[Todos CMAT] del Boletin IMU-enero 2019
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Vie Feb 1 12:37:10 -03 2019
**1. **Editorial: Breakout Graduate Fellowships*
*
*We have been asked to report on the IMU’s relatively new Breakout
Graduate Fellowships. These were an initiative of Ingrid Daubechies
when she was President to support mathematics in developing
countries. Mathematicians can play a vital role in the development
of their countries, and Ingrid wanted to find a way that the IMU
could foster the growth of a mathematically sophisticated workforce
in these countries. This relies on having well trained
mathematicians with research experience teaching in local
universities. Training a research mathematician in the developed
world is very expensive and increases the chance that he or she does
not return to the developing world. On the other hand there are many
places in the developing world that can provide a high quality
education for PhD students at what is comparatively a very low cost.
So Ingrid sought an endowment to provide fellowships for students
from the developing world studying, perhaps elsewhere, in the
developing world. It happened that the inaugural winners of the
Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, the mathematics prize very
generously funded by Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg, were
simultaneously looking for a way to give a little back to
mathematics and this seemed like a good match. Every winner of the
Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics has contributed to the Breakout
Graduate Fellowship Fund, which has now raised $900,000. We very
much hope that this tradition will continue, and indeed that the IMU
and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation will find other ways to
cooperate. It is not necessary to win a Breakthrough Prize to
contribute! All contributions are greatly valued and can be sent to
the Friends of the IMU: http://friends-imu.org/donate/ .
The fellowships can cover both living and tuition expenses, up to
$10,000 a year for at most 4 years. The first competition was held
in 2016 and awards were made to Do Thai Duong, who is studying
complex analysis and geometry at Vietnam Academy of Science and
Technology; Maria Alejandra Ramirez Luna, who is studying
differential geometry at the Universidad del Valle, Colombia; and to
Abebe Regessa Tufa an Ethiopian who studied analysis at the Botswana
International University. In June 2018, Tufa became the first
graduate from the fellowship program, when he was awarded a PhD for
his thesis `Approximating Solutions of Fixed Point, Variational
Inequality and Hammerstein Type Equation Problems’. He has now taken
up an Assistant Professorship at Bahir Dar University back in Ethiopia.
There will be a second competition this year with up to 3 further
fellowships available. Candidates cannot apply themselves, but must
be nominated by a senior mathematician. More details of the
competition are given under item 2of this newsletter.
We urge mathematicians around the world to support this program,
either by nominating worthy candidates or by contributing to the
fellowship fund.
Terry Tao (UCLA)
Richard Taylor (Stanford University)
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*
**2. **New call of the Breakout Graduate Fellowship Programme of the
IMU-CDC*
Thanks to a generous donation by the winners of the Breakthrough
Prizes in Mathematics (Ian Agol, Jean Bourgain, Simon Donaldson,
Christopher Hacon, Maxim Kontsevich, Vincent Lafforgue, Jacob Lurie,
James McKernan, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor), IMU - with the
assistance of FIMU (www.friends-imu.org <http://www.friends-imu.org>
) and TWAS (https://twas.org) - is opening a new call of the IMU
Breakout Graduate Fellowship program to support postgraduate studies
in a developing country, leading to a PhD degree in the mathematical
sciences. The IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships offers a limited
number of complete grants, with duration of up to four years, for
excellent students from developing countries.
Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated
and mathematically talented students from developing countries who
plan to complete a doctoral degree in a developing country,
including their own home country. Nominees must have a consistently
good academic record and must be seriously interested in pursuing a
career of research and teaching in mathematics.
For a nomination to be eligible, the country of citizenship of the
student, the country of residency and the country where the study
will take place must be contained in the list of Developing
Countries as defined by IMU for the period 2016-2019.
https://www.mathunion.org/cdc/about-cdc/definition-developing-countries
The 2019 call will be open from February 11 to May 30, 2019. More
information in
https://www.mathunion.org/cdc/scholarshipsgraduate-scholarships/imu-breakout-graduate-fellowship-program
Olga Gil-Medrano (Secretary for Policy of the CDC)
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*
**3. **CEIC: Notes and Comments*
As the IMU begins another four-year cycle between ICMs, it's an
appropriate time to reflect on the issues being dealt with by the
Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC
<https://www.mathunion.org/ceic>). Although there are many topics
within CEIC's mission, such as best practices for archiving and
accessibility or how to take advantage of new capabilities of
digital media, the most pressing concern for many mathematicians is
open access. How can we ensure that all interested readers have
full access to the mathematical literature, without in turn creating
barriers to publishing?
