The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics across the world. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and supports the International Congress of Mathematicians. Its members are national mathematics organizations from more than 80 countries.
The objectives of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) are: promoting international cooperation in mathematics, supporting and assisting the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) and other international scientific meetings/conferences, acknowledging outstanding research contributions to mathematics through the awarding of scientific prizes, and encouraging and supporting other international mathematical activities, considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects, whether pure, applied, or educational.
The IMU was established in 1920, but dissolved in September 1932 and then re-established 1950 de facto at the Constitutive Convention in New York, de jure on September 10, 1951, when ten countries had become members. The last milestone was the General Assembly in March 1952, in Rome, Italy where the activities of the new IMU were inaugurated and the first Executive Committee, President and various commissions where elected. In 1952 the IMU was also readmitted to the ICSU. The past president of the Union is Ingrid Daubechies (2011–2014). The current president is Shigefumi Mori who is the first head of the group from Asia.
At the 16th meeting of the IMU General Assembly in Bangalore, India, in August 2010, Berlin was chosen as the location of the permanent office of the IMU, which was opened on January 1, 2011, and is hosted by the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS), an institute of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community, with about 120 scientists engaging in mathematical research applied to complex problems in industry and commerce.
|International Mathematical Union|
IMU logo based on the Borromean rings
|Legal status||unincorporated association, recognized as a charitable organization by the internal revenue service of Berlin, Germany|
|Purpose||Promoting International Cooperation in Mathematics|
|International Council for Science|
IMU has a close relationship to mathematics education through its International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). This commission is organized similarly to IMU with its own Executive Committee and General Assembly.
Developing countries are a high priority for the IMU and a significant percentage of its budget, including grants received from individuals, mathematical societies, foundations, and funding agencies, is spent on activities for developing countries. Since 2011 this has been coordinated by the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC).
The International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM) is operated jointly by the IMU and the Division of the History of Science (DHS) of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS).
The Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC) advises IMU on matters concerning mathematical information, communication, and publishing.
The scientific prizes awarded by the IMU are deemed to be the highest distinctions in the mathematical world. The opening ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is where the awards are presented: Fields Medals (two to four medals are given since 1936), the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize (since 1986), the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize (since 2006), and the Chern Medal Award (since 2010).
The IMU's members are Member Countries and each Member country is represented through an Adhering Organization, which may be its principal academy, a mathematical society, its research council or some other institution or association of institutions, or an appropriate agency of its government. A country starting to develop its mathematical culture and interested in building links to mathematicians all over the world is invited to join IMU as an Associate Member. For the purpose of facilitating jointly sponsored activities and jointly pursuing the objectives of the IMU, multinational mathematical societies and professional societies can join IMU as an Affiliate Member. Every four years the IMU membership gathers in a General Assembly (GA) which consists of delegates appointed by the Adhering Organizations, together with the members of the Executive Committee. All important decisions are made at the GA, including the election of the officers, establishment of commissions, the approval of the budget, and any changes to the statutes and by-laws.
The International Mathematical Union is administered by an Executive Committee (EC) which conducts the business of the Union. The EC consists of the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary, six Members-at-Large, all elected for a term of four years, and the Past President. The EC is responsible for all policy matters and for tasks, such as choosing the members of the ICM Program Committee and various prize committees.
Every two months IMU publishes an electronic newsletter, IMU-Net, that aims to improve communication between IMU and the worldwide mathematical community by reporting on decisions and recommendations of the Union, major international mathematical events and developments, and on other topics of general mathematical interest. IMU Bulletins are published annually with the aim to inform IMU’s members about the Union’s current activities. In 2009 IMU published the document Best Current Practices for Journals.
The IMU took its first organized steps towards the promotion of mathematics in developing countries in the early 1970s and has, since then supported various activities. In 2010 IMU formed the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) which brings together all of the past and current initiatives in support of mathematics and mathematicians in the developing world.
Some IMU Supported Initiatives:
IMU also supports the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) with its programmes, exhibits and workshops in emerging countries, especially in Asia and Africa.
IMU released a report in 2008, Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, on the current state of mathematics in Africa and on opportunities for new initiatives to support mathematical development. In 2014, the IMU's Commission for Developing Countries CDC released an update of the report.
