Skip to main content

IMU-Net 73: September 2015

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


Welcome to the IMU-NET! I am Alicia Dickenstein, a mathematician working in Argentina, where I also completed my studies.
I am delighted to be a member of the Executive Committee of the IMU as one of two Vice-Presidents (2015-2018), and to be able to contribute to promote international cooperation in mathematics.
There are many subjects I would like to discuss, but in this first contact, I decided to send some links to interesting information about several of the important questions with which the IMU is involved. Increasing the levels of mathematical activity in diverse areas of the world has been one of the major goals of the IMU for many years. The choice of Brazil as the host of the next ICM in 2018: is ample evidence of the success of these efforts. We are all very proud of this choice made by the IMU General Assembly in Korea. You can find more information on emerging mathematical activities in different  parts of the world on this page of the IMU Commission for Developing Countries (CDC):
The recently launched new journal model, an ArXiv overlay journal:
seems to be a great initiative concerning the future of mathematical publications and our role as researchers. Other important issues for all of us involving publications and the preservation of digital information can be found on this page of the IMU Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC):
The new IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) has started working, helping the consolidation of the African Women in Mathematics Association. More interesting information can be found in their webpage.
I feel that it is our responsibility as mathematicians to contribute to the “mathematization” of the society, which starts with the improvement of mathematics education.  One of my tasks, as a member of the executive committee, is to be the liaison person with the IMU International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). I was happily surprised to learn about  the many interesting activities carried out by the commission. One of the challenges of the ICMI is to make sure that  the information about its activities reaches mathematics educators throughout  the world.  And at the IMU we are interested to promote more collaboration between mathematicians and mathematics educators. You can find some nice readings in this ICMI page, and some thoughts on Math Education in Latin America in this link: .
ICMI organizes an international congress every four years call ICME.
The next edition will take place in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2016: .
Interesting historic materials, including videos, are available here.

I would like to end with a short quiz: The IMU was founded in 1920 and was reborn in 1952 after the two World Wars.

  1. Which has been the geographic distribution of the members of the EMU EC since then ?
  2. In which year  was the first female member of the EC elected? How many female President or Secretary of the IMU have ever been ?

Even if you don’t have the precise answers (which can be obtained from the information here), you can figure out that we still have a long way to go to integrate and represent the whole international community, but this also means that the future is full of opportunities.

Alicia Dickenstein, Vice-President IMU

CEIC Notes and Comments: Correction to IMU-Net 72

In IMU-Net 72, in the section CEIC NOTES AND COMMENTS : THE STORY OF ONE JOURNAL a regrettable error was made. The paragraph "Unfortunately, there is repetition in our story. Once again, editorial displeasure has led this journal's board to cut tie with CUP." is incorrect, and should be deleted.
CUP acted solely as the printer and distributor of the journal, and the decision of the editorial board did not relate to these matters. We apologize to CUP for this erroneous statement.

Carol Hutchins,
Member of the Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC)

2015 Ramanujan Prize

he 2015  Ramanujan Prize has been awarded to Amalendu Krishna jointly by ICTP, the Department of Science and Technology (DST, Government of India) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
The Prize recognizes Krishna's outstanding contributions in the area of algebraic K-theory, algebraic cycles and the theory of motives.
Krishna had all his education in India; after schooling and college in Bihar, where he was born, he obtained a Masters degree from the Indian Statistical Institute, followed by a 2001 from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. After postdoctoral visits abroad, he rejoined the Tata Institute as a faculty member, and is now an Associate Professor.
More on:

Mathematics and Mathematicians in the ICSU

One of the concerns in my work with the IMU Executive Committee was the participation of our union in the International Council for Science (ICSU). Recall that the ICSU was largely made up of two big collectives: the scientific unions and the nations. We understood very well that a body like the ICSU could not remain on the fringes of mathematics, and for three very good reasons: mathematics is indispensable in the sphere of education and the role of the ICMI had to be reflected there; the mathematical training of young scientists in other areas depends strongly on their mathematical content; and finally, research cannot be conducted in any discipline without its mathematical aspect.
During my time at the IMU, one of my tasks was to represent the IMU at the ICSU, and we could say that with the full support of the IMU Executive Committee and the ICMI we have achieved an on-going presence, far less sporadic than hitherto. It has been a slow process, but we are able to say that the IMU has earned the respect of the other scientific unions as a result of participation in the meetings of these bodies, attendance at the ICSU General Assemblies with official representation, and also taking part with other unions in the grants that the ICSU provides.
In a parallel way, collaboration with the three regional offices of the ICSU: ROLAC, ROA and ROAP has been strengthened with, in some cases, the designation of representatives, and with direct participation with some of these offices in different activities. The IMU has regularly nominated mathematicians for the different committees and commissions that the ICSU has set up to handle its different programs, in many cases with little success due to the complexities inherent in the system of governance as well as the need to maintain a geographical, thematic and gender balance. In any case, nominating someone means sending the message that the IMU wishes to be present, and in the long run the message is striking home.
But not only mathematics has filtered into the ICSU as a discipline; mathematicians have also done so too. At the ICSU General Assembly held in 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand, a notable event occurred for the international mathematical community: no fewer than three mathematicians were elected to the EB: I myself, proposed by the IMU; John Ball, proposed by the United Kingdom, and even more significantly, Daya Reddy, as President-Elect from February 2016. The fact that three mathematicians are serving simultaneously at the ICSU is quite unprecedented, and in my view it is undoubtedly a reflection of the commitment of mathematicians to the difficult challenges facing humanity in order to guarantee the sustainability and welfare of our planet.

Manuel de León (ICMAT-CSIC), member of the ICSU Executive Board


ICIAM is the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. It is an associate member of ICSU, the International Council for Science, which groups all international scientific unions. Currently it is pursuing the possibility of becoming a full member of ICSU.
Barbara Keyfitz is finishing up her tenure as the president of ICIAM, and Maria Esteban is succeeding her.
ICIAM holds an international congress every four year. ICIAM 2015, the International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics took place at China National Convention Center in Beijing on Aug 10-14, 2015 with 3,400 participants, making it the largest in the history of ICIAM. Olga Taussky-Todd Lecture by Éva Tardos, 23 plenary lectures, 5 ICIAM prizes and 3 SIAM prize lectures were delivered during the congress.
The next ICIAM congress in 2019 will be held in Valencia, Spain. Its academic program is to be determined under the leadership of Alfio Quarteroni, the chairman of the ICIAM 2019 scientific panel committee.

Workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion"

The workshop "Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion" will take place at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in Cape Town, South Africa on May 2-6 2016. The website will accept applications from early October 2015:
African participants will receive full funding.
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 planned for 50 participants is mostly aimed to young researchers and postgraduate students, with a majority coming from Africa. The confirmed speakers and leaders of working groups are Peter Daszak, Kristie Ebi, Abba Gumel, John Hargrove, Mark Lewis, Andrea Pugliese, Judith Omumbo, David Richardson. There will be a limited number of contributed talks and a poster session.
The workshop, supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU) and UNESCO, is co-organized by 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).

Organizers: Jacek Banasiak (South Africa)
Christiane Rousseau (Canada)

Subscribing to IMU News

To subscribe to IMU News, please click here. When you subscribe, you will receive an e-mail message to confirm your subscription so that misuse will be minimized.

IMU will not use the list of IMU News emails for any purpose other than sending IMU News, and will not make it available to others.

Previous issues can be seen here.