Traditionally journals have used a subscription model, which is
ideal from the perspective of authors, but leads to paywalls for
readers as well as high costs to subscribing institutions when
commercial publishers extract as much profit as they can. Even
mathematicians at well-funded universities do not have access to
every journal, and the situation is much worse for poorly funded
universities or independent scholars (although Sci-Hub and similar
forms of copyright violation relieve some of the pressure).
At the other extreme, open access based on article processing
charges (APCs) is ideal for readers, but imposes costs for
publishing. Authors are not expected to pay those costs personally,
but rather through grants or institutional funding, with fee waivers
available when suitable funding is not available. However, it is
unclear how well such a system can realistically apply to
mathematics, where first-rate research is often not funded.
A third option is an extremely low-cost system based primarily on
volunteer labor, implicitly subsidized by the volunteers'
employers. There is no doubt this can work well on a small scale,
but it remains to be seen how well it can scale to the full size of
the mathematical research community, or whether the implicit
subsidization is really the most cost-effective approach.
It remains an open question what will work best, particular given
how different mathematics is from scientific publishing more
broadly. For example, mathematics papers are often ten times longer
than biology papers, while the authors generally have far less
research funding available.
One trend mathematicians should be aware of is "read and publish"
agreements, in which institutions or consortia negotiate with
publishers to replace subscription agreements with new agreements
that make all articles published by the consortium open access,
without APCs for individual articles. For example, the German
consortium Project DEAL recently reached such an agreement with
Wiley (see
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/german-institutions-and-wiley-reach-open-access-publishing-deal-65327).
Of course a large consortium may have an easier time negotiating,
but individual universities have also reached read and publish
agreements with some publishers (such as
https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/06/15/mit-trials-first-us-%E2%80%98read-and-publish%E2%80%99-agreement).
Mathematicians should work to ensure that these agreements meet our
needs.
Another important issue is whether currently existing journals are
locked into their publishers. Typically, the answer is yes from a
legal perspective, at least regarding the journal's name and back
issues, but the editorial board can always start a new, competing
journal, which will inherit much or all of its predecessor's
reputation. This gives the editorial board considerable leverage to
negotiate with the publisher on behalf of the community, to ensure
that they feel the publisher's policies and prices are fair, and it
gives them an exit strategy if they are unable to reach agreement
with the publisher. The MathOA organization
(http://www.mathoa.org/) can assist editorial boards that wish to
transition to open access.
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*
**4. **CWM: Gender Gap Project and Women in Mathematics Day*
The /Gender Gap Project/, an international and interdisciplinary
project lead by IMU is entering in its third and final year.
We have in particular collected about 32 000 answers for the Global
Survey of Scientists. The number of answers from the mathematical
community is very satisfactory, with nearly 6 000 answers, thanks to
the efforts of IMU and ICIAM which are 2 of the 11 partners of the
project.
The proportion of answers by geographical zone is as follows: 4,57
% of the answers are from Africa, 20,22 % from Asia, 4,29 % from
Eastern Europe, 17,56 % from Latino-America, 12,16 % from North
America, 3,92 % from Oceania and 33,54 % from Western Europe. The
proportion of these answers from men and women in the various zones
is not the same: the proportion of answer by women is around 38% for
Asia, 43% for Oceania, 47% for Europe and Latin America, 50% in
North America and 59% in Africa, the average being 44%.
The third year will be devoted to analyzing the results from the
Global Survey of Scientists and the Joint data-backed Study on
Publication Patterns, and to formulate recommendations.
A conference presenting the results of the project, its conclusions
and recommendations is going to take place at ICTP (Trieste) from 4
to 8 November 2019. More on https://gender-gap-in-science.org/ .
The /Women in Mathematics Day/ will be celebrated for the first time
in 2019, on May 12th.