Additionally, reports about Mathematics in Latin America and the Caribbean and South East Asia. were published.
In July 2014 IMU released the report: The International Mathematical Union in the Developing World: Past, Present and Future (July 2014). 
In 2014, the IMU held a day-long symposium prior to the opening of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), entitled Mathematics in Emerging Nations: Achievements and Opportunities (MENAO). Approximately 260 participants from around the world, including representatives of embassies, scientific institutions, private business and foundations attended this session. Attendees heard inspiring stories of individual mathematicians and specific developing nations.
List of presidents of the International Mathematical Union from 1952 to the present:
The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) (French: Société mathématique du Canada) is an association of professional mathematicians dedicated to the interests of mathematical research, outreach, and scholarship and education in Canada. It serves the national community through the publication of academic journals, community bulletins, and the administration of mathematical competitions.
It was originally conceived in June 1945 as the Canadian Mathematical Congress. A name change was debated for many years; ultimately, a new name was adopted in 1979, upon its incorporation as a non-profit charitable organization.
The society is also affiliated with various national and international mathematical societies, including the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The society is also a member of the International Mathematical Union and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize
The Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize for Applications of Mathematics is a mathematics award, granted jointly by the International Mathematical Union and the German Mathematical Society for "outstanding mathematical contributions that have found significant applications outside of mathematics". The award receives its name from the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. With its premiere in 2006, it is to be awarded every fourth year, at the International Congress of Mathematicians.
The previous laureate was presented with a medal and a cash purse of EUR10,000 funded by the International Congress of Mathematicians 1998 budget surplus.
The official announcement of the prize took place on 30 April 2002, the 225th anniversary of the birth of Gauss. The prize was developed specifically to give recognition to mathematicians; while mathematicians influence the world outside of their field, their studies are often not recognized. The prize aims to honour those who have made contributions and effects in the fields of business, technology, or even day-to-day life.Chern Medal
The Chern Medal is an international award recognizing outstanding lifelong achievement of the highest level in the field of mathematics. The prize is given at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), which is held every four years.Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences
The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) is an umbrella organization of seventeen professional societies in the mathematical sciences in the United States.
It and its member societies are recognized by the International Mathematical Union as the national mathematical societies for their country.The CBMS was founded in 1960 as the successor organization to the six-organization Policy Committee for Mathematics (founded by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America as the War Policy Committee in 1942) and the 1958 Conference Organization of the Mathematical Sciences. As well as representing US mathematics at the IMU, it acts as a communication channel between its member societies and the US Government, and coordinates joint projects of its member societies.Edward Witten
Edward Witten (born August 26, 1951) is an American theoretical physicist and professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Witten is a researcher in string theory, quantum gravity, supersymmetric quantum field theories, and other areas of mathematical physics.
In addition to his contributions to physics, Witten's work has significantly impacted pure mathematics. In 1990, he became the first and so far the only physicist to be awarded a Fields Medal by the International Mathematical Union, awarded for his 1981 proof of the positive energy theorem in general relativity.Fields Medal
The Fields Medal is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians under 40 years of age at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a meeting that takes place every four years.
The Fields Medal is regarded as one of the highest honors a mathematician can receive, and has been described as the mathematician's Nobel Prize , although there are several key differences, including frequency of award, number of awards, and age limits. According to the annual Academic Excellence Survey by ARWU, the Fields Medal is consistently regarded as the top award in the field of mathematics worldwide, and in another reputation survey conducted by IREG in 2013-14, the Fields Medal came closely after the Abel Prize as the second most prestigious international award in mathematics.The prize comes with a monetary award which, since 2006, has been CA$15,000. The name of the award is in honour of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields. Fields was instrumental in establishing the award, designing the medal itself, and funding the monetary component.The medal was first awarded in 1936 to Finnish mathematician Lars Ahlfors and American mathematician Jesse Douglas, and it has been awarded every four years since 1950. Its purpose is to give recognition and support to younger mathematical researchers who have made major contributions. In 2014, the Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first female Fields Medalist. In all, sixty people have been awarded the Fields Medal.
