[Todos CMAT] comparto dos notas bien distintas

Dr. Roberto Markarian roma en fing.edu.uy
Sab Ago 1 09:06:20 UYT 2015

de IMU News

The IMU is nothing if not international!! My experience on the
Executive committee so far has been an adventure in the multicultural
and multilingual, with committee members from all over the globe and
meeting places to match. Seoul, Berlin, and soon Kyoto, in preparation
for an ICM in Rio de Janeiro. One really does feel like a citizen of
the world. It is in stark contrast to my upbringing in New Zealand
where I never set foot outside the country until I was 21 and moved to
Geneva to begin a PhD, and a new global life.

Without a doubt, underlying all this internationalism is the
universality of mathematics as a language. The number 27 is 3X3X3 in
any country, planet or galaxy. No civilization powerful enough to
consider such questions could disagree. The only differences would be
those of notation.

This universality was the essential ingredient of a ?conversation? I
had recently in Kyoto. I gave an hour long talk to an undergraduate
audience on knots and braids. Afterwards some students were keen to
understand the exact workings of the algorithm I had given to
calculate the Alexander polynomial of a link in 3 space. My Japanese?
Non-existent. Their English? Certainly a lot better but still nowhere
near adequate to understand my ravings. Nothing was getting across
until  I just said ?watch?, and proceeded to draw some pictures and
equations on the board. Within a couple of minutes they understood the
concept and the method and took off calculating away, just as well as
I could have. And this could have happened in any country, with any

Mathematics is a component of human understanding of the universe that
transcends linguistic and cultural barriers. So it is fitting that the
IMU Executive committee be truly international and take global balance
into account in all of its decisions.

Vaughan Jones, Vice President of IMU



Once upon a time, back in 1987 to be specific, a new journal came on
the scene called K-Theory. The publisher was D. Reidel, a member of
the Kluwer Academic Publishers Group. The managing editor was Anthony
Bak, who wrote in the editorial in the first issue,
"K-theory is a new discipline of mathematics embracing concepts and
problems central to many other major disciplines of mathematics. The
aim of this journal is to provide a forum for the presentation,
discussion, and critical evaluation of significant advances in the
mathematical sciences which are related to K-theory."

The editorial continues over several pages to provide an overview of
the progress of this field, and its relations to other subjects. Life
was apparently good for this new journal; the subscription price was
only about $150/year.  Surely several hundred libraries subscribed in
the initial years, even though maintenance of large lists of journal
subscriptions was challenging for most.

During the next years, lots of interesting developments took place in
mathematical publishing.  New journals started.  New electronic only
journals started.  E-mail and web servers for preprints became more
common. Bertelsmann acquired Springer. Cinven and Candover bought
Bertelsmann Springer and merged it with Kluwer, yielding Springer
Science+Business Media.

Then, eventually, life was less good perhaps for some journals.
Editorial boards became restive for a variety of reasons. For the
K-theory of our story, there was frustration in the relationship with
Springer. Eventually, the journal bolted away from Springer.  One
account of this period is provided by Wolfgang Lueck for the DMV

Enter now, Cambridge U Press, which offered to publish such a journal
under the new title Journal of K-theory. The editorial board re-formed
at CUP with the content owned by privately held corporation, ISOPP.

In the meantime, legal actions cropped up which eventually led
Springer to cease serving any of the K-theory content. In one of the
very few instances recognizing an emergency (trigger event) for
journal access, the archival service Portico began supplying the
journal?s backfile through libraries who subscribe to Portico service.
The backfile would not otherwise be legally available.

Unfortunately, there is repetition in our story. Once again, editorial
displeasure has led this journal's board to cut ties with CUP. CUP has
announced on its web site that it will no longer publish "JKT" after
Volume 14, Issue 3.

The K-theory community is now organizing around a foundation
structure.  See http://www.ktheoryfoundation.org/ for details. And an
arrangement with Mathematical Sciences Publishers (MSP) will bring out
a new title, Annals of K-theory, owned and governed by the foundation.

One might well hope that our story has a happy end in this way. Surely
this reminds us that the community should not be divorced from the
governance and running of its journals. And it shows how vulnerable we
may be when we rely upon electronic versions. Ingrid Daubechies,
Past-President of IMU, once stated that she would like to see each
journal have its own "society". Quoting her, "I propose that from
their present disenfranchised situation, our existing journals be
allowed to incorporate, and become independent societies". Perhaps
this story underscores her idea.

Carol Hutchins,
Member of the Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC)

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