A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France
Editorial: new Committee on women and mathematics of the IMU
In March 2015 the newly-elected IMU Executive Committee, at its meeting in Berlin, decided to establish a new Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) to promote international contacts between national and regional organizations for women in mathematical sciences; maintain up-to-date content on the Committee for Women in Mathematics part of the IMU website and, with appropriate assistance from the IMU, to ensure its technical development; consider how best to facilitate electronic communications among the community of women mathematicians internationally; work with groups, committees and commissions of IMU on topics pertaining to women mathematicians and their representation;
publicise, and where needed to suggest, working practices that ensure equal opportunities for women mathematicians in universities and research institutions, for example appropriate funding arrangements, family friendly policies and facilities; report annually to the IMU Executive Committee and to propose actions that would lead to an improvement in the position women in the mathematical community and to an increase in the representation of women in mathematics at all levels.
The new CWM will have a chair, a vice-chair and 6-8 members at large, with one member having specific responsibility for the CWM web site and electronic communication. Membership of CWM, which will be for four years terms coinciding with the terms of the IMU Executive Committee, should be widely distributed internationally and the CWM should meet at least once a year, preferably by video-conferencing. A member of the IMU Executive Committee will liaise with the CWM and attend meetings while remaining outside the committee.
CWM will have a budget from IMU that can be used to support meetings of the committee (electronic or in person), contacts between regional women-in-mathematics organizations and committee members, and for expenses such as those needed to establish and maintain international or regional websites and support regional meetings. The funds granted from the IMU budget will be administered by the IMU Office.
Management of funds specifically donated from other bodies or persons to support the purposes of CWM may be done through the Friends of IMU.
Membership of the Committee for Women in Mathematics (2014-18)
Chair: Marie-Françoise Roy (France)
Vice-chair and responsibility for the website: Caroline Series (UK)
Members at large:
Carolina Araujo (Brazil); Bill Barton (New Zealand); Ari Laptev (Sweden and UK); Kristin Lauter (USA); Sunsook Noh (South Korea); Marie Francoise Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso); Sujatha Ramdorai (India); Betul Tanbay (Turkey)
with John Toland (UK) as the IMU Executive Committee observer.
This committee should expect to serve until the next IMU General Assembly, which is to be held in Brazil in 2018. To set the ball rolling its first meeting will be face-to-face in Cortona, Italy, on the 4th and 5th September 2015, immediately after the 17th General Meeting of European Women in Mathematics
John Toland (IMU EC 2014-18)
CEIC Notes and Comments: Quick Reads, Recent Developments
Recently seen on the internet, we wish to alert the mathematical community to these developments.
- The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group has been cleared by regulators for its merger with Springer S+B Media. The resulting company will be the second largest behind Elsevier. It's name will be Springer Nature.
- New statement from Elsevier regarding its policy on sharing manuscripts. It seems that questions and clarifications are flowing in reaction, so the actual impact is not very clear.
- Finally, noted mathematician David Mumford, has posted the following on his blog.
Call for suggestions for applications to ICSU
IMU is calling for suggestions for applications to the ICSU 2016 grant program. Grants are up to 30,000 Euros. It is recommended that projects meet some of the following criteria:
- The project fits within one of ICSU's priorities:
a) Science and Technology for Sustainable Development
b) Capacity Building and Science Education
c) Dissemination of Data and/or Information from Science and Technology
d) Emerging Science -- Creation of New Knowledge.
(see: www.icsu.org/publications/reports-and-reviews/icsu-strategic-plan-2012-2017 for ICSU Strategic Plan)
The proposed activity should take place between January 1st 2016 and September 30 2017.
- The project involves at least one other scientific union inside ICSU.
- The project has some capacity building objective in one of the ICSU regional offices: ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean), ROA (Africa), ROAP (Asia Pacific).
A one page letter of intention should be sent by June 30 2015 to Christiane Rousseau: rousseac(at)dms.umontreal.ca
News from ICSU: The Visibility of ICSU
One of the recurring subjects that come up for discussion in ICSU (International Council of Science) General Assembly meetings is its low level of visibility. This is something we are all familiar with in our respective scientific communities; when we ask our colleagues if they know what ICSU is, most of them have no knowledge of this institution. On the other hand, most mathematicians, physicists, chemists, astronomers and so on know their own respective unions very well (IMU, IUPAP, IUPAC, IAU,…).
What are the reasons for this situation and what can be done to remedy it? ICSU is a kind of agent that drives forward great projects of enormous importance for our planet (take, for example, the ambitious Future Earth program), and thus for the future of the human species. It is perhaps here where the main drawback lies that prevents the institution from being better known: it is aimed at governments, scientists and society in general with projects that require the combination of many sciences at once (even social sciences are vital at ICSU). At present, ICSU consists of 31 members of scientific unions, 121 national members representing 141 countries, and 23 international associate scientists. It maintains relations with UNESCO, the UN and scientific academies all over the world, and to make its role more effective it has set up three Regional Offices covering a wide area: the ROA (Africa), the ROAP (Asia and the Pacific) and the ROLAC (Latin America and the Caribbean). This necessary multidisciplinarity and relocation, as well as the general nature of the undertaking, blunts the impact in each of the different disciplines, which are more accustomed to working within the confines of their own frontiers.
