Among the three aims of the Rio de Janeiro declaration, if considering the great challenges for the 21st century proceed with more specific approach of IMU, no doubt the realization of the two other aims has to be as broad and open as possible. So, UNESCO's sponsorship is specially significant.
The International Commission on History of Mathematics, believing that it would be appropriate, in the year 2000, to assess the significance and fate of Hilbert's famous lecture of 1900 on seminal, as-of-then unsolved problems in mathematics (just at the Turn of the Century Committee will project its own vision to devise a new set of seminal problems for the 21st century), is organizing an historical Symposium for the Zürich Congress in 1994. This will be devoted to a rigourous examination of the history of congresses from Zürich to Zürich, including the Paris Congress in 1900.
Sevilla 1996 global communication
Projects are developing to make Sevilla a test-bench, at a small scale, for the world meeting ICME-9. Among them, an agreement in principle is acquired on the use of the new Spanish satellite Hispasat launched in September 1992 which covers in particular Spain, Portugal and America (USA, Mexico, Central and South America).
The activity of the CDE which tries to promote the place and the role of mathematics in collaboration with developing countries, is fully in keeping with the second aim of the declaration of Rio de Janeiro.
More precisely, with the support of ICSU, UNESCO, IMU and some scientific societies, the CDE grants travel fellowships in research advanced centers and partially subsidizes congresses according to scientific level on a somewhat reciprocal commitment. Future activity of CDE will certainly find some profit in the dynamic WMY 2000 is going to create.
CDE-UNESCO dissemination centres
One of CDE projects, the programm of dissemination of mathematical information and documentation in developing countries elaborated with UNESCO in December 1990, is of particular importance. This programm consists in setting up three libraries-documentation centres in Asia, Latin America, Africa, in institutions where fairly well developed libraries already exist as well as a group of active mathematicians. The programm intends to provide additional inputs for completing the collections of core mathematical books and important mathematical journals, as well as reprints. Moreover, the new imputs should facilitate the acquisition of essential electronic data bases and communication systems. The centres shall provide their services to mathematicians in the region to facilitate access to both latest and classical mathematical literature.
One of the best ways to establish a "systematic presence" of mathematics in the "Information Age" is through the history of mathematics, which can effectively demonstrate the significance of mathematics in cross-cultural ways in the widest possible variety of different contexts.
Local meetings, international symposia, special exhibitions and long-range publications can all help to create a higher public awareness of mathematics and the crucial role they have played in world history.
Two efforts in which the ICHM is already engaged have a direct relation to the aims of WMY 2000. One is the maintenance of an archive of slides and photographs of mathematics; one goal of the Commission in light of WMY 2000 might be publication of a catalogue of all known portraits or photographs and where they may be found.
The second project is the production of a "Historiography of the history of Mathematics" to which more than forty historians from all over the world are collaborating to describe the history of history of mathematics from the first historical writings about mathematics by the ancient Greeks and Chinese, to the present. Publication of this work in anticipation of WMY 2000 would be a realistic goal of the Commission, and one that would be very much in keeping with aims 2 and 3 as stated in the Rio Declaration. (J.Dauben, ICHM Chairman)
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