Doctor Ashraf Daneshkhah from the Women’s Committee of the Iranian
Mathematical Society, presented to the participants of (WM)², the
World Meeting for Women in Mathematics organized by CWM on 31 July
in Rio, a proposal that Maryam Mirzakhani’s birthday – May 12th – be
recognized and supported as the Women in Mathematics Day. The date
would be celebrated every year inside the mathematical community,
encouraging women from all over the world to advance their
achievements in the field. This was approved by a vast majority of
(WM)² participants.
CWM is going to prepare a website, poster and flyer, and to use its
network of CWM ambassadors to encourage the organization of various
local events, ranging from breakfast, lunch, tea, reception,
round-table, film projection (Journeys of Women in Math for example)
or exhibition of the Remember Maryam Mirzakhani posters etc., around
May12th 2019.
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*
**5. **ICM 2018
*In the recent Newsletter 15
<http://www.icm2018.org/portal/news45.html> of the international
congress, you find links to the story of the nine days of
mathematics at the ICM 2018
<http://www.icm2018.org/portal/main.html>, fully reported in photos,
videos, and news stories. Congress proceedings and digital files are
now available for sale.
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*
**6. **Maths Day for Development
*A Maths Day for Development
<http://www.studio-tema.com/PROGRESS/maths-days/index-eng.html> will
be held on March 15 this year at UNESCO (Paris, France) under the
auspices of CIMPA, the French CNRS, and the French National
Commission for UNESCO. The event aims at raising awareness about the
importance of mathematics regarding development issues, in
particular of high-level mathematical teaching and research.
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*
**7. **Help the Venezuela Mathematical Community*
For over 30 years, the Venezuelan Mathematical Association (AMV
<http://www.ciens.ucv.ve/ciens/amv/>) has promoted the teaching of
mathematics and mathematical research in Venezuela, and has been the
link between the Venezuelan community of mathematicians, the
International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the Unión Matemática de
América Latina y el Caribe (UMALCA <http://www.umalca.org/>). The
AMV has been profoundly affected in recent years by the extremely
difficult situation of the country, which has resulted in the near
paralysis of its activities and a significant migration of
mathematicians from Venezuela to other countries. As a result, the
AMV has been unable to pay its fees to IMU and to UMALCA for several
years.
During the General Assembly of the IMU that took place in Sao Paulo
prior to the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2018)
in Rio de Janeiro, it was expected that Venezuela would be expelled
from the IMU. This did not occur thanks to the solidarity of many
delegations present, and Venezuela was granted a grace period until
December 2019. At the initiative of the President of the ICM 2018,
Brazil generously offered to cover a third of AMV’s debt, and other
mathematical societies also expressed their disposition to collaborate.
We are asking for your help to pay our EUR 8,000 six-year debt to
IMU, as well as an additional amount owed to UMALCA and to support
the activities of the AMV in Venezuela. We are addressing our
request to Venezuelan mathematicians, as well as to friends of
mathematics from anywhere in the world. Your support is critical for
the continuity of AMV’s academic and research activities in
Venezuela during this extended period of extreme economic stress.
Current and future generations of Venezuelan mathematicians will be
extremely grateful.
Your contribution can be realized through the following link:
https://gogetfunding.com/amv/
Pedro Berrizbeitia (President of the AMV)
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*
**8. **Jean Bourgain (1954-2018)*
Jean Bourgain passed away on December 22, 2018, after a long and
valiant struggle with cancer. Bourgain was a giant in the field of
Mathematics. His vision, technical power and broad accomplishments
were outstanding.
Bourgain had to his credit so many striking results that it is
difficult to select his most important contributions. Some of his
breakthroughs were the proof of invariance of the Gibbs measure for
certain infinite dimensional Hamiltonian systems, the proof of
global existence for critical nonlinear Schrodinger equations, the
proof of the Erdos-Volkmann ring conjecture, the development with
Kontorovich of striking applications of the “circle method” to
Apollonian packings and the Zaremba conjecture, the proof of the L2
decoupling conjecture with Demeter and the proof of the Vinogradov
mean value theorem, with Demeter and Guth. Besides having obtained
central results in many aspects of mathematical analysis, Bourgain
also made major advances in theoretical computer science, group
theory, number theory, convex geometry and the geometry of Banach
spaces.
