Letter from the ICIAM President Wil Schilders, April 2024

Dear ICIAM colleagues and friends,

2024 is well underway, and since my New Year’s message quite a few things have happened. First and foremost, the organisers of our next ICIAM Congress in The Hague, July 12-17, 2027 (note the dates in your agenda!), are doing very well with regards to the preparations for this important event. They are also benefitting from the experiences of past organisers, most prominently Valencia and Tokyo. We have great confidence in the team, including also the Scientific Program Committee, and I hope we will have another successful congress attracting many thousands of participants from all over the world. You can remain updated by regularly visiting https://iciam2027.org/

As mentioned in January, the theme of the 2027 ICIAM Congress complies very well with the theme of the ‘’International Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development’’ (IDSSD) which is a follow-action of the ‘’International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD 2022-2023). These initiatives have been put forward to UNESCO by the International Science Foundation (ISC), of which ICIAM is a full member. The ISC committee within ICIAM, led by past president Maria Esteban, and with members Liliane Basso Barichello, Yvonne Stokes (both officers-at-large) and Barbara Keyfitz (past president), is quite busy with all ISC related matters: a change of statutes that caused many discussions, the start of IDSSD and many other issues. Sustainability is also attracting the attention of many mathematicians, see for example the UNESCO publication, Mathematics for Action a booklet addressing the role of mathematics with respect to the 17 sustainable development goals of UNESCO. 

In the meantime, the two newly elected officers-at-large, Yvonne Stokes and Kenji Kajiwara, have been fully immersed in the activities of the ICIAM officers, and we are very happy to have them on board. In view of this, I would like to remind you that we are still looking for 2 additional officers-at-large that will be elected formally during this year’s board meeting on June 17 (online). Please see the official reminder in this newsletter. The same holds for pre-bids concerning the ICIAM 2031 congress, these can still be sent to us. And we are still soliciting suggestions for the 2025 ICIAM Board meeting (plus associated workshop), an in person event. So if you would like to organise this, please contact us.

One of our officers, ICIAM secretary Suzanne Shontz, is featuring in a video made especially for the ‘’Mathematics and Statistic Awareness month’’, and this is announced in the most recent version of ‘’SIAM Unwrapped’’, April 2024. I hope many of you will have a look at the video.

In my New Year’s message, I mentioned quite a few conferences organised by member organisations of ICIAM all over the world. Right now, I would like to raise your attention for a conference on industrial and applied mathematics that will be held in Cape Town, September 30 till October 5. The organisers are very busy organising this event, and are planning to officially launch an African organisation for industrial and applied mathematics. Hence, I would like to ask all of you to consider attending this important event for African mathematics. More information can be found on the webpage https://aciam.co

End of May, I will be present during the annual Abel prize ceremony in Oslo. This year’s winner, Michel Talagrand, will receive the Abel prize from the king of Norway, and many mathematicians will be there to celebrate this very special occasion. You can read more on the official web page of the Abel prize. It is really great that the Norwegian Parliament (The Storting) has installed this ‘’Nobelprize for mathematics’’ in 2002, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Abel’s birth.

This year’s Board meeting will be held, for the first time online, on June 17. This will enable many more member societies to attend, and I hope many will be present. We decided to only have physical Board meetings in the odd years, from now on. The location for 2025 will be announced after the Board meeting. 

Another activity that took place in recent months is concerned with the finances of ICIAM. Our treasurer, Heike Fassbender, set up a small committee that regularly discusses the finances of ICIAM, launching ideas for increasing the funds available to us and carrying out additional activities. We will report on this briefly during the Board meeting.  

The officers are also busy speaking to member societies from their own continent, to see how things are going in these member societies and also whether any help can potentially be given. ICIAM is a global organisation and may be able to help individual societies. Together with Luis Vega, responsible for membership issues, there are also intensive discussions with African mathematicians, to see if we can increase the number of member associations on this continent. ICIAM strives to be a global organisation, and we welcome members from all continents of the world. 

I hope we can continue to count on your support in all of these activities. Don’t hesitate to share your opinions, ideas or suggestions with us. We can learn a lot from each other, and being together will make mathematics, especially in applications and industry, much stronger and more visible. This is our joint mission!

Wil Schilders, president




Wil Schilders

ICIAM President Wil Schilders is emeritus professor, Eindhoven University of Technology and director of the Dutch Platform for Mathematics. Previously he worked at Philips Research and NXP Semiconductors. He was founder and President of EU-MATHS-IN.