The two-day meeting of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) General Assembly closed in Bangalore, India on August 17. A Vietnamese mathematician was elected to the IMU’s Committee for Developing Countries.
The General Assembly closed successfully though elections were very tense. Only one Vietnamese delegate attended the meeting, Prof. Dr. Le Tuan Hoa, chairman of the Vietnam Mathematics Association and vice dean of the Vietnam Mathematics Institute.
The General Assembly elected a 10-member executive board and members of specialized committees. Vietnamese Prof. Hoang Xuan Phu from the Vietnam Mathematics Institute was elected as a member of the Committee for Developing Countries.
According to Prof. Le Tuan Hoa, this is the first time a Vietnamese mathematician has participated in any of the three committees of the IMU.
After the IMU General Assembly, the International Congress of Mathematicians will take place at Hyderabad, India from August 19-27, where the most prestigious award for mathematicians – The Fields Medal – will be presented on August 19. Vietnamese professor Ngo Bao Chau is the most outstanding nominee for this award. He will speak at the Congress.
The International Mathematical Union is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and supports the International Congress of Mathematicians. Its members are national mathematics organizations in 71 countries. The IMU was established in 1919, but dissolved in 1936, and was reestablished in 1951.
In related news, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a national program to improve mathematics from 2010 to 2020 in the fields of research, application, and teaching.
Mathematics in Vietnamese currently ranks 50-55th in the world and the Government is striving to reach a 40th ranking by 2020.
Under the program, there will be an increase in the number of math lecturers at universities and colleges and 70 percent of lecturers at major universities will have doctorates.
In addition, the Institute of Mathematics and mathematical faculties at some universities will be upgraded into regional mathematics research and training centers. An advanced institute for mathematical research will also be set up.
The country will also enhance the teaching of math in high schools and put together advanced classes for pupils in math.
Mathematics lecturers at colleges and universities will also be encouraged to engage much more in research and a number of them will be sent abroad for further training and periodical scientific exchanges.
Another important need is to provide financial support for some key applied mathematics projects and to host some large conferences on mathematics to attract more international attention.