The Committee for Developing Countries (CDC) had its 2012 annual meeting in
Limoges, invited by Michel Thera, a member of this committee. The day before, on
April 13 afternoon, two additional events were organized. The first one was a
conference by Leif Abrahamsson, also a member of our committee, who gave a
presentation of the activities of the International Science Program (ISP) of
Upsala University. The activities of this program are remarkable, and the
funding (mainly by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
SIDA) is impressive. The second event was a round table directed by the
Chair of our committee, Tsou Sheung Tsun, with the title "Which mathematics
for developing countries?".
There was a unanimous agreement that developing countries need mathematics; the
discussion was mainly on which kind of mathematics should be developed (basic,
theoretical, vs applied, technology oriented) on the one hand, which level
should be enhanced (high school level vs research level). There was no
definitive answer to the question, but the agreement was mainly that all topics
and all level have to be developed. The most important is that one
should sensitive to the actual needs of each country concerned, as
well as to promote south-south collaborations.
The meeting itself took place from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday. We started by remembering our former member and treasurer, Mikhael Passare, who died in tragic circumstances last year.
It was agreed that after Tsou Sheung Tsun steps down as chair the committee shall propose to the Executive Council that Michel Waldschmidt will replace her, and that Giulia di Nunno will replace Michel Waldschmidt as vice-chair. Paul Vaderlind agrees to become treasurer. There was a discussion about the replacement of members who complete their terms at the end of the year 2012 (Andreas Griewank, Tsou Sheung Tsun, Michel Théra) and this discussion will be pursued by e-mail. Also associate members will be invited.
One of the main points of this meeting was the description by the members and associate members of their own activities in developing countries. This gives the opportunity for a sort of virtual travel around the developing world. These activities, as well a further information on the achievements of our committee, are on the web site dedicated to our activities http://ems-cdc.org We are very pleased to note that this web site was improved by Nick Gill who becomes an associate member, in charge (with Anders Wandahl) of the web site.
We also reviewed our collaborations, actual and intended, with other organizations concerned with mathematics in developing countries, e.g. CIMPA, ICTP, ISP, IMU-CDC, PACM and the Simons Foundation.
Tsou Sheung Tsun reported the continued support from ZentralBlatt, including donations from their reviewers. Gert-Martin Greuel, the Editor-in-Chief, outlined more collaborative measures.
It was announced that a round table entitled "The role of mathematics in emerging economies", will take place during the European Congress in Krakow later in July this year. This is organized by Andreas Griewank (who reported on its progress) and Tsou Sheung Tsun.
We also discussed giving certain grants to individual students from developing countries, which we do from time to time.
The next CDC meeting will take place April 12-13, 2013 in Linköping, Sweden.