Author Archives: imu-news

2012-09-19: Fields Medal Symposium

The Fields Institute in Toronto, Canada will soon launch an annual event called the FIELDS MEDAL SYMPOSIUM, that will focus on the work of mathematicians honored by a Fields Medal. The Inaugural Fields Medal Symposium, entitled Fundamentals of the Langlands Program, will be held on October 15-18, 2012. It will be centered on the work of Ngô Bào Châu, and its current and potential impact.

2012-05-30: Nomination for IMU Awards 2014

In a letter to the IMU Adhering Organizations IMU President Ingrid Daubechies invites nominations for the IMU Prizes (Fields Medal, Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize, Chern Medal Award, and Leelavati Prize sponsored by Infosys) and the ICM 2014 Emmy Noether Lecture to be awarded at ICM 2014. Nominations should be sent to the chairs of the respective selection committees observing the nomination guidelines.

2012-05-22: Heidelberg Laureate Forum – Abel, Fields, and Turing Laureates meet the next generation

Starting in September 2013, the “Heidelberg Laureate Forum” will bring together winners of the Abel Prize, the Fields Medal, the Nevanlinna Prize, and the Turing Award with young scientists from all over the world. The meeting will be held in Heidelberg, it is established and sponsored by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and organized in collaboration with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM; Turing Award), the International Mathematical Union (IMU; Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA; Abel Prize). The meeting is modeled after the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings established more than 60 years ago. Press releases (in English and in German) of the event in Oslo, where the cooperation was established today, outline the plan in more detail.

2012-04-30: Mathematicians honored in Nepal

On April 30, 2012, for the first time in the history of Nepal, a special celebration was staged to pay homage to six senior mathematicians who have served the country for more than 50 years and who are over 75 years of age. The prime minister of Nepal, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, honored them in a grand ceremony that was followed by a parade around Kathmandu in open vehicles with  a music band followed by other mathematicians, students, and admirers. Photos can be found here.

2012-03-21: Cost of Knowledge and Elsevier boycott, new paper

Journal prices have been, since the beginning of the electronic publication age, an intensely discussed hot topic. Tim Gower’s call to action “Elsevier — my part in its downfall”  in January 2012 started a boycott against Elsevier running under the title “The Cost of Knowledge”. This movement has gained significant momentum and lead almost 10.000 researcher so far to sign a boycott list. The paper “Mathematicians take a stand” by Douglas N. Arnold and Henry Cohn that will appear in the Notices of the AMS was just released on the arXiv, see The authors survey the ongoing Elsevier boycott, examine pricing and bundling, and lapses in ethics and peer review. They conclude with thoughts about the future of mathematical publishing.

2012-03-21: Abel Prize for 2012

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2012 to Endre Szemerédi, Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA “for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, and in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory”. For more information about the laureate, his achievements and the Abel Prize, visit the Abel Prize website

2012-01-16: Ramanujan Prize

The Ramanujan Prize Selection Committee has announced that the 2011 Srinivasa Ramanujan Prize will be awarded to Philibert Nang, University of Libreville, Gabon in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the algebraic theory of D-modules. The prize is also in recognition of Dr. Nang’s determined pursuit of high level research while engaged in an academic career in his home country of Gabon, Africa.

2011-11-10: Opening of the IMU Archive

Today the IMU Secretariat inaugurated its archive in Berlin. The archive has been set up by former IMU Secretary Olli Lehto, it was hosted and maintained for 17 years at the University of Helsinki. All documents have now been moved to Berlin. The archive opening was part of a small workshop where the future organization and format of the archive was discussed. The ‘inauguration‘ was highlighted by the presence of Olli Lehto, who, in the course of collecting material for the IMU archive, wrote the book “Mathematics without borders: a history of the International Mathematical Union”. His speech at the workshop provided a brief survey of the history of IMU and its archive.

