International Mathematical Union
Legal statusunincorporated association, recognized as a charitable organization by the internal revenue service of Berlin, Germany
PurposePromoting International Cooperation in Mathematics
Hiraku Nakajima
Parent organization
International Science Council

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is an international organization devoted to international cooperation in the field of mathematics across the world. It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC) and supports the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM). Its members are national mathematics organizations from more than 80 countries.[1]

The objectives of the International Mathematical Union are: promoting international cooperation in mathematics, supporting and assisting the International Congress of Mathematicians and other international scientific meetings/conferences, acknowledging outstanding research contributions to mathematics through the awarding of scientific prizes, and encouraging and supporting 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 IMU was established in 1920, but dissolved in September 1932 and reestablished in 1950 at the Constitutive Convention in New York, de jure on September 10, 1951, when ten countries had become members. The last milestone was the General Assembly in March 1952, in Rome, Italy where the activities of the new IMU were inaugurated and the first Executive Committee, President and various commissions were elected. In 1952 the IMU was also readmitted to the ICSU. The past president of the Union is Carlos Kenig (2019–2022). The current president is Hiraku Nakajima.

At the 16th meeting of the IMU General Assembly in Bangalore, India, in August 2010, Berlin was chosen as the location of the permanent office of the IMU, which was opened on January 1, 2011, and is hosted by the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS), an institute of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community, with about 120 scientists engaging in mathematical research applied to complex problems in industry and commerce.[2][3]

Commissions and committees

IMU has a close relationship to mathematics education through its International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). This commission is organized similarly to IMU with its own Executive Committee and General Assembly.

Developing countries are a high priority for the IMU and a significant percentage of its budget, including grants received from individuals, mathematical societies, foundations, and funding agencies, is spent on activities for developing countries. Since 2011 this has been coordinated by the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC).

The Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) is concerned with issues related to women in mathematics worldwide. It organizes the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics as a satellite event of ICM.

The International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM) is operated jointly by the IMU and the Division of the History of Science (DHS) of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS).

The Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC) advises IMU on matters concerning mathematical information, communication, and publishing.[4]


The scientific prizes awarded by the IMU, in the quadrennial International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), are deemed to be some of the highest distinctions in the mathematical world.[5] These are:

Membership and General Assembly

The IMU's members are Member Countries and each Member country is represented through an Adhering Organization, which may be its principal academy, a mathematical society, its research council or some other institution or association of institutions, or an appropriate agency of its government. A country starting to develop its mathematical culture and interested in building links with mathematicians all over the world is invited to join IMU as an Associate Member. For the purpose of facilitating jointly sponsored activities and jointly pursuing the objectives of the IMU, multinational mathematical societies and professional societies can join IMU as an Affiliate Member. Every four years, the IMU membership gathers in a General Assembly (GA), which consists of delegates appointed by the Adhering Organizations, together with the members of the executive committee. All important decisions are made at the GA, including the election of the officers, establishment of commissions, the approval of the budget, and any changes to the statutes and by-laws.

Members and Associate Members

The IMU has 83 (full) Member countries and two Associate Members (Bangladesh and Paraguay, marked below by light grey background).[7]

