Special Activities

ICM 2006 Closing Round Table

Are pure and applied mathematics drifting apart?
Tuesday, August 29, 18:00-20:00

John Ball, IMU President
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Lennart Carleson, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm, Sweden
Ronald Coifman, Yale University, Yale, USA
Yuri Manin, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA and Max-Planck Institut für Mathematik, Bonn, Germany
Helmut Neunzert, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Peter Sarnak, Princeton University, Princeton, USA

Special Lecture on the Poincaré Conjecture

John Morgan, Columbia University, New York, USA
A report on the Poincaré Conjecture
Thursday, August 24, 14:00-14:45
This lecture aims to popularize the recent advances on the Poincaré conjecture in a 
comprehensible way for a large scientific community and even to the educated  layman. 
Attendance to this lecture will not require registration to the Congress.

Emmy Noether Lecture

Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat, Académie des Sciences, Paris, France
Mathematical problems in General Relativity
Friday, August 25, 11:45-12:45

Special Lecture

B. Mandelbrot, IBM Watson, Yale University, USA
The Nature of roughness in mathematics, science and art Saturday, August 26, 19:00-20:00

Panel discussion organised by the European Mathematical Society (EMS)

Should mathematicians care about communicating to broad audiences? Theory and Practice.

Wednesday, August 23, 18:00-20:00

Jean Pierre Bourguignon
CNRS and Institut d’Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures sur Yvette, France

Björn Engquist

Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden and University of Texas at Austin, USA  

Marcus du Sautoy
Oxford University, UK

Alexei  Sossinsky
Institute for Problems in Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Independent University of Moscow, Russia

François Tisseyre
(Film director) Écoutez voir, France

Philippe Tondeur
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Organizing Committee:
Jean Pierre Bourguignon,
CNRS and Institut d’Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures sur Yvette, France

Olga Gil-Medrano,
Universitat de València, València, Spain

Ari Laptev,
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm, Sweden

Marta Sanz-Solé,
Universitat de Barcelona, Spain  

Description of the activity

This activity is addressed to mathematical researchers. Its aim is to invite them to reflect on their role in the increasingly important battle about communicating about science.In most countries, mathematics is not present at par in the media with other basic sciences. This is especially true as far as the communication of outstanding new results, their significance and perspectives of development of our field.

The main purpose is to nurture the debate on why an efficient communication about mathematics, as a thriving part of science, is needed and how it can be achieved.

The format is to have some prominent mathematicians and non mathematicians who contributed to this question share their experience by giving a short presentation (about 15 minutes each). The total  length of the event will be two hours, including a debate with the audience at mid time and after all presentations have been made.


As a science, Mathematics is developing at an unprecedented pace, expanding into new territories and playing a key role in many breakthroughs and crucial achievements in other sciences. It also has a prominent impact in spectacular technological advances of relevance for our daily life.

These new developments need to be presented to broader audiences in order not to create bottlenecks and to trigger creativity and connections of all sorts.In the panel discussion, we plan to analyse the importance of communication and skills required to contribute to it successfully from several points of view, for instance:

LMS-RSME Special Lectures

Friday, August 25, 18:00-20:00

A joint scientific activity organized by the London Mathematical Society and the Real Sociedad Matemática Española.

Robert Bryant, Duke University, USA
Aufwiedersehen surfaces, revisited

Godfried Toussaint, McGill University, Canada
Musical rhythm and computational mathematics

e-Learning Mathematics, a Panel Discussion

Organised by
The Executive Committee of the Spanish Conference of Deans of Mathematics
Members of the panel Prof. Sebastian Xambó Descamps, Moderator
Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya 
President of the Spanish Conference of Deans of Mathematics

Prof. Hyman Bass
School of Education, University of Michigan

Prof. Hilda Bolaños Evia
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Prof. Ruedi Seiler
Institut für Mathematik, MA7-2, Technische Universität Berlin

Prof. Mika Seppälä
University of Helsinki and Florida State University

Friday, August 25, 15:00-17:00

Brief description of the activity

“In addition to the current state of knowledge about the learning of Mathematics and its aims in today’s society, the main point of discussion will centre onways of improving the process of learning, and especially the role of e-Learning technologies in this process. Participants will first be acquainted with the situation of e-Learning Mathematics as of August, 2006, including distance-learning or open university courses, and then with the areas where e-Learning is likely to develop. Finally, consideration will be given to the impact of new learning techniques on the role of the new educators in mathematics.”

Mathematics for Science and Society, a Panel Discussion

Thursday, August 24, 18.00 – 20.00

Mina Teicher
Emmy Noether Research Institute for Mathematics, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Organised by the Advisory Committee of the NEST project Shaping New Directions in Mathematics for Science and Society of the European Commission, a two-year initiative (2005-2007) whose aim is to promote innovative mathematical research and to explore ways of training doctoral-level researchers in the following emerging topics:

Description of the activity

This panel discussion is addressed to a broad audience, especially to researchers in Mathematics with an interest in hearing about rapidly developing new specialties linking Mathematics with other sciences or aiming to applications with a visible impact on society. The debate will address the following points: