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U.S. National Committee for Mathematics

The National Academy of Sciences is the U.S. adhering body of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and it maintains its relationship with the union through the U.S. National Committee (USNC)/Math. The objectives of the IMU are to promote international cooperation in mathematics, support the International Congress of Mathematicians and other international scientific meetings, and encourage other international mathematical activities.
 

WHAT'S NEW 

NAS Members recognized at ICM 2018

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest international congress in the mathematics community. It is held once every four years under the auspices of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). The most recent ICM was held August 1-9, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (http://www.icm2018.org).

BISO and the USNC/Math would like to congratulate the following NAS members on their elections and achievements at the 2018 ICM:
  • Carlos Kenig, University of Chicago, IMU President-Elect
  • Andrei Okounkov, Columbia University, IMU Member at Large
  • David Donoho, Stanford University, Recipient of the 2018 Grauss Prize 
U.S. Events at ICM 2018
The U.S. National Committee for Mathematics, in collaboration with the Simons Foundation, organized two U.S. events at ICM 2018. The U.S. reception recognized the current and incoming IMU Executive Committee; ICM organizers; plenary speakers from the U.S. and the host country; ICM prize winners and presenters; session speakers from the U.S.; and others. The breakfast provided an opportunity for U.S. mathematicians who have obtained their PhD within the last five years to meet U.S. senior mathematicians associated with the committee and to get an introduction on the role of IMU and USNC/Math.

Report on USNC/IMU Meeting, 2018
The U.S. National Committee for Mathematics met on January 11, 2018 in San Diego, CA during the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM). Topics discussed included the IMU General Assembly and the ICM in Brazil in 2018, the U.S.-sponsored events at ICM 2018, and the possible U.S. bid for ICM 2026. Marcelo Viana, organizer of ICM 2018, discussed preparations for this summer’s meetings, and Don McClure, Treasurer of the Friends of the IMU (FIMU), explored with the committee possible ways that the USNC and the FIMU might cooperate more closely. The FIMU was set up to provide a means for interested Americans and American organizations to make tax deductible donations to support IMU programs. More information can be found on the FIMU website, http://friends-imu.org/.

The U.S. National Committee for Mathematics sponsored a discussion, “ICM 2018 in Rio de Janeiro – The First International Congress of Mathematicians in the Southern Hemisphere” during the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM). Marcelo Viani (IMPA) was the primary speaker, and his presentation slides can be seen here (8.2 MB download). The ICM 2018 welcome video can be viewed on the official congress YouTube channel.
 
Possible U.S. Bid for ICM 2026
Bids for international meetings are organized and submitted years in advance. The U.S. National Committee for Mathematics is currently pursuing serious discussions with U.S. mathematical societies, mathematics institutes, and potential funders a possible U.S. bid for ICM 2026. This would give the United States a chance to showcase mathematics in this country, and improve visibility and outreach. It would serve as a draw for mathematicians in nearby countries. Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Boston are possible locations. 

The financial expectations of hosting country are considerable, usually costing $5-6 million to host, so fundraising will be the biggest challenge. Among other things, the host country is expected to raise travel funds, and waive the registration fees for developing countries. The estimated spending for ICM 2014 in Korea was $4 million for the ICM itself, and $1.5 million for travel awards for mathematicians from developing countries. The Korean organizers secured $3 million from the Korean government, $1.5 million through project fundraising and $1 million from registration fees. 
 
If the U.S. does decide to move forward, a proposal will need to be prepared by 2021.

IMU Committee on Women in Mathematics (CWM)
The IMU's Committee for Women in Mathematics, formed in March 2015, hosts satellite meetings during ICMs. The CWM hosted a satellite event just before the ICM 2018 (WM)²: World Meeting for Women in Mathematics) in Rio de Janeiro. Organizers stated that "the (WM)² will bring together mathematicians from all over the world to think about and discuss gender issues in mathematics with a strong focus on Latin America.  Its program includes research talks, group discussions about gender issues in mathematics, a panel discussion and poster presentation. There will also be a tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani."

More information about current, past, and future opportunities can be found on the CWM Sponsored Events webpage.
 
USNC-Sponsored Event at JMM 2017
The USNC/Mathematics organized a well-attended event, “International Mathematics Efforts and the IMU”, at the JMM on the evening of January 5, 2017. It began with a 30-minute panel discussion in which Eric Friedlander (USNC chair), Ingrid Daubechies, Wilfrid Gangbo, and Ken Ono discussed the IMU, its priorities, and ways for mathematicians to become involved. The IMU’s Volunteer Lecture Program and the digital library were highlighted. Wilfrid Gangbo spoke about his recent experience as a lecturer in Benin. Ken Ono, who had served as the mathematics consultant on the movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity, introduced the film that portrays the life and work of Indian mathematician Srinivasa RamanujanKen pointed out that contacts, such as between Ramanujan and Cambridge University professor G. H. Hardy and between IMU Volunteer Math Lecturers and students in developing countries, can have long-lasting impact.  





 
 
 
 
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1708170. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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