Country Adhering Society National mathematics societies[a]
Algeria Société Mathématique d’Algérie
Argentina Unión Matemática Argentina
Armenia Institute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences of RA Armenian Mathematical Union 
Australia Australian Academy of Science
Austria Austrian Academy of Sciences Austrian Mathematical Society
Bangladesh[b] Bangladesh Mathematical Society
Belarus Institute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Belgium The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium Belgian Mathematical Society
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian Mathematical Society
Brazil Sociedade Brasileira de Matemática
Bulgaria Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians 
Cameroon Cameroon Mathematical Union
Canada National Research Council of Canada
Chile Sociedad de Matemática de Chile
China[Note CHN]
Colombia Sociedad Colombiana de Matemáticas
Croatia Croatian Mathematical Society
Cuba Universidad de la Habana
Cyprus Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Cyprus
Czech Republic Union of Czech Mathematicians and Physicists Czech Mathematical Society[c]
Denmark Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab Danish Mathematical Society
Ecuador Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Matemática
Egypt Academy of Scientific Research and Technology Egyptian Mathematical Society
Estonia Estonian Academy of Sciences Estonian Mathematical Society
Finland Council of Finnish Academies Finnish Mathematical Society
France Comité National Français des Mathématiciens 
Georgia Georgian Mathematical Union
Germany Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung
Greece Academy of Athens Greek Mathematical Society
Hong Kong The Hong Kong Mathematical Society
Hungary János Bolyai Mathematical Society
Iceland Icelandic Mathematical Society
India Indian National Science Academy
Indonesia The Indonesian Mathematical Society
Iran Iranian Mathematical Society
Ireland Irish Mathematical Society
Israel Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities Israel Mathematical Union
Italy Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica Francesco Severi Unione Matematica Italiana
Ivory Coast Société Mathématique de Côte d'Ivoire
Japan Science Council of Japan
Kazakhstan Institute of Mathematics and Mathematical Modeling
Kenya Mathematics Association of Kenya
South Korea Korean Mathematical Society
Kyrgyzstan Mathematical Society of Kyrgyzstan
Latvia Latvian Mathematical Society
Lithuania Lithuanian Mathematical Society
Luxembourg Luxembourg Mathematical Society
Malaysia The Malaysian Academy of Mathematical Scientists 
Mexico Mexican Mathematical Society
Mongolia The Mongolian Mathematical Society
Montenegro Society of Mathematicians and Physicists of Montenegro Montenegro Mathematical Society
Morocco Le Centre de Recherches Mathématiques de Rabat
Netherlands Het Koninklijk Wiskundig Genootschap
New Zealand Royal Society Te Apārangi New Zealand Mathematical Society
Nigeria Nigerian Mathematical Society
Norway The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters Norwegian Mathematical Society
Oman Sultan Qaboos University
Pakistan National Mathematical Society of Pakistan
Paraguay[b] Sociedad Matemática Paraguaya
Peru Sociedad Matematica Peruana
Philippines Mathematical Society of the Philippines
Poland Polish Academy of Sciences Polish Mathematical Society
Portugal Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Romania Romanian Academy Romanian Mathematical Society
Russia Russian Academy of Sciences
Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Saudi Association for Mathematical Sciences
Senegal Senegalese Mathematical Society
Serbia Mathematical Society of Serbia
Singapore Singapore Mathematical Society
Slovakia Union of Slovak Mathematicians and Physicists Slovak Mathematical Society[d]
Slovenia Society of Mathematicians, Physicists and Astronomers of Slovenia Slovenian Discrete and Applied Mathematics Society
South Africa National Research Foundation
Spain Comité Español de Matemáticas
Sweden The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Swedish Mathematical Society
Switzerland Swiss Mathematical Society
Thailand The Center for Promotion of Mathematical Research of Thailand
Tunisia Société Mathématique de Tunisie
Turkey Turkish Mathematical Society
Ukraine Ukrainian Mathematical Society
  • Kyiv Mathematical Society
  • Kharkiv Mathematical Society
  • Donetsk Mathematical Society
  • Lviv Mathematical Society
  • Ivano-Frankivsk Mathematical Society
United Kingdom London Mathematical Society
United States U.S. National Academy of Sciences Board on International Scientific Organizations
Uruguay Área Matemática - Programa de Desarrollo de las Ciencias Básicas
Uzbekistan Uzbek Mathematical Society
Venezuela Asociación Matemática Venezolana
Vietnam Vietnam Mathematical Society
  1. ^ Mathematical societies that appear in the preceding column are not repeated in this column.
  2. ^ a b Associate member
  3. ^ Branch of the Union of Czech Mathematicians & Physicists
  4. ^ Part of the Union of Slovak Mathematicians and Physicists
  1. ^
    Due to the delicate and contentious political status of Taiwan, China has two Adhering Societies to the IMU, which split the voting rights in the General Assembly. The Chinese Mathematical Society in Beijing has three votes, and the Mathematical Society of the Republic of China, located in Tapei, has two votes.

Affiliate members

The IMU has five affiliate members:[8]

Organization and Executive Committee

The International Mathematical Union is administered by an executive committee (EC) which conducts the business of the Union.[9] The EC consists of the President, two vice-presidents, the Secretary, six Members-at-Large, all elected for a term of four years, and the Past President. The EC is responsible for all policy matters and for tasks, such as choosing the members of the ICM Program Committee and various prize committees.


