and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences) received the Abel Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, from His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at an award ceremony in Oslo on 20 May.
The Prize was awarded "for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics".

Yakov Sinai is one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century. He has achieved numerous groundbreaking results in the theory of dynamical systems,in mathematical physics and in probability theory. Many mathematical results are named after him, including Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy, Sinai’s billiards, Sinai’s random walk, Sinai-Ruelle-Bowen measures, and Pirogov-Sinai theory. Sinai is highly respected in both physics and mathematics communities as the major architect of the most bridges connecting the world of deterministic (dynamical) systems with the world of probabilistic (stochastic) systems.

Yakov G. Sinai has spoken four times at the International Congress of Mathematicians, in 1962, 1970, 1978 and 1990 (plenary talk). In 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Fields Medal Committee of International Mathematical Union, which decided on the awards of the Fields Medals at ICM2002 in Beijing.

ICIAM 2015

The International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) is the premier international congress in the field of industrial and applied mathematics held every four years under the auspices of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. From August 10 to 14, 2015, mathematicians from around the world will gather in Beijing, China for the 8th ICIAM to be held at China National Convention Center inside the Beijing Olympic Green www.iciam2015.cn.
The invited sessions for ICIAM 2015 have been decided, which involve twenty seven invited speakers highlighting the most recent advances in mathematics and their applications in science, engineering, and industry. In addition to the traditional and strong focus on applied mathematics, these speakers will emphasize industrial applications and computational science.
www.iciam2015.cn/newsletter-invited+speakers.html.
Minisymposia and contributed papers are a very important part of ICIAM2015. It is expected that more than 2500 talks will be presented in ICIAM2015 in the form of minisymposia and contributed papers. Online submission has been open since March 30, 2014 and will close on September 30, 2014. Submissions on all areas of mathematics and its applications are welcome www.iciam2015.cn/Submissions.html.

China Academic Library and Information System

China Academic Library and Information System approved by the State Council and led by the Ministry of Education, is one of the public service systems of the "211 Project" for higher education in China (which aims to support 100 top universities in China to attain a high international level in sciences and technology in the 21st century, www.chinaeducenter.com/en/cedu/ceduproject211.php). For the purpose of "resource sharing", the open-ended Chinese academic digital library (named eduChina) framework was built on an internationally progressive level based on digital academic information resources. The construction of this framework was essential to support the general construction goal of the "211 Project", stimulate the use of IT in high education, modernize Chinese academic libraries, and become a vital component of the state's information infrastructure.

After more than ten years of leadership and promotion of CALIS, the information resource supply among academic libraries has changed from a single-library model into a multiple-library model. An effective CALIS service system with "centralized resources, cooperative labor, balanced duty, joint usage and collection", was formed, the resource sharing mechanism was established, abundant experience has been accumulated, and a large number of digital library construction and service personnel have been trained. The scale of the CALIS project and its participants are one of the largest in China and the world. So far, CALIS has over 1600 member libraries.

Through cooperative purchasing and self-built electronic resources, CALIS has formed a system of resources for academic literature with e-books, e-journals, and dissertations covering all key subjects and disciplines. The total number of resource records is currently over 70 million. As one of the biggest academic literature resource systems in China, CALIS has established a comprehensive academic library of electronic and printed resources, and it is now ready to extend resource sharing among academic libraries.

Through independent research and cooperative development, CALIS has also established a series of advanced, open digital library support tools and application systems. These systems are composed of advanced Chinese academic digital libraries combined with the functions of digital resources development, management, storage, access, and service.

At present, CALIS services include, but are not limited to, public access and resource navigation, document delivery and literature acquisition, reference assistance and subject consultation, cooperative cataloging and bibliographic distribution, resource development and coordinated purchasing, software sharing and technical support, business training and qualification authentication.

The homepage of CALIS is: www.calis.edu.cn

CALIS Administrative Center

Mathematical Exhibits for South Korea and South Africa

We invite all mathematicians to create mathematical exhibits and to share them through the IMAGINARY platform, by submitting them before June 21 2014 at www.imaginary.org/nims. The best exhibits will be shown at the ICM 2014 in Seoul. A mathematical exhibit is for example an attractive image depicting a mathematical idea or mathematical concept. It can also be a film or a physical object like a wooden puzzle or a 3d printed sculpture. Another form of exhibit is a software program, such as a simulation or an interactive visualization, which allows to experiment with a mathematical topic. For all types of exhibits, it is important to add an explanation text suited for a general public. This stimulates the users to learn more about the underlying mathematics.
IMAGINARY is an open source platform and networking project by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach (MFO, www.mfo.de) supported by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de/). The platform www.imaginary.org provides an online resource for mathematics outreach. One might think of it as a "pick and mix science stand", like a pick and mix sweets stand, but instead of the sweets one gets to choose between different mathematical exhibits, all for free. Everything should be easy to digest but also awake an interest to learn more about the non-trivial mathematics behind it. It is open for new flavors, i.e. exhibits, which can be uploaded by everyone. The exhibits are shown in universities, museums, at exhibitions and in schools, see www.imaginary.org/events.

A best-of selection of IMAGINARY exhibits including new modules created for the Mathematics of Planet Earth initiative (www.mathofplanetearth.org) will be shown at the ICM 2014 in Seoul from August 13 – 21. The exhibition is organized by the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (NIMS, http://nims.re.kr/) in collaboration with the MFO. It will feature 10 huge touch screen panels for interactive software, 3d sculptures and printed images. New exhibits are an exhibit on Tsunami simulation, a visualization of wild knots and an interactive viewer of mean curvature and constrained Willmore surfaces. Everybody is invited to submit contributions until June 21. For details on the submission see www.imaginary.org/nims.

In collaboration with the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in South Africa (AIMS, http://www.aims.ac.za/) and the Next Einstein Initiative (http://www.nexteinstein.org/), a workshop and exhibition will be organized in Cape Town on November 5-7 2014. Its goal is to share experiences in math communication in Africa, to develop mathematical exhibits and to jointly plan future math outreach activities. Interested mathematicians from Africa and the other continents are invited to participate. More information can be found at www.imaginary.org/aims.

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Previous issues can be seen here.