Bourgain was a widely celebrated mathematician, having received many
awards, including the Fields Medal in 1994, the Salem Prize, the
Élie Cartan Prize, the Ostrowski Prize, the Shaw Price, the Craaford
Prize, the Feltrinelli Prize, the Steele Prize for lifetime
achievement and the Breakthrough Price in Mathematics. In 2015, his
country, Belgium, bestowed upon him the title of Baron.
Jean Bourgain served as professor at the Free University of Belgium,
the University of Illinois, the Hebrew University, Caltech, the
Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (IHES) and from 1994 on at
the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) where he was the IBM Von
Neumann Professor.
Jean Bourgain’s grace and courage during his long illness were
deeply appreciated. His devotion to mathematics was on clear display
during this terribly difficult time, in which he continued making
fundamental new contributions to mathematics.
Jean Bourgain’s contributions to mathematics will be remembered
forever. Those who knew him will also remember his warmth,
generosity, and graciousness.
Carlos Kenig (Univ. Chicago, IMU-president)
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*
**9. **Sir Michael Atiyah (1929-2019)
*
Sir Michael Atiyah died in Edinburgh, aged 89, on January 11th 2019.
He was one of the giants of mathematics whose work influenced an
enormous range of subjects. His most notable achievement, with
Isadore Singer, is the Index Theorem which occupied him for over 20
years, generating results in topology, geometry and number theory
using the analysis of elliptic differential operators. Then, in
mid-life, he learned that theoretical physicists also needed the
theorem and this opened the door to an interaction between the two
disciplines which he pursued energetically till the end of his life.
It led him not only to mathematical results on the Yang-Mills
equations that the physicists needed but also to encouraging the
importation of concepts from quantum field theory into pure
mathematics.
Born of a Lebanese father and a Scottish mother, his early years
were spent in English schools in the Middle East. He then followed
the natural course for a budding mathematician in that environment
by going to Cambridge where he ended up writing his thesis under
William Hodge and becoming a Fellow at Trinity College where he
started to pursue his research. But, attending the ICM in Amsterdam
in 1954, his eyes were opened to the exciting work that was going on
in the outside world and the opportunity then arose to spend a year
at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton where he met his
future collaborators and close friends Raoul Bott, Fritz Hirzebruch
and Singer. The benefits of international collaboration which he
valued so highly were made concrete when in 1957 Hirzebruch
established in Bonn the annual Arbeitstagung where Michael was
always the first speaker. In those years he and Hirzebruch developed
topological K-theory, which subsequently became the natural vehicle
for the index theorem.
A visit by Singer to Oxford in 1962 (where Atiyah had recently
moved) began the actual work on the Index Theorem, which ultimately
led to a Fields Medal in 1966 and, with Singer, the Abel Prize in
2004. Another visit in 1977 brought mathematical questions
concerning gauge theory. Using quite sophisticated algebraic
geometry and the novel work of Roger Penrose this yielded a precise
answer to the physicists' questions: the so-called ADHM construction
of instantons. The fact that mathematicians and physicists had
common ground in a completely new context made a huge impression on
Michael and he was energetic in the following years in facilitating
this cooperation.
With a naturally effervescent personality he possessed, in Singer's
words, ``speed, depth, power and energy". His strong voice could be
heard across many a departmental common room explaining some crucial
point. Collaborations were all-important, bouncing ideas around, two
or three people in front of the blackboard, exploring ideas, erasing
them, sudden insights. This also held for his students -- he needed
continuous feedback and challenges. He had a natural talent for
lecturing: leaving the lecture theatre you always had the feeling
you had understood things, though trying to reproduce them later was
a different matter. Beauty in mathematics was a feature he took
seriously. It was in evidence in so many of his ideas and proofs and
in his later years he actually instigated a neurological experiment
to detect its presence.
Sir Michael received numerous awards and honours. He worked for the
mathematical community in many ways. In particular, he was
instrumental in founding the Isaac Newton Institute (where he
insisted that it should be for the Mathematical Sciences) and the
European Mathematical Society. He was also President of the Royal
Society of London where he found himself in a situation where he
could voice long-held views about science in general. He contributed
to the IMU itself in many ways, including two terms on the Executive
Committee. He will be greatly missed by all.
Nigel Hitchin (Oxford, UK)
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