Friends of the International Mathematical Union
201 Charles Street
Providence, RI 02904

More about the International Mathematical Union

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is an international non-governmental organisation devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics across the world. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and supports the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). Its members are national mathematics organizations in 82 countries.

The IMU supports and assists the ICM and other international scientific meetings/conferences.  It acknowledges outstanding research contributions to mathematics through the awarding of scientific prizes, and it encourages and supports other international mathematical activities considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects, whether pure, applied, or educational.

The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC)  is a commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).  It manages all IMU initiatives in support of mathematics in the developing world.

Besides administering the Grants Program for mathematicians as well as the Volunteer Lecturer Program, the CDC takes part in the following types of activities in accord with various aspects of its mission:

  • Research
  • Support of local initiatives
  • Support of educational and local capacity building programs
  • Implementation of IMU member contribution programs destined for support of mathematics and mathematics teaching in developing countries.
  • Exploration of funding and grant opportunities of new and existing sponsors.
  • Development of proposals and joint activities with partner organizations.
  • Identification of inexpensive and free online mathematics research resources and advertise these to mathematicians in the developing world.
  • Service as a “clearing-house” for the activities of individual countries and mathematics societies in support of mathematicians in the developing world.
  • Encouragement of proposals and support projects from mathematical organizations or individual mathematicians in the developing world

There are vast untapped resources of mathematical talent in the developing world. The economic resources available to those who want to study advanced mathematics and who have the capacity to excel are unfortunately woefully inadequate.

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), another commission of the IMU, is devoted to the development of mathematical education at all levels.

ICMI offers a forum to promote reflection, collaboration and the exchange and dissemination of ideas on the teaching and learning of mathematics from primary to university level.  It aims to facilitate the transmission of information on all aspects of the theory and practice of contemporary mathematical education from an international perspective. ICMI has an additional objective to provide a link between educational researchers, curriculum designers, educational policy makers, teachers of mathematics, mathematicians, mathematics educators and others interested in mathematical education around the world.

It is charged with the conduct of IMU’s activities on mathematical or scientific education and cooperates with various thematic and regional groups formed within or outside its own structure. ICMI is distinctive in its close ties with the professional communities of mathematicians and mathematical educators as well as its breadth.

In response to Current Challenges in Basic Mathematics Education (UNESCO, 2011), ICMI has embarked on a major project called the Capacity & Networking Project (CANP). It seeks to enhance mathematics education at all levels in developing countries by working with local leaderships to meet the educational challenges in those countries. CANP aims to develop the educational capacity of those responsible for mathematics teachers and to aid in the creation of sustained and effective regional networks of teachers, mathematics educators and mathematicians. CANP also helps to provide links to regional professional networks more able to reach critical mass.