[단독] Russia’s Maths Olympics abruptly canceled

[단독] Russia's Maths Olympics abruptly canceled

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As criticism of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine continues around the world, the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) scheduled to convene in Russia in July has been canceled and face-to-face meetings. At ICM, the so-called ‘Nobel Prize in Mathematics’, the Fields Medal, is being held.

The Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) announced on the 26th (local time) that “ICM 2022, scheduled for July in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be a completely face-to-face event.” “The situation in Russia and Ukraine has changed dramatically. Russia’s actions have been condemned around the world, and direct events in Russia have become impossible,” he said. “The IMU Executive Committee has carefully analyzed the situation. I condemn it. I extend my deepest condolences to my Ukrainian colleagues and the people of Ukraine.” The executive committee said the ICM had decided to postpone or cancel for a year, but decided to make it a face-to-face event. They explained, “Postponement is not a viable option when there is uncertainty about how the situation will develop within a year.” “The complete abolition of ICM is not going to help mathematicians,” he added.

Kyum Jong-hee, president of the Korean Mathematical Society, said, “The ICM event is not a face-to-face meeting, but a public meeting to decide the IMU decision.” .

This ICM also makes sense for the Korean mathematical community. This is because it is the first ICM to participate since IMU, the highest grade in mathematics, elevated Korea to Group 5. With this promotion, the Republic of Korea, as well as major developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, will be able to exercise five votes in the General Assembly. Kang Hyun-bay, a professor of mathematics at Inha University, will attend as an invited lecturer.

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Prior to the decision, one after another mathematical societies in the US, UK and Poland announced that they would boycott the ICM in Russia. Some mathematicians have opened a boycott page and received a signature from ICM in 2018.

It is also noteworthy that a Ukrainian mathematician is mentioned as a potential candidate for the Fields Medal. The main character is Marina Biasovska, a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland. He solved the high-level Kepler hypothesis, which is considered one of the most difficult mathematical problems. Russian President Vladimir Putin can present the Ukrainian mathematician with the Fields Medal if Professor Beazovskaya receives the award, following the ICM’s routine of awarding the head of state of the ICM host country. Jun Hyo, of Korean descent, is cited as a potential candidate for the Fields Medal, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University in the United States.

ICM is the largest mathematical conference in the world, also known as the ‘Mathematical Olympics’, which takes place every four years. The election of the speaker is of great recognition to the mathematicians. The ICM’s Fields Medal for young mathematicians under the age of 40 is called the Nobel Prize in Mathematics and is recognized as the highest authority. In 2014, Korea hosted the fourth ICM in Asia.

The ICM has also caused diplomatic problems in Russia in the past. In 1966, UC Berkeley Professor Steven Schmeil, who had won the Fields Medal in Moscow in 1966, was imprisoned for criticizing the Soviet Union’s human rights abuses during a lecture.

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