The most recent group of Fields Medalists received their awards on 1 August 2018 at the opening ceremony of the IMU International Congress, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The medal belonging to one of the four joint winners, Caucher Birkar, was stolen shortly after the event. The ICM presented Birkar with a replacement medal a few days later.German Mathematical Society
The German Mathematical Society (German: Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, DMV) is the main professional society of German mathematicians and represents German mathematics within the European Mathematical Society (EMS) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU). It was founded in 1890 in Bremen with the set theorist Georg Cantor as first president. Founding members included
Walther von Dyck,
Hermann Schubert, and
Heinrich Weber.The current president of the DMV is Friedrich Götze (2019-2020).ICTP Ramanujan Prize
The ICTP Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries is a mathematics prize awarded annually by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and named after the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. It was founded in 2004, and was first awarded in 2005.
The prize is awarded to a researcher from a developing country less than 45 years of age who has conducted outstanding research in a developing country. The prize is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (India) and Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters through the Abel Fund, with the cooperation of the International Mathematical Union.International Congress of Mathematicians
The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest conference for the topic of mathematics. It meets once every four years, hosted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
The Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, and the Chern Medal are awarded during the congress's opening ceremony. Each congress is memorialized by a printed set of Proceedings recording academic papers based on invited talks intended to be relevant to current topics of general interest. Being invited to talk at the ICM has been called "the equivalent [...] of an induction to a hall of fame."International Congress on Mathematical Education
The International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) is held every four years under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
The Congress is planned and organized by separate committees, which operate independently of the ICMI. The aim of the Congress is to present the current states and trends in mathematics education research and in the practice of mathematics teaching at all levels.
The Congress will gather a broad spectrum of participants such as researchers in mathematics education, teacher trainers, practicing teachers, mathematicians, and others interested in mathematics education. The scientific program typically consists of plenary activities, regular lectures, survey teams, topic study groups, discussion groups, workshops, poster presentations, national presentations, etc. The regular lectures are held by experienced researchers or educators who have been invited, whereas most of the other activities are open for registration.John M. Ball
Sir John Macleod Ball (born 1948) is Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He was the President of the International Mathematical Union from 2003–06 and a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and Sussex University, and prior to taking up his Oxford post was a professor of mathematics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
Ball's research interests include elasticity, the calculus of variations, and infinite-dimensional dynamical systems. He was knighted in the New Year Honours list for 2006 "for services to Science". He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.He was a member of the first Abel Prize Committee in 2002 and for the Fields Medal Committee in 1998. From 1996 - 1998 he was president of the London Mathematical Society, and from 2003 - 2006 he was president of the International Mathematical Union, IMU. In October 2011 he was elected on the Executive Board of ICSU for a three-year period starting January 2012. Ball is listed as an ISI highly cited researcher.Along with Stuart S. Antman he won the Theodore von Kármán Prize in 1999. In 2018 he received the King Faisal International Prize in Mathematics.Ball received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1998.He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1980.Latvian Mathematical Society
The Latvian Mathematical Society (in Latvian: Latvijas Matemātikas Biedrība, LMB) is a learned society of mathematicians from Latvia, recognized by the International Mathematical Union as the national mathematical organization for its country. Its goals are stimulating mathematical activity in Latvia while consolidating the former achievements, and it has the responsibility of representing the Latvian mathematicians at the international level. It was founded in 1993.The current president is Andrejs Reinfelds, from the University of Latvia, Riga.László Lovász
Not to be confused with László M. Lovász, a different combinatorial mathematician who works with Jacob Fox.
László Lovász (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈlaːsloː ˈlovaːs]; born March 9, 1948) is a Hungarian mathematician, best known for his work in combinatorics, for which he was awarded the Wolf Prize and the Knuth Prize in 1999, and the Kyoto Prize in 2010. He is the current president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He served as president of the International Mathematical Union between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010.Manjul Bhargava
Manjul Bhargava (born 8 August 1974) is a Canadian-American mathematician. He is the R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, the Stieltjes Professor of Number Theory at Leiden University, and also holds Adjunct Professorships at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and the University of Hyderabad. He is known primarily for his contributions to number theory.
