Message of the EMS President June 2010
1. Council Meeting in Sofia.
The Council meeting in Sofia will be held on July 10-11 where we shall elect the next EMS President, two Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary and two new EC members.
The mayor of Sofia Mrs. Jordanka Fandakova has kindly accepted the Organizing Committee’s invitation to act as patron of the Council meeting. In addition to giving the welcoming address she will provide a reception on July 10 for the delegates (traditionally this is a full scale dinner).
Delegates should register at the web site www.math.bas.bg/CMI_2010/reg.html. Papers for the Council are posted on the web site www.math.ntnu.no/ems/council10/.
Following the Council meeting there will be a conference "Mathematics in Industry" 11-14 July, 2010. See the link www.math.bas.bg/MathInIndustry/index.php for further information and registration.
2. International Congress of Mathematics.
ICM in Hyderabad, August 19-27, is definitely the major mathematical even this year. The IMU General Assembly will take place in Bangalore on August 16-17. The EMS will be represented at this meeting by its President as an observer.
3. Andrzej Pelczar
On behalf of the European Mathematical Society I would like to express my deep sadness on learning of the death of Professor Andrzej Pelczar. It is not only a tragic loss for his family and friends but also for the mathematical community. We all remember Andrzej for his generosity of spirit, human warmth and his unfailing interest in promoting the EMS. He was a remarkable person and a truly devoted member of the European Mathematical Society.
Andrzej will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him and who had the good fortune to work with him.
At the last EMS Council meeting in Amsterdam, the Council approved Professor Pelczar’s proposal to organize the 6th European Congress of Mathematics in Krakow in 2012.
The EMS congress in Krakow was his dream and he has worked passionately to ensure its success. We much now all share the responsibility of making Andrzej’s dream come true.
4. Meeting of Presidents of National Mathematical Societies.
Unfortunately the meeting of the Presidents of the national Society in Bucharest on April 17-18 was cancelled due to volcano eruption in Island.
I am very grateful to our colleagues in Romania who put so much energy in preparing the meeting. The cancellation was particularly unfortunate since the meeting was attached to the 100th anniversary of the Romanian Mathematical Society.
It is not yet clear if the meeting can take place in the autumn but we shall definitely discuss it when we meet in Sofia.
5. ESF-EMS project Math&Industry.
EMS is now leading an ESF Forward Look project "Mathematics & Industry". The Chairman of the EMS Applied Math. Committee, Professor Mario Primicerio, has assembled a committee that is working on this project. In April and in June 2009 there were two kick-off meetings in Rome and Berlin, attached to the ESF PESC. On April 26-27, 2010, the Consensus Conference of the EMS-ESF Forward Look on Mathematics & Industry was organized in Madrid. This event was part of the official agenda of the Spanish Presidency of the EU. All information about this event is on the webpage of the conference: http://www.ceremade.dauphine.fr/FLMI/Consensus_Conference_Madrid/ The aim of the conference was to encourage European decision-makers to focus more attention on Mathematics (in particular, regarding the preparation of the 8th Framework Programme) as well as European governments and institutions. The Conference included invited presentations by some major European companies (success stories and future challenges): a scientific lecture by P.-L. Lions, a general survey on Industrial Mathematics by Alfredo Bermúdez de Castro and a general discussion on the report prepared by the working groups on the Policy Recommendations which will be issued on conclusion of the Math&Industry project. On December 2nd the presentation of the final document of the ESF Forward Look on Mathematics and Industry will take place in Brussels, at the European Commission. The document will be received by Mr. Tajani, the EU Commissary for Industry. This document will contain an analysis of the current situation in Europe and will make a series of recommendations to the EU, national governments and funding agencies in order to achieve a better functioning of the interface between Mathematics and Industry at all levels - national and pan-European. The current version of the document, which is not yet final, can be downloaded at the address http://www.ceremade.dauphine.fr/FLMI/
6. Mathematics Infrastructure (MATHEI project).
One of the issues that we planned to discuss in Bucharest was the failure of the EU proposal on infrastructure for Mathematics, MATHEI . We had definitely been encouraged and virtually promised that the project would be approved. So the rejection of our infrastructure proposal came as a cold shower.
On March 12-13 I attended the ERCOM in Edinburgh where I used the opportunity to ask the directors of the ERCOM centres to sign a letter to the Director-General José Manuel Silva Rodriguez of the European Commission Research Directorate-General. Recently I received a reply which does not really give any constructive advice apart from the fact that we might have another opportunity to apply for a similar project in 2012.
I have learned confidentially, from a reliable source of the shockingly improper politics behind these decisions.
7. Meeting in Rome.
On the 1st of June there was a meeting of representatives of national funding agencies responsible for Mathematics organized by Lex Zandee in Rome. At this meeting we have tried to convince these representatives that the project MATHEI is important for European Mathematics and hopefully the national agencies will provide some funds which will enable us to start it independently, already next year.
The response was very positive and there is a preliminary agreement that we shall also try to finance MATHEI project by applying for an ERANET programme that will involve all the major European funding agencies.
In July this year there will be an EC call for e-infrastructure. The ESF officer Thibaut Lary has contacted authorities in Brussels and convinced them that our modified MATHEI project could be interesting for them. We are now planning to prepare a proposal that includes a different type of project which would include Math & Industry portal, ZBMATH, Digital Mathematical library, developing internet access between/to mathematical research centers, etc.
9. Interesting figures from the NSF.
At the last meeting of PESC in Helsinki Professor Morris Aizenman from the NSF presented very interesting figures. Between 2000 and 2010 in the United States, funding of the NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences increased from US$ 110M to US$ 241M and to US$ 253M in 2011. It is also interesting that NSF funding of Physics is not much more, namely US$ 290M for 2010 and US$ 298M for 2011. For example, NSF Chemistry budget for 2010 is US$ 233M. These figures show how mathematical sciences are given very high priority in the United States in contrast with European Science policies.
I would like to remind every EMS individual member of the possibility of having an individual password in order to gain free access to Zentralblatt. Please use this opportunity. Zentralblatt is continuously developing in order to serve our community in the best possible way. To receive a login + password please contact Olaf Teschke (email@example.com).
There is now a new ZBMATH webpage which is still under construction but already much improved, see http://www.zentralblatt-math.org/zbmath/