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IMU-Net 74: November 2015

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

Goodbye message from the Editor

In Summer 2003, John Ball, then President of IMU, offered me an unexpected gift: becoming the Editor of a new media named "IMU-Net", an Electronic Newsletter aimed to improve communication between IMU and the worldwide mathematical community.
During these 12 years, it was a real pleasure for me to track down the information relevant to this public.
This is my last IMU-Net newsletter, and I take this opportunity to thank all those who helped me in this task, in particular Ragni Piene, Christiane Rousseau and Dick Gross, my contacts in the Executive Committee of IMU and above all Wolfgang Dalitz, who took care of the technical aspects with an everlasting efficiency.
Finally, I am also grateful to IMU-Net, which gives me the opportunity to say goodbye to more than 10.000 subscribers!

Mireille Chaleyat-Maurel

Editorial: IMU Membership

We frequently say that  mathematics is the only truly international language, and it is hard to think that any nation can prosper without an active mathematics community.  And IMU is the international body representing mathematics globally – “the UN of mathematics”. How come that the IMU has only 71 member states (in addition to 11 associate members) while for instance the UN has 193 member states, and the FIFA, the International Federation of Football Association, and the IAAF, the International Association of Athletics Federations, have a staggering 209 and 214 members, respectively?  Clearly, the UN is more important than the IMU, and there are more commercial interests in football [soccer] and athletics [track and field] than in mathematics. Even if the four organizations have their own definition of what it means to be a “member”, the IMU certainly has a potential to improve.

The IMU is trying to convince countries to become members of the IMU. There are several countries with a stable mathematics community and a reasonable financial situation, yet they are not members of the IMU. Through our Commission for Developing Countries we meet mathematicians from all over the world and we should try to convince them to become IMU members. It is both easy and difficult – the country needs a stable organization, called an Adhering Organization, that the IMU can communicate with. It can be the national mathematical society, an academy, a university or a governmental ministry. That is the easy part. The difficult part is find a system for a robust and sustainable way of paying the annual dues. Right now several countries may have to terminate their membership due to outstanding payment of dues.  This is not a new problem, ever since the early days of the IMU, various members have been in danger of terminating their membership. Financial crisis,  non-convertible currencies, political turmoil, fragile national mathematical societies will probably always be a part of the world we live in. But looking back at the history of the IMU since 1920, the overall global situation probably has never been better.

We should always try to increase membership, and there are many countries that certainly should become IMU members. When we meet colleagues from these countries, we should always inquire about why they are not members of the IMU. And countries having trouble with their dues, could seek temporary “sponsorship” from other friendly nations.

The IMU should increase its membership!

Helge Holden
Secretary of the IMU

ICM 2018

The new and final information is:
ICM 2018, August 1 – 9, 2018, Rio Centro Convention Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The General Assembly of the IMU will be held in São Paulo, on July 29 – 30, 2018.
It is possible to register for the newsletter on the website:

IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM): First meeting and funding call

The IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) was created by the IMU Executive in March 2015. CWM has a website whose aim is to provide an internationally based resource for women mathematicians. During our first meeting on September 4-5, 2015, reports of activities for women in mathematics from the various parts of the world were presented. In the last two years, women in mathematics have come together to launch meetings and network in many countries. Helping establishing and supporting such networks at the continental or subcontinental level especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa is our most important goal from now until ICM Rio 2018 and our budget will be used mainly for this purpose.
CWM is inviting proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activitiesor initiatives taking place in 2016 aimed at establishing or supporting networks  for women in mathematics, preferably at the continental or regional level, and with priority given to networks and individuals in developing or emerging countries. For more details see the CWM website (or CWMCall2016.pdf). CWM also plans to organize a pre-ICM 2018 event: (WM)² - World Meeting for Women in Mathematics, in Rio, Brazil.
As the only international Committee for Women in Mathematics, we believe CWM has a vital role to play and we are grateful to the IMU for giving us this platform and support.