Bhargava was awarded the Fields Medal in 2014. According to the International Mathematical Union citation, he was awarded the prize "for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves".Miron Nicolescu
Miron Nicolescu (Romanian: [miˈron nikoˈlesku]; August 27, 1903 – June 30, 1975) was a Romanian mathematician.
Born in Giurgiu, he attended the Matei Basarab High School in Bucharest. After completing his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Bucharest in 1924, he went to Paris, where he enrolled at the École Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne. In 1928, he completed his doctoral dissertation, Fonctions complexes dans le plan et dans l'espace, under the direction of Paul Montel. Upon returning to Romania, he taught at the University of Cernăuţi until 1940, when he was named professor at the University of Bucharest.
In 1936, he was elected an associate member of the Romanian Academy, and, in 1953, full member. In 1963, he became director of the Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy. From 1966 until his death, he served as President of the Romanian Academy.
At the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1974, he was elected Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union.Nevanlinna Prize
The Rolf Nevanlinna Prize (named in honor of Rolf Nevanlinna) is awarded once every 4 years at the International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding contributions in Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences including:
All mathematical aspects of computer science, including computational complexity theory, logic of programming languages, analysis of algorithms, cryptography, computer vision, pattern recognition, information processing and modelling of intelligence.
Scientific computing and numerical analysis. Computational aspects of optimization and control theory. Computer algebra.The prize was established in 1981 by the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union IMU and named to honour the Finnish mathematician Rolf Nevanlinna who had died a year earlier. The award consists of a gold medal and cash prize. Like the Fields Medal the prize is targeted at younger mathematicians, and only those younger than 40 on January 1 of the award year are eligible.The medal features a profile of Nevanlinna, the text "Rolf Nevanlinna Prize", and very small characters "RH 83" on its obverse. RH refers to Raimo Heino, the medal's designer, and 83 to the year of first minting. On the reverse, two figures related to the University of Helsinki, the prize sponsor, are engraved. The rim bears the name of the prizewinner.The appropriateness of the naming of the prize had been questioned due to Nevanlinna's involvement with the Nazis.
Shortly after July-2016, Alexander Soifer, President of the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions, forwarded his personal and his organization’s requests to the Executive Committee of IMU to change the Prize’s name. On July 30-31, 2018, the 18th General Assembly of the IMU decided to remove the name of Rolf Nevanlinna from this prize for achievement in mathematics for computer science, and replace it with a new name and sponsor.Noether Lecture
The Noether Lecture is an award and lecture series that honors women "who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences". The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) established the annual lectures in 1980 as the Emmy Noether Lectures, in honor of one of the leading mathematicians of her time. In 2013 it was renamed the AWM-AMS Noether Lecture and since 2015 is sponsored jointly with the American Mathematical Society (AMS). The recipient delivers the lecture at the yearly American Joint Mathematics Meetings held in January.The ICM Emmy Noether Lecture is an additional lecture series, sponsored by the International Mathematical Union. Beginning in 1994 this lecture was delivered at the International Congress of Mathematicians, held every four years. In 2010 the lecture series was made permanent.Shiing-Shen Chern
Shiing-Shen Chern (; Chinese: 陳省身; pinyin: Chén Xǐngshēn, Mandarin: [tʂʰən.ɕiŋ.ʂən]; October 26, 1911 – December 3, 2004) was a Chinese-American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to differential geometry and topology. He was widely regarded as a leader in geometry and one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, winning numerous awards and recognition including the Wolf Prize and the inaugural Shaw Prize.Shiing-Shen Chern spent nearly a decade at the University of Chicago before moving to University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded the world-renowned Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 1982 and was the institute's founding director. In memory of Shiing-Shen Chern, the International Mathematical Union established the Chern Medal in 2010 to recognize "an individual whose accomplishments warrant the highest level of recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of mathematics".Subhash Khot
Subhash Khot FRS (born June 10, 1978 in Ichalkaranji) is an Indian-American mathematician and theoretical computer scientist who is the Julius Silver Professor of Computer Science in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Khot's unexpected and original contributions are providing critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. He is best known for his unique games conjecture.Khot was awarded the 2014 Rolf Nevanlinna Prize by the International Mathematical Union. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2016 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.