Roberto Markarian roma en fing.edu.uy
Mar Mar 29 13:12:43 UYT 2011

About The Future of Mathematical Journals
> (CNRS-Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette, France)
> Recently I was invited to take part in a workshop on "The Future of
> Mathematical Journals" held at MSRI at the initiative of the American
> Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society. We all know
> that this question is of paramount importance for the development of
> our discipline. It has many aspects, some quite technical, some
> economical and some political. The point I stressed in my presentation
> at the workshop was the need to approach the problem using a systemic
> approach, as it is typically a question in which secondary effects can
> have, in the long run, the same impact as primary effects.
> As we all know, mathematicians developed a usage of mathematical
> journals that is, in many respects, specific to them. Journals are
> supported by the community in the sense that submitting articles to
> journals is free, and referees evaluate articles also for free,
> although this work is sometimes extremely time consuming as it
> requires thorough checking of content. Also, because of the long term
> value of published articles, mathematicians care about the long term
> accessibility to mathematical literature.
> This model has been recently under great pressure for several reasons,
> all connected to the new possibilities offered by internet to access
> information. The question of "free access" has become a central issue.
> It is not an easy one as it challenges the economical models on which
> journals have been based in the last decade. It can actually be a
> threat to learned society or academy-based publishers, who do not have
> the financial plasticity of larger publishing houses.
> My main concern is related to the fact that, in recent years,
> mathematicians have been working under an increasing pressure, like
> many other members of the academic community, because of the squeeze
> of free time, the increasing role of funding coming through projects,
> as well as the pressure to publish, their performance being more and
> more rated on
> the basis of bibliographic data.
> In my view this introduces a real threat on content. Indeed,
> mathematicians can devote less and less time to it because the
> pressure to publish quickly is building up, but also because a lot of
> time traditionally dedicated to evaluating the content of articles is
> taken away by the demand for evaluating projects, structures, career
> development, etc; in the last twenty years, these demands have grown
> considerably at the expense of genuinely reading articles. The risk is
> that more and more articles are read less carefully.
> Another aspect of the threat comes from the mathematical community
> itself: in the constrained environment we live in, more and more
> published articles tend to be "almost" correct in the sense that the
> true experts in the field can determine how some proofs (or some
> statements) have to be modified (most often slightly) to make complete
> sense, and to achieve what they promise.
> The existence of "grey areas" in publications poses a real threat to
> the development of the mathematical enterprise, since it may prevent
> newcomers, and I think typically of young mathematicians from
> communities that are being formed in emerging countries, from
> participating in the advancement of mathematics at the right level.
> This is both unfair and unhealthy for the discipline. As responsible
> members of a scientific community, we should not tolerate that such a
> situation develops, and fight against this tendency with determination.

ICM 2014
> The next International Congress of Mathematicians will take place in
> Seoul, Republic of Korea from August 13-21, 2014. The IMU President
> Ingrid Daubechies has appointed Carlos Kenig (Chicago, USA) as chair
> of the Program Committee (PC) and the IMU Executive Committee has
> chosen all other members of the PC. The Program Committee will meet in
> October, 2011 in order to define the program structure of ICM 2014.
> According to the PC/OC Guidelines, see
> http://www.mathunion.org/ICM/PC/PC-OC-Guidelines-070521.pdf,
> the PC is responsible for the ICM structure but is advised to use the
> programs of previous ICMs as rough guidelines. Innovations, of course,
> are not ruled out, and some Adhering Organizations and individuals may
> have good ideas for changes to the program structure.
> If you have suggestions on the program structure for the Program
> Committee, please contact
> Carlos Kenig via the following e-mail address:
> PC-chair-ICM2014 en mathunion.org
> before September 1, 2011 so that your suggestions can be considered by
> the ICM 2014 Program Committee.
> Circular Letter 1
> To all mathematicians interested in pre-registering for the ICM 2014:
> Dear Colleague,
> The next International Congress of Mathematicians, ICM 2014, will be held 
> at
> COEX Convention & Exhibition Center, Seoul, Korea, August 13-21, 2014
> We stand ready to provide all possible support for a successful
> congress and hope you can come and enjoy this event.
> It is our pleasure to announce that the ICM 2014 Homepage has
> officially opened where you are welcome to pre-register for the
> congress.
> Please visit our website where you will find simple instructions on
> how to pre-register.
> http://www.icm2014.org
> Once you have pre-registered, you will be included in the ICM 2014
> mailing list and will receive periodic ICM E-news for the next
> three years. Once you pre-register, you will be able to log into
> MyPage and modify your personal information or cancel your
> pre-registration.
> For any questions about ICM 2014, please send an email to
> icm en icm2014.org
> If electronic communication is not available you may also write to
> SEOUL ICM 2014 Secretariat
> The Korea Science and Technology Center 204
> 635-4 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu
> Seoul, 135-703, Korea
> Fax +82-2-563-2022
> Hoping to see you in Seoul.
> Hyungju Park
> Chairman, ICM 2014 Organizing Committee

> The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel
> Prize for 2011 to John Milnor, Institute for Mathematical Sciences,
> Stony Brook University, New York "for pioneering discoveries in
> topology, geometry and algebra".
> The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Øyvind
> Østerud, announced the winner of this year's Abel Prize at the Academy
> in Oslo on 23 March.
> John Milnor will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at an
> award ceremony in Oslo on 24 May.
> The Abel Prize recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and
> influence to the mathematical sciences and has been awarded annually
> since 2003. It carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (close to EUR
> 750,000 or USD 1 mill.)
> John Milnor's profound ideas and fundamental discoveries have largely 
> shaped
> the mathematical landscape of the second half of the 20th century. All of
> Milnor's work display features of great research: profound insights, vivid
> imagination, striking surprises and supreme beauty. Milnor has also
> written tremendously influential books, which are widely considered to
> be models of fine mathematical writing.
> For more information please go to the Abel prize web site:
> http://www.abelprisen.no/en/
> Note that the Abel committee's citation and the prize winner's biography
> are available in the following languages: English, German, French, 
> Spanish,
> Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

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