The International Congress of Mathematicians

International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest Mathematics meeting in the world. It takes place every after four years. In 2010, it was in India (Hyderabad). In 2014 it went to South  Korea (Seoul) and this year 2018, it was hosted in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) in the period 1 - 9 August 2018. At this meeting, a number of activities take place. For instance:

  • Field medals are awarded. A  field medal is the equivalent of a Nobel prize in other disciplines. It is the highest honor given to mathematicians in recognition of their contribution to Mathematics. The 2018 field medals went to four mathematicians, namely; Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze and Akshay Venkatesh
  • Talks are delivered in almost all areas of Mathematics
  • Exhibitions about Mathematics are held
  • Several meetings about Mathematics take place
  • Networking gets to its best as the meeting is attended by mathematicians from all over the world
  • Poster presentations take place in all areas of Mathematics.

Among other things ICM provides a platform for networking, research dissemination and  it gives one  a clear picture of the problems occupying mathematicians across the globe at the time. For this year 2018, the Department of Mathematics, Makerere University was represented by Prof. John Mango and Dr. David Ssevviiri.

Some Immediate Outcomes

The conference involved  renowned mathematicians on the Graduate Research Assistantships in Developing Countries (GRAID) committee. Prof. Michael Wemyss  from Glasgow  University  and Dr. David Ssevviiri  had earlier applied for support to GRAID to assist in training students at postgraduate level. When some  members of the GRAID committee got to know that Dr. Ssevviiri had attended the ICM, they arranged for a meeting – see photograph above.

The lady is Professor Ingrid Daubechies from Duke University.  She was among the plenary speakers.  Her work in pure mathematics has been applied to various fields including image compression, data storage, paleontology and also in the restoration of classic works of art.

Dr. Edgar Tchoundja (Right),  from Cameroon and a PI of a project  supported by GRAID, Dr. David Ssevviiri (Centre), from Makerere University, Prof. Wandera Ogana (Left) from University of Nairobi. He doubles as the president International Mathematics Union – Commission for Developing Countries (IMU-CDC);  Prof. Angel Pineda (Extreme left), another renowned mathematician from Manhattan and  the current secretary to the GRAID committee. Prof. Pineda organized a panel and poster session in which information about several organizations supporting  Mathematics was provided.

 During the conference, GRAID agreed to support two PhD students at Makerere University beginning 2019. It will cover their tuition fees, accommodation and stipend.

For clips about the 2018 ICM visit