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IMU-Net 85: September 2017

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union (pdf)
Editor: Martin Raussen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Editorial: Towards the Mathematical Union of Asia

IMU has a special membership category called affiliate membership consisting of multi-national mathematical societies. Current affiliate members include African Mathematical Union (AMU), European Mathematical Society (EMS), South East Asian Mathematical Society (SEAMS), and Unión Matemática de América Latina y el Caribe (UMALCA). Recently Mathematical Council of the Americas (MCA) has applied to be an affiliate member of IMU, and a review process is taking place.

Among the major continents, Asia does not yet have a continent-wide mathematical society. Inspired by the successful activities of EMS including publications and EMS Prizes, Asian mathematical societies have made efforts to launch an Asia-wide union tentatively called Mathematical Union of Asia (MUA). It is anticipated that such an organization will be able to encourage and nurture young mathematicians in Asia. After several preliminary forums and meetings on the issue for the past 15 years, the countries attending AMC 2013 (Asian Mathematical Conference) in Busan adopted a resolution calling for a MUA initiative and established a MUA Working Group. The Working Group consisting of 6 members is coordinated by Hyungju Park, and has had a series of meetings. It successfully drafted statues and bylaws of the union and is currently preparing a foundation meeting where the initial members of the Executive Committee will be elected. To present the developments so far and to form a Nominating Committee for EC, an open forum of Asian mathematical societies is expected during the upcoming Rio ICM.

With the support of the international mathematical community, I very much hope that MUA will be realized and join other continent-level mathematical societies soon. So, stay tuned!

Hyungju Park, Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea), member of the IMU EC

ICM 2018

The Organizing Committee has released the first part of the Scientific Program for the ICM. It contains the schedule of the 21 plenary lectures, eight prize lectures, the Abel and Noether special lectures, 181 invited lectures and three invited panels. The remaining part of the program, which includes short communications and poster presentations, will be released later on, after the conclusion of their respective selection processes.

Registration for the congress and submission of short communications and posters are now open.

Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2017

The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum took place in the week September 25-29. Among the participants were 200 invited young scientists and 29 laureates of the most prestigious international awards within mathematics and computer scientists, among them six Fields medalists.
The format of the Heidelberg laureate forum and the list of supporting institutions, among them the IMU, were described in a previous editorial.

Fields Medal Symposium 2017

Reminder: The 2017 Fields Medal Symposium centered on the work of Martin Hairer (Fields Medal 2014) will take place at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences at Toronto (Canada) during the week October 15-19.

Funding call from IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics

The IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) invites proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activities or initiatives taking place in 2018, aimed at either:

a) Establishing or supporting networks for women in mathematics, preferably at the continental or regional level, and with priority given to networks in developing or emerging countries. Help could include, for example, funding meetings, travel for individuals for consultation purposes, or advice and support in creating websites. Please note that CWM will normally not fund activities taking place in the same or nearby location as one that has already been funded in one of the years 2015, 2016 or 2017 (see  for the list).

b) Organizing a mathematical school open to all with all women speakers and mainly women organisers. This type of mathematical school, which should include a significant proportion of time devoted to background and introductory material, can be a very effective way of showcasing the contributions of women mathematicians and creating an opportunity for female students to be in touch with women leaders, without excluding male students. Expenses covered by CWM could include, for example, costs for speakers, women organisers, or for women participants.

c) Other ideas for researching and/or addressing issues encountered by women in mathematics may also be considered.

Proposers should write a short account (no more than two pages) explaining the nature of their activity and how it fulfils one of the above aims, as well as indications on how the CWM money would be spent and other funding which may be available. There will be only one call for applications regarding activities in 2018 with deadline 15 December, 2017.

Applications should be sent to

Successful applications will be informed no later than 31January, 2018. Depending on demand, successful applications may not be funded in full. Successful applicants will be asked to send a short report of the activity with details of how the budget was spent before the end of 2018.

Towards an international day of mathematics

Last spring, the Executive Committee of the IMU decided to explore the possibility of UNESCO declaring an International Day of Mathematics. This would be an opportunity for communities of mathematicians around the world to join forces and reach out to the general public.

When members of the IMU were consulted on the matter, a large majority of Adhering Organizations who responded were enthusiastic. One date stood out — March 14 — also called Pi Day as it is frequently written 3/14. A precise proposal was written that received the support of the International Basic Science Program at UNESCO. The next step is contacting and securing the support of the Permanent Delegations and National Commissions of UNESCO, who can make a formal recommendation.

If a country wants to help by contacting its Permanent Delegation and/or National Commission, please contact Helge Holden:

Websites: National and international

Currently the IMU is working on a complete overhaul of its website, and it is hoped that it will serve, for example, as a great platform for sharing various initiatives regarding mathematical outreach and popularization.  Mathematics is by nature international. Hence, we can all benefit by learning from each other, and it is expected that this website will be very useful.

The IMU asks each Adhering Organization to create a website (in English or one or several of the national languages) where national activities regarding mathematical outreach and popularisation are collected, and that a link to this webpage is communicated to the IMU secretary at All national websites will then be displayed on the revamped IMU website.

The IMU would like to receive such links preferably by 1 December 2017.  If this is too tight, links can be added later on.  Calls for further websites will be issued regularly.  With close to 90 members, the IMU would prefer publication of one link per country only.  If local conditions make that difficult, a small number of links per country is acceptable.

2017 AMMSI-Phillip Griffiths Prize Winner

Since 2016, the AMMSI-Phillip Griffiths Prize is awarded annually to an African mathematician, living in Africa, who has made outstanding contribution to mathematics, application of mathematics or promotion of mathematics, as evidenced by research and impact of the work. In 2017, the AMMSI-Phillip Griffiths Prize has been awarded to Professor Philibert Nang.  For more information please see here.

Global Young Academy: Call for new members

Founded in 2010, the Global Young Academy (GYA) is an international organization of young researchers with members from six continents. Members are elected for five-year terms. Each member is expected to participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the GYA (the AGM 2018 will be held from 7-11 May in Thailand) and to actively contribute to one or more of the organisation’s programmes. This includes participation, e.g., in policy development, promotion of the National Young Academies, or promoting science and education at the international level.

call for GYA membership starting in 2018 is open until 7 October 2017. The call is open to early and mid-career scientists from all research disciplines and all world regions. Especially encouraged are applications from women scientists, scholars in the social sciences, arts and humanities as well as researchers working in government, industry, and non-governmental sectors; moreover from young scientists from regions in which GYA is less well-represented.

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Previous issues can be seen here.