IMU

Net 77
: May 2016
A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the International Mathematical Union
Editor: Martin Raussen, Aalborg University, Denmark
CONTENTS
1.
Editorial
2.
ICM 2018
3.
IMU Genera
l Assembly 2018
4.
IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships
5.
Call for suggestions for applications to the new ICSU grants programme
6.
News from ICSU
7.
AIMS Workshop on diseases and alien species expansion
8.
Africa Mathematics Project
9.
Mathematical Council of the Americas: Call for Bids
10.
V Congreso latinoamericano
11.
7ECM
12.
Abel
Prize awarded to Sir Andrew Wiles
13.
Subscribing
to IMU

Net

1.
EDITORIAL
: TOWARDS A GLOBAL DIGITAL MATHEMATICS LIBRARY
I write as chair of the eight

person
Global Digital Mathematics Library Working Group (GDML WG)
of the
IMU's Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC); we have been working steadily for
18 months
.
Now
I retired from Mathematical Reviews (MR; online
MathSciNet
) after trying to serve
mathematics by helping access its knowledge. Why would I now be involved in trying realize some of the
grand promise that is e
xpressed in the 2006
GA Resolution of the IMU
? Actually the question for me was
why wouldn't I jump at the chance? I've always been committed to mathematics as a global en
terprise.
After early peripatetic years in London UK, MIT, Groningen, RIMS Kyoto and Heidelberg, I joined MR in
1980; later I could visit Strasbourg and IHES each for a year and Auckland NZ.
MathSciNet
and
zbMATH
provide a much appreciated service in helping navigate the literature of
mathematics. Their abstracting
(reviewing) and indexing has helped many of us a lot in developing and
employing mathematics. There's more that c
an be done today for the world's mathematical community.
There can be novel and effective representations of mathematical knowledge, a store of theorems not just
metadata about articles. We can make it open, machine

processable and advance research in th
is way.
There can be links with computation and databases like the current offerings of
Wolfram!Alpha
,
Wikipedia
,
Ma
ple
,
OEIS
,
DLMF
and others. The experience gained in other, better funded, fields with data

mining and
ontologies can be capitalized upon for our mathematical heritage.
Due to the wor
ld communication network of the internet these things will result from a distributed system
of contributions looking eventually like a grand modern form of library, but more robust against disasters
by reason of its distribution. This protects our mathematical heritage and spreads it
to all countries.
The 2006 IMU resolution calling for work toward a World Digital Mathematical Library produced much
benevolent discussion. But no actions ensued until a meeting of international experts at the US Academy of
S
ciences and the resulting
2012 report from the US National Research Council
. Work on problems of
Mathematical Knowledge Management (MKM), Digital Mathe
matical Libraries (DML) and
Automated
Theorem Proving
(ATP) continued all the while, but was made up mostly of small largely independent
efforts. In a sense, the whole GDML remained what is commercially termed "vaporware".
At ICM Seoul 2014, IMU President Ingrid Daubechies, supported by CEIC chair Peter Olver, set up the GDML
WG to get matters moving and concrete projects underway toward a GDML. The WG has been planning,
considering project details, and doing outreach. We've organized a successful special session at
JM
M
Seattle 2016
, and wil
l have them in July 2016 at
7ECM
and
ICMS2016
in Berlin, and be involved in
CICM2016
in Bialystok. The GDML WG collaborated with the Wolfram Foundation and the Fields Institute
to organize an international workshop on
Semantic Representation of Mathematics
at Fields
in February
2016, generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This represents the start of exploration of a
very promising technical aspect for a digital library now that we have so much computing power available.
What is needed is more engagem
ent and more internationalization.
Therefore, the WG setting up an
International Mathema
tical Knowledge Trust (IMKT
)
based in Canada, this should be followed by regional
KTs. The purpose of the IMKT is to establish a mathematical knowledge commons
—
a public resource
consisting of mathematical knowledge represented in non

proprietary, machine

readable formats, together
with an international network of knowledge providers, information systems, and semantic services based
on it
, that is, a global digital mathematical library. Another way of justifying this goal is to assert that using
open, interoperable representation standards and open knowledge licenses turns mathematical knowledge
into Open Mathematical Knowledge Data, and the body of mathematical knowledge into a public resource
that can drive future mathematical research and practice.
There are already efforts in Europe to build upon the successful prototype
European Digital Mathematics
Lib
rary (EuDML)
and to push for a new European Knowledge Infrastructure for Mathematics (EuKIM).
Mathematics is international, mathematics is universal (ideally and mostly) and is comparatively cheap to
practice (usually). Recent mathematical breakthroughs di
d not involve enormous sums of money to get the
resources to build big machines, though there's a great deal of mathematical infrastructure to the search
for a
Higgs particle at LHC
or even the detection
of gravitational waves at
LIGO
. But we each do need to be
conscious of the community's need for mathematical infrastructure and support, and be willing to
contribute our pieces.
Patrick D. F. Ion
Chair GDML WG of IMU
CEIC
Biographical Info
:
I have been involved in Mathematical Knowledge Management (MKM) for many years.
At MR I was instrumental in passing to the use of TeX
in 1985, on TUG's Steering Committee for a decade,
and heavily implicated in the revisions of the Mathematical Subject Classification (MSC). I became co

chair
of the World Wide Web Consortium Math Working Group, which developed the MathML specification, o
f
which I am an editor and one author; this is now an ISO standard. My main mathematical interests are now
in quantum stochastics, q

analogues and the discrete Fourier transform in elementary geometry; my MKM
concerns are MSC in the Semantic Web, the relat
ion of graph structures found in the mathematical
literature to mathematical knowledge and sociology, and digital libraries.

2.
ICM 2018
From
August 1st to 9th, 2018
, Rio de Janeiro w
ill host the
International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM)
in its largest and most traditional convention center:
Riocentro
, in the
Barra da Tijuca
neighborhood.
Subscription to the Congress
Newsletter
is now open.
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