Nevertheless, ICSU carries out very important activities, such as acting as a lobby to persuade governments and funding agencies to get involved in great sustainability projects and scientific development, as well as defending the universal nature of science, the free access of everyone to science, the free circulation of scientists, and the role of research as a guarantor of well-being.
How can this Council achieve the social impact that it deserves? We at ICSU Executive Board are aware that efforts must be made to step up communication both with society and with scientists. The institution has a press office that will be strengthened in the coming months, while its image and website will also undergo substantial improvement. A greater visibility of ICSU will eventually bring a greater visibility for science and its importance.
Nevertheless, all scientists, whatever their specialty, should be prepared to contribute to making ICSU more well-known; this is already an obligation for all we who belong to its Executive Committee. ICSU is necessary and its work has been decisive since its foundation in 1931. We refer the reader to the website http://www.icsu.org/about-icsu/about-us/a-brief-history for a brief history of the institution, and also suggest that he or she read the book Science International: A History of the International Council, written by Frank Greenaway, published in 1996 by Cambridge University Press, which will undoubtedly change one’s view of ICSU.
Manuel de León (ICMAT-CSIC), member of the ICSU Executive Board
Announcement of the workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" supported by ICSU
Workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" to take place at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016.
The International Mathematical Union (IMU), the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS), the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS), the International Social Science Council (ISSC). the International Council of INdustrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA), ecoHEALTH from Future Earth, the International Society for Biometeorology (ISB), the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS), the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) and Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) are co-organizing a capacity building workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU).
This international, interdisciplinary, educational and capacity building workshop will bring together the two subjects of infectious diseases and invasive species and the context of climate change, thus allowing sharing the methods and building partnerships. The workshop will address the whole range of topics from field-work and collecting of data to the building and validating of models, to the adjustment of models to take into account the changing environment and the social characteristics, and to the design and implementation of strategies to fight infectious diseases and invasive species. Special emphasis will be put on African diseases and invasive species, as well as the characteristics of changing environment in Africa.
The workshop is mostly aimed to young researchers and postgraduate students, with a majority coming from Africa. International experts from around the world will give the minicourses and lectures and will lead the working groups. There will be a limited number of contributed talks and a poster session.
Applications: the website will be open for applications around October 2015. The workshop is planned for 50 participants. The participants from Africa will receive full funding.
Abel Prize 2015
John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg received the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony at the University Aula in Oslo on 19st of May 2015 “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.”
John F. Nash Jr., aged 86, spent his career at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Louis Nirenberg, aged 90, worked at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Even though they did not formally collaborate on any papers, they influenced each other greatly during the 1950s. The results of their work are felt more strongly today than ever before.
For more information please consult the Abel Prize website
Passing away of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife Alicia
It is with great sadness that the International Mathematical Union learnt the tragic deaths of John Nash and his wife Alicia, in a car accident, on May 23, 2015. This occurred a mere four days after Nash received the Abel Prize from the hands of the Norwegian King for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis. John Nash shared a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, the year before he joined the Princeton mathematics department as a senior research mathematician.
IMU send its condolences to all of his and Alicia's family and friends.
Nomination for the 2016 Breakthrough Prize and a new prize
The nominations website for the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes is opened, and a new prize in the mathematics category is announced.
In addition to the main Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, up to three $100,000 New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes available annually for junior researchers who have already made important contributions are made.
This is the first public call for nominations for these prizes, and this year's Selection Committee is comprised of Simon Donaldson, Maxim Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor.
For more information and to make a nomination, please visit the website.
News from AMU: African Mathematical Schools
The African Mathematical Union (AMU) in collaboration with CIMPA is requesting proposals for African Mathematical Schools (AMS) to be organized in 2016 from Mathematical Scientists and Institutions in all regions of the African continent. Proposals should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before October 1st, 2015.
Call for Special Session Proposals at the Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2017 (MCA2017)
Proposals of special sessions at MCA 2017 are welcomed by the Special Sessions Subcommittee. Early submission of proposals is encouraged:
good proposals will be approved on a regular basis before the deadline, so that session speakers may be invited in plenty of time to make travel and funding arrangements.
A proposal should include :
- the names, affiliations and contact information (including email addresses) of all the organizers, with one organizer designated as “contact organizer",
- a brief presentation of the topic and scope (up to one page),
- a preliminary list of the expected speakers.
The topics should be broad and fairly well represented throughout the Americas. The list of organizers must include at least two mathematicians from different countries in the Americas. Preference will be given to proposals whose list of suggested speakers represents diversity in all aspects.
Each special session will consist of two 4-hour periods. We recommend that the organizers base their sessions on a total of 16 half-hour time slots for their speakers.
Although it is anticipated that limited financial support will be available to help with expenses of some of the participants, at present we cannot promise financial support for the special sessions.
Proposals should be sent to email@example.com before July 31, 2016.