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IMU News 107: May 2021

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union (pdf)
Editor: Yoshiharu Kohayakawa, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Editorial: Research seminars

The last year has seen enormous growth in online seminars, as research communities worked around the inability to gather in person.  Since its beginnings in April 2020, has aimed to index seminars and conferences and to help researchers find talks of interest across the globe.  As we return to our classrooms and offices, we hope to sustain some of the benefits of online gatherings, even as we once again line up in front of blackboards and projectors.

Currently, indexes more than a thousand upcoming talks, mostly in mathematics, though the site supports other disciplines as well.  To make the site scalable, we allow users to add and maintain their own seminars once they have been endorsed by another user.  Moreover, we provide features that not only make it easier to reach a widespread audience, but also help with the mundane aspects of seminar organization.  For example, the site provides links that organizers can send speakers to let them update their own title and abstract, it provides code that organizers can embed in their external website to produce an updating schedule, and it offers access-control mechanisms and instant registration for potential audience members.

For attendees, we provide a web interface for filtering talks by topic, language, and other attributes.  Users can download talk listings to external calendar programs in a way that updates as new talks are added.  As more talks pass by, the ability to search past talks for links to slides and video recordings will grow more and more useful.  With users all over the world (over two million page views from 191 countries), translating time zones into local time makes it much easier to schedule talks of interest.

Going forward, we hope the site will continue to be of use in a world where non-virtual talks are resuming.  In addition to continuing to index online and hybrid talks, we plan to allow users to search for in-person talks by geographic location.  We hope that you will find of use in advancing your own research.

Edgar Costa,* Bjorn Poonen,# David Roe,* and Andrew Sutherland*
Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA

*      Supported in part by Simons Foundation grant #550033.
#      Supported in part by National Science Foundation grant DMS-1601946 and Simons Foundation grants #402472 and #550033.

News from the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC)

2.1. Conference Support Program

This program gives partial support to conferences in the mathematical sciences organized in developing countries. The maximum amount that is awarded is €4,000, which must be used to cover travel and accommodation costs of invited speakers or participants coming from developing countries.  In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications can include expenses for the acquisition of material or payment of services to conduct activities entirely or partially in online format. The program is partially supported by the Niels Henrik Abel Board (Norway).

IMU-CDC invites applications by July 15th, 2021, for conferences starting after November 15th, 2021.

Conference Support Plus.  Due to the pandemic, CDC is aware that mathematicians around the world may need extra help to reactivate their activities. It has been approved that the Grant Selection Committee can award, once per year, up to €10,000 for a conference which is particularly important for bringing mathematicians back together and promoting international collaborations. This award will be decided together with the October calls.  The deadline is October 1st, 2021.

We recommend consulting the details and subsequent deadlines at the CDC Conference Support Program webpage.

2.2. Volunteer Lecturer Program

The IMU-CDC Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP) fosters international cooperation by offering financial assistance to universities in developing countries to host a volunteer lecturer for a 3–4 week intensive course. The course given by the volunteer should be part of a regular mathematics undergraduate or master’s degree program at the hosting university, on subjects in which the university could have a lack of expertise.  Only host institutions can apply for the grant in the VLP.  This program is partially funded by the American Mathematical Society and the Niels Henrik Abel Board.

In this program, funding can cover the expenses of the Volunteer Lecturer up to €4,400.  Additionally, the grant can support preparation of course material (printing, photocopying, books) up to €1,000, and possible expenses for the acquisition of material or use of services to conduct lectures entirely or partially in the online format, up to €2,000.

IMU-CDC encourages applications to the VLP by September 1, 2021, for lectures to be held after January 1, 2022.

We recommend consulting the details and subsequent deadlines at the CDC Volunteer Lecturer Program.

2.3. Free subscriptions to two journals of the Institut Henri Poincaré

The Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris is offering free subscriptions for at least five years to two of its journals:

  • Annales IHP C  (Analyse Non Linéaire / Nonlinear Analysis)
  • Annales IHP D (Combinatorics, Physics and their Interactions)

to libraries in developing countries.  From 2022 on these two journals will be published by EMS Press under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model.

The call for applications is open until October 15th, 2021.  Applications should be submitted using this webpage.

Olga Gil-Medrano
Secretary for Policy of the CDC

News from the Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM)

3.1. The (WM)² 2022 Website

Written in English and Russian, the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics (WM)² website

will be regularly updated when detailed information on the program is available.

