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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

2014 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM): August 13-21 in Seoul, Korea

Logo copied from www.icm2014.org.


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 Seoul, Korea Congress is being held August 13-21, 2014.

At ICM 2014, the USNC/Math hosted two events. A welcoming breakfast, on August 14, was held for U.S. early career mathematicians. The USNC/Math also hosted a U.S. reception on August 18. Both events were made possible through the support of the Simons Foundation. In addition, on August 14, USNC/Math member Georgia Benkart gave the Emmy Noether Lecture.

A highlight of every ICM is the announcement of prize winners at the opening ceremony. In 2014, this occurred on August 13, when the President of Korea, Park Geun-hye, gave the opening address and presented the IMU awards. The 2014 IMU prize winners from the United States were:

  • The Fields Medalists included Manjul Bhargava (NAS), from Princeton University, and Maryam Mirzakhani, from Stanford University. Dr. Mirzakhani is the first woman to be awarded the prize, which was established in 1936. The Fields Medal is awarded to mathematicians who accomplish a remarkable achievement and are under the age of 40.
  • The Nevanlinna Prize Winner was Subhash Khot of New York University. The prize was established in 1981, in honor of the Finnish mathematician Rolf Nevanlinna, and is also targeted at younger mathematicians.
  • The Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize Winner was Stanley Osher (NAS) of the University of California, Los Angeles. The Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize for Applications of Mathematics is granted for outstanding mathematical contributions, that have found significant applications outside of mathematics.
  • The Chern Medalist was Phillip Griffiths (NAS), from the Institute for Advanced Study, a former member of the USNC/Math. The award is granted to an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics. One component of this award is $250,000 to be given to the organization of the award winner's choice. Dr. Griffiths has chosen to give this award to the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI), a long-time collaborator of the USNC/Math.

For more details on these prizes and the prize winners, please consult the Seoul ICM 2014 awards webpage.


International Congress of Women Mathematicians 2014: August 12 and 14
The International Congress of Women Mathematicians 2014 (ICWM 2014) is an associated meeting of ICM 2014. The congress was held August 12 and 14 in Seoul, Korea. The purpose of ICWM 2014 was to bring together women mathematicians and supporters of women in mathematical sciences from around the world. Several members of the USNC/Math were involved in this event's organization. More details on the congress can be found on the ICWM 2014 website and the ICWM 2104 Overview Poster (PDF).


17th IMU General Assembly: August 10 to 11, 2014
The IMU General Assembly took place August 10 to 11, 2014 in Gyeongju, Korea. The General Assembly consisted of delegates appointed by the Adhering Organizations, together with the members of the Executive Committee. The U.S. delegates to the 2014 IMU General Assembly were: USNC/Math chair Peter March, Georgia Benkart, Hee Oh, Jill Pipher, and Carol Wood.

2014 IMU General Assembly election highlights include:

  • Vaughan Jones (NAS) elected as IMU Vice-President
  • Benedict Gross (NAS) elected as a member of the IMU Executive Committee
  • Herb Clemens elected as Secretary for Policy of the IMU's Commission on Developing Countries
     

U.S. Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP)
The goal of this program is to provide mathematician volunteers with the opportunity to give intensive month-long courses at universities in the developing world. The VLP fosters collaboration between the mathematical communities of the developed and developing world. This program was established as an ongoing program in 2009 once the National Science Foundation Grant (# DMS-0937225) was obtained. In 2010 the VLP was expanded to Latin America and the African region. In 2011, the VLP launched a social network to establish a sustainable platform for the advancement of mathematics capacity building in the developing world. Learn more about the USNC's involvement with the VLP by visiting the new social network.


Mathematics of Planet Earth
The USNC/Math would like to highlight the “Mathematics of Planet Earth” (MPE) initiative, an outgrowth of “Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013” (MPE2013). MPE2013 was the brainchild of Christiane Rousseau, professor of mathematics at Université de Montréal and vice-president of the International Mathematics Union. As Prof. Rousseau observed, “Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 has been a great start and the level of cooperation demonstrated by MPE2013 is unprecedented. But identifying the research problems is not enough. Mathematics moves slowly, the planetary problems are very challenging, and we cannot expect great results in just one year.” For more information on this new initiative, please visit the Mathematics of Planet Earth website.


Workshop on World Digital Mathematical Library held at NAS
The International Mathematical Union's Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC) held a workshop June 1-3 at the NAS building. Funded by the Sloan Foundation, the purpose of the workshop was to discuss and come up with a viable plan to realize the ongoing goal of a World Digital Mathematics Library (WDML). The WDML would serve as a universally accessible repository for the world's mathematics literature. The chair of the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics (USNC/M) participated in the event, and BISO provided the logistical support. The Sloan Foundation is also funding the National Academies' Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications to produce a consensus study on the Digital Mathematics Heritage Library.

Union Leadership

  • President: Ingrid Daubechies, Princeton University
  • Secretary for Policy, Commission for Developing Countries: Herb Clemens; Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

 

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number PHY-1318107. 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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