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A dozen reasons to participate in the 6ECM - editorial in the recent EMS Newsletter

Friday, 21 October 2011
EMS Newsletter - September 2011
In September issue of the EMS Newsletter President of the Polish Mathematical Society explains why European mathematicians should consider attending 6ECM.

EMS Newsletter September 2011
A dozen reasons to participate in the 6th European Congress of Mathematics in Kraków, 2–7 July 2012
Stefan Jackowski (President of the Polish Mathematical Society)

Mathematicians travel a lot as there are many conferences and workshops that take place all around the world. What is special about the European Congresses of Mathematics? Five of them have already taken place, in Paris (1992), Budapest (1996), Barcelona (2000), Stockholm (2004) and Amsterdam (2008). Why should you consider attending the next meeting?
  1. To be a mathematician means to be more than an analyst, a probabilist or a topologist. It also means having a broad picture of the entire field. The European Congress of Mathematics provides an excellent opportunity to obtain information about the current state of mathematics from experts. Such an overview of contemporary mathematics is particularly important for young researchers looking for new research horizons. (There will be grants to support the participation of young mathematicians at the 6ECM.)
  2. The plenary and invited speakers have been carefully selected by the Programme Committee, which was appointed by the European Mathematical Society (EMS). Among the plenary and invited speakers are stars of 20th century mathematics, as well as new leaders taking our field into the 21st century. The lectures will cover a broad spectrum of mathematical disciplines.
  3. A special lecture commemorating the late Professor Andrzej Pelczar, former Vice-President of the EMS, former President of the Polish Mathematical Society (PTM) and former Rector of the Jagiellonian University (and the initiator for holding the 6ECM in Kraków) will be delivered during the congress. The speaker will be nominated by a committee appointed by PTM.
  4. EMS prizes for young mathematicians (up to 35 years old), which will be awarded at the opening of the 6ECM, honour mathematicians who are likely to play a crucial role in the development of our field in the coming decades. Among past EMS prize winners are several Fields Medallists, including three of the last four Fields Medal winners. Try to guess who will receive prizes in 2012 and come to Kraków to see whether you are right. You can listen to the winners’ lectures and personally congratulate them. You may also submit your own candidates for EMS prizes!
  5. The Felix Klein Prize in the application of mathematics, established by the EMS and the Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern, will be awarded. In addition, there is a new prize, the Otto Neugebauer Prize in the History of Mathematics, established by the EMS and Springer-Verlag. Again, everybody is welcome to submit candidates for these prizes!
  6. At the 6ECM all participants have the opportunity to create part of the scientific program of the Congress by organising mini-symposia. There is a special two hours long session that consists of coordinated presentations on a selected topic proposed by the organiser. Get together with your mathematical friends and submit a proposal for a mini-symposium!
  7. Everyone will have the opportunity to present a research poster, which will receive the attention and comments of experts. There will be a poster competition, the results of which will be announced at the closing ceremony. Submit your poster!
  8. Besides the strictly scientific program, we expect several round table discussions that will cover a wide range of topics of general interest, such as the financing of mathematical research in Europe, the strategy of the EMS, mathematical education, and mathematics and emerging economies. Everyone is invited to submit a proposal for a round table discussion.
  9. Combine your participation at the 6ECM with attendance at more specialised satellite meetings, which will be organised close in time to the 6ECM. We have already announced several satellite meetings devoted to various aspects of pure and applied mathematics, and we expect to have more soon. Traditionally, a joint meeting of the European Women in Mathematics and Women in Mathematics EMSCommittee is held the day before. We invite you to participate in the satellite meetings and to propose new satellite meetings.
  10. The European Congresses help to form a community of mathematicians from European institutions. We have many topics to discuss. There are a growing number of exchange students taking mathematics courses at various institutions. Research projects are financed by diverse international sources and various ways of evaluating research results are used. University system reforms are spreading throughout Europe. These are some examples of the important issues that can be discussed during the 6ECM both formally and informally.
  11. Enjoy Kraków, a city with a great past and a very interesting present. Kraków, the capital of Poland from the 14th to the 16th century, played an important role in European history as a political, religious, scientific and cultural centre. It was home to Pope John Paul II, who contributed to the recent great political change in Europe. Kraków was also home to a large Jewish community, one of the very few places in Poland where buildings in the old Jewish quarter remained intact after the Holocaust. In recent years it has been a place for the revival of Jewish cultural and religious life. Many museums in Kraków contain priceless objects of art; the best known is Lady with an Ermine, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The newest museum is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK), which was designed by an Italian architect. It is built in a post-industrial zone close to Schindler’s famous factory, which has also been converted into a museum. Every Summer Kraków hosts many exciting artistic events.
  12. Last but not least, the European Congresses of Mathematics aim to be a showcase to present the unity of mathematics. Large meetings are important to foster public awareness of mathematics. If we want mathematics to be perceived as an important, well-defined field, not just an addendum or a tool in science and technology, we need to show the strength of the mathematical community to the public and to politicians who make decisions about financing research and higher education. So come to Kraków and take part in this important event!
And before coming, we invite you to visit the website for more information about the Congress, the prizes to be awarded during the 6ECM, satellite meetings, tourist attractions and practical information. At the website you can also pre-register for the 6ECM and submit  proposals for the various activities mentioned above. You are additionally invited to join us on Facebook.
On behalf of the European Mathematical Society and the local organisers of this congress, the Polish Mathematical Society and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, I cordially invite you to participate in the 6ECM.

See you in Krakow!
Do zobaczenia w Krakowie!