2011-09-30: John Ball Ordinary Member of the Executive Board of International Council for Science

John Ball, Oxford Centre for Nonlinear PDE, Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, was elected Ordinary Member of the Executive Board of ICSU (International Council for Science) at ICSU’s 30th General Assembly in Rome, Italy. John Ball who is Past President of the International Mathematical Union is the first ever mathematician on this board. He will be in office until 2014 when the next ICSU General Assembly will take place.

2011-09-21: Developing mathematics teacher educators for the sub-region of Francophone West Africa

As part of the Capacity and Networking Project (CANP), a workshop called EDIMATHS is taking place in Mali, from the 19th-30th September 2011 at the University of Bamako. The workshop is supported by UNESCO, IMU, CIMPA, SCAC/Bamako, the  Ministre de l’Éducation, de l’Alphabétisation et des Langues Nationales and the Ministre de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de laRecherche Scientifique du Mali. CANP is the major development initiative of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). It aims to provide regional development for mathematics teacher educators, enhancing the mathematical and pedagogical potential of the region. More information here.

2011-09-21: The Simons Foundation announces the Africa Mathematics Project

The program is designed to enhance the mathematical capacity &productivity of recipient research groups. The project will focus on mathematicians and their graduate students at institutions of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation will make competitive awards that, taken together, will total approximately 400,000 USD per year for each of the next 10 years. More information:

2011-09-10: IMU celebrates its 60th anniversary

Today the IMU celebrates its 60th anniversary after its rebirth in 1951. On September 10, 1951 Börge Jessen (Denmark) announced to the National Adhering Organizations that the Union was officially established after ten countries had joined the Union (see page 86 of Olli Lehto’s book “Mathematics without borders, a history of the International Mathematical Union”).

2011-08-30: Report on Journal Ranking

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) jointly constituted a Working Group on Journal Ranking. The Working Group has finished its work and produced a Report which is now electronically available. The report was discussed in a minisymposium at ICIAM 2011 in Vancouver. IMU and ICIAM have afterwards decided to start a blog on Journal Ranking in the fall of 2011. Note added: The blog on mathematical journals was opened on November 18, 2011. Please contribute to the discussion.

2011-02-27: IMU Executive Committee has its annual meeting in Perth

The IMU Executive Committee has its annual meeting in Perth, Australia, on Februar 27-28, 2011. This is the first occasion of an EC meeting in Australia in IMU’s history. The meeting is hosted by the University of Western Australia, which also organized a two-days workshop, the MathWest Workshop 2011, one of the events in the University of Western Australia’s Year of Mathematics 2011.

2010-08-19: International Congress of Mathematicians 2010

The International Congress of Mathematicians 2010 has been opened by Shrimati Pratibha Patil, the Honourable President of India. Four Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna, Gauss, and Chern Prize have been awarded. Click here for detailed information about the 2010 Prize winners. The slides (PowerPoint & PDF) contain the citations as well as the names of the members of the various Prize Committees. A video of the Opening Ceremony can be found at the ICM 2010 online streaming archive

During the ICM 2010 Opening Ceremony, the International Mathematical Union has inaugurated the server which provides access, free of charge, to the articles in all ICM proceedings volumes since the beginning of this series of congresses. IMU is grateful to all publishing houses that have granted the right to digitize these books. IMU particularly appreciates the work of R. Keith Dennis (Cornell University) and Ulf Rehmann (Universität Bielefeld) who have volunteered to digitize the articles.

2010-08-17: International Congress of Mathematicians 2010

The 16th General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union has been closed. It took place in Bangalore, India, on August 16th and 17th. The following major decisions have been made:

The IMU Executive Committee, the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC), and the IMU members of the Joint International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM) for 2011-2014 have been elected. Ingrid Daubechies will be the next IMU President, click here to view the new IMU leadership.

Seoul, Republic of Korea, has been chosen as the location of ICM 2014, this congress will place in the second half of August 2014. Gyungju will be the location of the next General Assembly.

