International Mathematical Union IMU

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International Mathematical Union (IMU)


a scientific society of mathematicians established in 1952. In 1972 the union’s membership comprised 43 countries, including the USSR (since 1957), Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Cuba. The member-countries are divided into five groups. The members of the fifth (oldest) group are the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain. The members of the fourth group are Japan, France, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Poland.

The highest organ of the IMU is the general assembly, which is convened once every four years, usually immediately prior to an international congress of mathematicians. The actual administration of the IMU is carried out by the executive committee, which is elected by the general assembly for four years. The executive committee comprises the president, two vice-presidents, the secretary general, five members, and the former president of the IMU (in an advisory capacity).

From Jan. 1, 1971, to Jan. 1, 1975, the IMU’S president was Professor K. Chandrasekhar (India), the vice-presidents were Professor N. Jacobson (USA) and Academician L. S. Pontriagin (USSR), and the secretary general was Professor O. Frostman (Sweden). The executive committee meets at least once a year to consider current business.

Member-countries are represented in the IMU through national committees of mathematicians. The National Committee of Soviet Mathematicians, created in 1957, functions under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (committee chairman, Academician I. M. Vinogradov).

The aims of the IMU are to organize and promote international cooperation in mathematics, to prepare the scientific program of and assist the organization of international congresses of mathematicians, to support mathematical research in developing countries and assist in raising the level of mathematical education in these countries, to help raise the level of mathematical education in all countries, to help develop applied branches of mathematics, and to introduce mathematical methods into other sciences.

A commission on mathematical instruction and a commission on scientific exchange function under the auspices of the IMU. Soviet mathematicians participate in both commissions. The commission on mathematical instruction meets once every four or five years at international congresses on mathematical education.

The IMU provides organizational and financial assistance to major international events in mathematics—conferences, symposia, and summer schools. It also organizes, publishes, and distributes lecture series at important scientific centers on contemporary trends in modern mathematics. The IMU assists in sending highly qualified lecturers to the developing countries to raise their level of scientific research.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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