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IMU-Net 68: November 2014

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


ICM 2018 Rio de Janeiro
Dear Colleagues,
On August 11, at Gyeongju, the General Assembly of the IMU unanimously approved the Brazilian bid to organize the International Congress of Mathematicians ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. This will be the first time, in its more than centennial history, that the ICM will take place in the Southern Hemisphere.
We are honored by the IMU-GA's decision and thrilled by the perspective of bringing the ICM - and all that it embodies - to Latin America. Ours is a young region of the world, where the Congress can and will be a powerful tool to disseminate Mathematics in the whole society, especially among the younger generations. Indeed we have chosen "Sowing Seeds" as the theme for the Rio de Janeiro Congress. We are also daunted by the challenge of following on our Korean colleagues footsteps: Hyungju Park and his team did a terrific job in making this year's Congress a big success and theirs will indeed be a tough act to follow. But be assured that, as I promised at the closing ceremony in Seoul, we will put the best of Brazilian creativity and ingenuity to the task of making ICM 2018 an equally memorable event. Preparations for the Congress are already actively under way. The website went live in August (check and it is now possible to submit proposals for satellite events. Most specially, I invite you all to sign-up for the ICM 2018 Newsletter: just go to the website, click on Newsletter and fill-in your name, email address and country. It only takes a small fraction of a minute! And it will help us keep you current with the preparations.
Até breve no Rio de Janeiro! (See you soon in Rio de Janeiro!)
Marcelo Viana
IMU Vice-president
Chair of the ICM 2018 Organizing Committee

CEIC Notes and Comments: IMU at World Data System (WDS)

On behalf of CEIC, Dr. Olga Caprotti attended the biennial World Data System Members' Forum, held in New Delhi November 2, in order to present the view of the Global Digital Mathematical Library to the data science community.
The World Data System is an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU).  ICSU-WDS builds on the 50+ year legacy of the World Data Centres and Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data analysis services established by ICSU to manage data generated by the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958). IMU participates as an associate member, and the poster presented was entitled "Trusted services and data from the GDML."
For more details on the meeting see

Heidelberg Laureate Forum

The application process for the 3rd Heidelberg Laureate Forum is up and running.
Beginning November 17, young computer scientists and mathematicians from all over the world can apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to participate in Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual networking event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally meet the winners of the most prestigious prizes in their fields. For one week, the recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the Fields Medal, and the Nevanlinna Prize engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young researchers in Heidelberg, Germany. Applications must be submitted online at: by February 28, 2015.
For more information, please visit:


Position of ICSU on evaluation by metrics
Increasingly, those involved in the administration of research rely on metrics designed to assess the importance and impact of research as an aid to evaluation, with publication outputs in traditional scientific journals being the major focus. These metrics in turn affect the behaviour of researchers, such as their choice of journals, as they seek to maximize their performance as measured by the metrics used. Metrics can contribute to the maintenance of high journal prices, promote intense competition rather than openness and sharing, and fail to recognise research contributions such as the production of datasets, software, code, blogs, wikis and forums. On the other hand, peer review is expensive in terms of time, and it would be an extreme position to deny altogether the usefulness of quantitative measures if intelligently used.
The International Council for Science (ICSU) addressed issues surrounding evaluation by metrics in the recent report It recommended in particular that
“In research evaluation and assessment, metrics should be regarded as an aid, and not a substitute, for good decision-making. They should not normally be used in isolation to assess the performance of researchers, to determine appointments, or to distribute funds to individuals or research groups, for which expert review is indispensable.”
In approving the report at its September 2014  General Assembly in Auckland, ICSU also endorsed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
John Ball
Member ICSU Executive Board

Passing away of Alexandre Grothendieck

Mathematics in Africa

1. CANP4, the fourth event in the Capacity and Network Project organized by the International Commission of Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) and supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU) held its first meeting in East Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on September 1-12 204, with more than 80 participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, This event led to the creation of a new 'East Africa Mathematics Education and Research Network'. The founding President is Dr Alphonse Uworwabayeho (Rwanda) and the founding Secretary is Dr. Angelina Bijura (Tanzania).
2. Call for Candidates for Ibni Prize 2014.
The Prize "Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh" has been created in memory of our colleague and to continue its commitment to Mathematics in Africa. The prize is awarded annually to a young mathematician from Central Africa or West Africa. Applications are evaluated by a scientific committee set up by CIMPA. It funds a scientific visit. It allows a student of an institution of Central Africa or West Africa, in mathematical sciences, at the graduate or post-graduate level, to benefit a scientific training in a country other than his/her own. student.
The application must include:

  • An application letter specifying the host laboratory or department with the name of the scientist in charge.
  • A scientific project written by the candidate.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A recommendation letter written by a scientist of the host laboratory.

The application must be send by email before December 15th, 2014 to one of the following persons:

Choice of the recipient in January 2015.
All the relevant information can be found on

Call for Nominations for the Ostrowski Prize, 2015

The aim of the Ostrowski Foundation is to promote the mathematical sciences. Every second year it provides a prize for recent outstanding achievements in pure mathematics and in the foundations of numerical mathematics. The value of the prize for 2015 is 100.000 Swiss francs. The prize has been awarded every two years since 1989. The most recent winners are Ben Green and Terence Tao in 2005, Oded Schramm in 2007, Sorin Popa in 2009, Ib Madsen, David Preiss and Kannan Soundararajan in 2011 and Yitang Zhang in 2013. See for the complete list and further details.
The jury invites nominations for candidates for the 2015 Ostrowski Prize. Nominations should include a CV of the candidate, a letter of nomination and 2-3 letters of reference. The Chair of the jury for 2015 is Christian Berg of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Nominations should be sent to by April 15, 2015.

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Previous issues can be seen here.