A generic webpage of (WM)², with links to the homepages of the 2018 edition as well as of the International Congress for Women in Mathematics 2014 and 2010, is also ready:

3.2. CWM Newsletter 5

The CWM Newsletter appears twice a year, in November and May.  CWM Newsletter 5 contains an interview with CWM member Motoko Kotani.  Its external article celebrates the "50th anniversary of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)" and is written by three former presidents of AWM: Georgia Benkart, Kristin Lauter, and Sylvia Wiegand.

Feedback and suggestions about CWM Newsletter 5 are welcome.  To subscribe, visit this page.

3.3. CGD—Umalca

On May 17, 2021, the Commission of Gender and Diversity of Umalca (Unión Matemática de América Latina y el Caribe), CGD—Umalca, organized its first public event, a virtual presentation of the commission, followed by a discussion about its mission and planned actions.

CGD—Umalca was created by Umalca in September 2020 to promote equity and respect in Umalca related events and activities.  It is a follow-up to the creation of the Protocol for the attention of situations of violence and gender discrimination or by sexual orientation, identity and gender expression to be applied in all Umalca events in 2017.

See more information on this webpage, and at the commission's Facebook page.

Marie-Françoise Roy and Carolina Araujo
Chair and Vice-chair of the IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics

Call for proposals for the theme of IDM 2022

It is now time to decide the theme of the 2022 International Day of Mathematics (IDM 2022). A call for proposals for the theme of IDM 2022 is now open with a deadline of June 15, 2021. Suggestions for a theme, together with a short justification can be sent by email to

As a reminder, the IDM 2020 and 2021 themes were Mathematics is Everywhere and Mathematics for a Better World.  As an element of context, IMU is one of the founding partners of the International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development 2022 (IYBSSD 2022).  While still a project, IYBSSD has been adopted by UNESCO and has a high probability of being approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations next fall.  Hence a theme related to IYBSSD 2022 would be welcome.

Christiane Rousseau
Chair of the IDM Governing Board

Inside the IMU Archive: IMU Canberra Circular solicited

References to a previously unknown publication—the IMU Canberra Circular—were recently discovered in the materials of the IMU Archive.  After making enquiries in Australia, we learnt that the IMU Canberra Circular was a newsletter project of Bernhard Neumann, the former head of the Department of Mathematics at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University.  He was aware that mathematicians in Eastern Europe and in less developed countries could not access information so easily. Thus he prepared the newsletter and sent it out without charge.  Fortunately, the National Library of Australia holds nearly the full set of the newsletter from its first issue in 1972 through to 1999 and the IMU Archive has the opportunity to order scanned copies.

For the holdings of its Archive, the IMU would be very grateful to receive donations of physical copies of the IMU Canberra Circular.  Please contact the IMU Archivist, Ms Birgit Seeliger at regarding any donation.  Shipping expenses will of course be covered.

Abel Prize celebrations

This year’s Abel Prize celebrations, which took place on 25 and 26 May 2021, honoured the 2020 laureates Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis and the 2021 laureates László Lovász and Avi Wigderson.  The Award Ceremony, the Abel reception, and the Abel lectures were held online and were livestreamed on the Abel Prize webpage, where recordings are also available.

The President of the IMU, Carlos Kenig, in his speech at the Abel reception, congratulated the laureates and spoke about the visibility and reach that the Abel Prize has much beyond mathematical circles. He also highlighted the partnership between the Niels Henrik Abel Board and the IMU, on programs such as the Volunteer Lecturer Program of IMU's Commission for Developing Countries (CDC).

Readers of IMU News are warmly encouraged to watch the beautifully produced videos of the inspiring celebrations.

Plenary speakers of ICM 2022

The list of plenary speakers of the International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 has been established.  The plenary speakers comprise more than 20 of the world's leading researchers in various areas of mathematics and mathematical physics, from algebra to probability theory.  For the list of speakers, visit this page.

The 8th ECM and MCA 2021

All lectures of the 8th European Congress of Mathematics, to be held 20 to 26 June 2021, will be online.  For participation, visit the registration page.

The Mathematical Congress of the Americas 2021, to be held 19 to 23 July 2021, has also moved to a fully online event.  An extra week for special sessions has been added from 12 to 16 July.  Registration is open until 5 July 2021.  

Ten EMS Press journals become open access in 2021

All ten Subscribe to Open (S2O) journals of the EMS Press are open access in 2021.  The ten journals are

  • EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences
  • Groups, Geometry, and Dynamics
  • Interfaces and Free Boundaries
  • Journal of Combinatorial Algebra
  • Journal of Fractal Geometry
  • Journal of Noncommutative Geometry
  • Journal of Spectral Theory
  • Journal of the European Mathematical Society
  • Mathematical Statistics and Learning
  • Quantum Topology

For further details, visit this EMS Press page.

Subscribing to IMU News

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Previous issues can be seen here.