The Weierstrass Institute Berlin, Germany, will host the permanent office of IMU. The new office will take up its operation in January 2011.

Montenegro became a new IMU Member, Cambodia, Moldova, Nepal, and Oman became new IMU Associate Members, the South-East Asia Mathematical Society became a new IMU Affiliate Member.

The General Assembly has endorsed the document ‘Best Current Practices for Journals‘ produced by IMU´s Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC).

2010-06-18: Inamori Foundation

The Inamori Foundation promoting academic and cultural development and international understanding, annually awards three Kyoto Prize to those who have contributed significantly in the categories of “Advanced Technology”, “Basic Sciences”, and “Arts and Philosophy”. The laureate for the 2010 Kyoto Prize in the category “Basic Sciences” is IMU President László Lovász for “Outstanding Contributions to Mathematical Sciences Based on Discrete Optimization Algorithms”. More details can be found at:

2009-07-15: ICM Videos

The International Mathematical Union is offering now videos that were recorded at the International Congresses of Mathematicians in 1998, 2002, and 2006. These videos show the opening ceremonies, most of the plenary lectures, and other major events. They can be viewed and are free for download.

2009-06-01: Chern Medal

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the Chern Medal Foundation (CMF) jointly launch a new mathematical prize, the Chern Medal Award, in memory of the outstanding mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern. The Award is to be given to an individual whose lifelong outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics warrant the highest level of recognition. It consists of a medal and a monetary award of US$ 500,000. Half of the amount shall be donated to organizations of the recipient’s choice to support research, education, outreach, or other activities to promote mathematics. For more information see the Press Release and the Chern Medal Program Guidelines (which also inform about the nomination procedure). The Chern Medal will be awarded for the first time at the opening ceremony of ICM 2010 in Hyderabad, India on August 19, 2010.

2009-04-02: Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

The International Mathematical Union (IMU), together with the John Templeton Foundation, releases a brief report “Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities” on the current state of mathematics in Africa and on opportunities for new initiatives to support mathematical development. The study was prepared by IMU’s Developing Strategies Group and financed by the John Templeton Foundation.

2009-03-26: Abel Prize for 2009 to Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2009 to Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette, France, “for his revolutionary contributions to geometry???. For more information about the laureate, his achievements and the Abel Prize, visit the Abel Prize website

2008-08-11: Citation Statistics

IMU has released, in cooperation with ICIAM and IMS, the report “Citation Statistics” which analyzes the use and misuse of citation data in the assessment of scientific research, see also IMU-Net 29b of June 2008 and the corresponding press release. The report discusses, in particular, the impact factor, the h-index and variants of these that are often employed to rank not only journals but also individuals, departments, or whole institutions and is available for republication.

2007-05-21: ICIAM/IMS/IMU set up a joint Committee on “Quantitative Assessment of Research”

The International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics (IMS), and the International Mathematical Union (IMU) have formed a Committee of “Quantitative Assessment of Research” that will investigate various aspects of the quantitative assessment of research in mathematics. The Committee will, in particular, look into impact factors and similar ways to measure research output.

The Committee consists of:

  • Robert Adler (Haifa, Israel), appointed by IMS
  • Peter Taylor (Melbourne, Australia), appointed by ICIAM
  • John Ewing (Providence, USA), appointed by IMU.

The Committee is expected to create a summary of its findings to be endorsed by the Executive Committees of ICIAM, IMS, and IMU and to be published afterwards.

ICIAM, IMS, and IMU have formulated an aspirational charge to help set direction rather than prescribe the final outcome of the committee’s work.

2007-01-01: IMU secretariat

The IMU secretariat has been moved to the Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik Berlin (ZIB) for the years 2007 – 2010.

The official postal address for correspondence with the IMU secretariat is as follows:

International Mathematical Union
Office of the Secretariat
Zuse Institute Berlin
Takustr. 7
D-14195 Berlin

Fax: +49 30 84185 – 269
E-mail: secretary(at)

Secretary: Martin Grötschel