Marie-Francoise Roy & Caroline Series

News from ICSU

The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) conference on climate change in Paris is taking place from November 30 to December 11 2015.

At this conference, ICSU will provide a community hub for scientists on the ground to help information sharing, coordinating and networking within the scientific community present at the meeting.

In particular, ICSU will have a booth at COP21 for most of the 2 weeks, shared with Future Earth, the International Social Science Council and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The hope is to provide a lively focal point for the scientific community attending COP21 via a number of services, such as regular briefings on the negotiations from members of our community and providing daily highlights about relevant side events and off-site events via email for the scientific community. ICSU is also putting together an expert database for the accredited media (3,000 journalists) to facilitate timely and efficient connections among journalists and attending scientists.

4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum: Call for applications

The 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will be held on September 18 – 23, 2016.
The application deadline is February 3, 2016.

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 accepts applications:
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.

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

ICMI 2015 Awards: Felix Klein and the Hans Freudenthal Awards

The winners of the Felix Klein and the Hans Freudenthal Awards of the International Commission of Mathematics Instructions for 2015

Felix Klein Medal: Professor Alan J. Bishop, Emeritus Professor of Education at Monash University, Melbourne.
Hans Freudenthal Medal:  Professor Jill Adler, Chair of Mathematics Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
The 2013 and the 2015 medals will be awarded in the opening ceremony of ICME-13, in Hamburg, on July 25, 2015.
The citations of the ICMI Awards Committee can be found here.

7th European Congress

The quadrennial Congress of the European Mathematical Society, 7ECM, will be held in Berlin, Germany, July 18 - 22, 2016.

The Programme contains ten Plenary Lectures, 31 Invited Lectures, several Prize Lectures, the Hirzebruch Lecture, the Abel Lecture and much more.
100 Grants will be offered to mathematicians from less developed countries. All abstracts and proposals must be submitted via the 7ECM registration platform.

Ibni Prize 2015: Subscription and call for applications

The Prize " Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh" was created to keep alive the memory of our colleague and to continue his commitment to Mathematics in Africa.
It is awarded every year to a young mathematician from Central Africa or West Africa by a scientific committee set up by ICPAM. The prize  funds a scientific visit of several months in a research institute. The Ibni Prize is  hosted by the Foundation of the University of Orleans (France).
a) A new round of fund raising  is now opened for the Ibni Prize 2015. Donations can be made through the Foundation of the University of Orleans at
b) The 2015 call for applications is on the website

The deadline is November 30, 2015.


Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach Snapshots are short, easy to understand articles on recent topics of mathematical research. They explain mathematical problems and ideas in an accessible and understandable way, and provide exciting insights into current topics of the mathematical community for everyone who is interested in modern mathematics.

The IMAGINARY Conference 2016 (IC16) The IMAGINARY Conference on open and collaborative communication of mathematical research is an interdisciplinary gathering for mathematicians, communicators and interested professionals to discuss and work together on current issues of communication and knowledge transfer in mathematics.
IC16 will be held in Berlin, Germany on July 20-23 2016.

TWAS 2015 Prize in Mathematics

Alicia Dickenstein (Argentina) won the TWAS (World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries) 2015 Prize in Mathematics
"for her outstanding contribution to the understanding of discriminants"
Congratulations to Alicia, who is also Vice-president  of IMU.

Call for Nominations for the Ramanujan Prize 2016

The Ramanujan Prize for young mathematicians from developing countries has been awarded annually since 2005. The Prize is funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India (DST). It is administered jointly by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the International Mathematical Union, and the DST. The Ramanujan Prize is usually awarded to one person, but may be shared equally among recipients who have contributed to the same body of work. The Prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country who is less than 45 years of age on 31 December of the year of the award, and who has conducted outstanding research in a developing country.
The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2016.
Nominations can only be made by using the online system. 

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Previous issues can be seen here.