Every two months IMU publishes an electronic newsletter, IMU-Net, that aims to improve communication between IMU and the worldwide mathematical community by reporting on decisions and recommendations of the Union, major international mathematical events and developments, and on other topics of general mathematical interest. IMU Bulletins are published annually with the aim to inform IMU's members about the Union's current activities. In 2009 IMU published the document Best Current Practices for Journals.[10]

IMU’s Involvement in developing countries

The IMU took its first organized steps towards the promotion of mathematics in developing countries in the early 1970s and has, since then supported various activities. In 2010 IMU formed the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) which brings together all of the past and current initiatives in support of mathematics and mathematicians in the developing world.

Some IMU Supported Initiatives:

IMU also supports the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) with its programmes, exhibits and workshops in emerging countries, especially in Asia and Africa.

IMU released a report in 2008, Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, on the current state of mathematics in Africa and on opportunities for new initiatives to support mathematical development.[12] In 2014, the IMU's Commission for Developing Countries CDC released an update of the report.[13]

Additionally, reports about Mathematics in Latin America and the Caribbean and South East Asia.[14] were published.

In July 2014 IMU released the report: The International Mathematical Union in the Developing World: Past, Present and Future (July 2014). [15]

MENAO Symposium at the ICM

In 2014, the IMU held a day-long symposium prior to the opening of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), entitled Mathematics in Emerging Nations: Achievements and Opportunities (MENAO). Approximately 260 participants from around the world, including representatives of embassies, scientific institutions, private business and foundations attended this session. Attendees heard inspiring stories of individual mathematicians and specific developing nations.[16][17]


List of presidents of the International Mathematical Union from 1952 to the present:

1952–1954: United States Marshall Harvey Stone (vice: France Émile Borel, Germany Erich Kamke)

1955–1958: Germany Heinz Hopf (vice: France Arnaud Denjoy, United Kingdom W. V. D. Hodge)

1959–1962: Finland Rolf Nevanlinna (vice: Soviet Union Pavel Alexandrov, United States Marston Morse)

1963–1966: Switzerland Georges de Rham (vice: France Henri Cartan, Poland Kazimierz Kuratowski)

1967–1970: France Henri Cartan (vice: Soviet Union Mikhail Lavrentyev, United States Deane Montgomery)

1971–1974: India K. S. Chandrasekharan (vice: United States Abraham Adrian Albert, Soviet Union Lev Pontryagin)

1975–1978: United States Deane Montgomery (vice: United Kingdom J. W. S. Cassels, Romania Miron Nicolescu, Romania Gheorghe Vrânceanu)

1979–1982: Sweden Lennart Carleson (vice: Japan Masayoshi Nagata, Soviet Union Yuri Vasilyevich Prokhorov)

1983–1986: Germany Jürgen Moser (vice: Soviet Union Ludvig Faddeev, France Jean-Pierre Serre)

1987–1990: Soviet Union Ludvig Faddeev (vice: Austria Walter Feit, Sweden Lars Hörmander)

1991–1994: France Jacques-Louis Lions (vice: United Kingdom John H. Coates, United States David Mumford)

1995–1998: United States David Mumford (vice: Russia Vladimir Arnold, Germany Albrecht Dold)

1999–2002: Brazil Jacob Palis (vice: United Kingdom Simon Donaldson, Japan Shigefumi Mori)

2003–2006: United Kingdom John M. Ball (vice: France Jean-Michel Bismut, Japan Masaki Kashiwara)

2007–2010: Hungary László Lovász (vice: China Zhi-Ming Ma, Italy Claudio Procesi)

2011–2014: Belgium Ingrid Daubechies (vice: France Christiane Rousseau, Brazil Marcelo Viana)

2015–2018: Japan Shigefumi Mori (vice: Argentina Alicia Dickenstein, New Zealand Vaughan Jones)

2019–2022: Argentina Carlos Kenig (vice: Australia Nalini Joshi, South Africa Loyiso Nongxa)

2023–2026: JapanHiraku Nakajima (vice: United Kingdom Ulrike Tillmann, Colombia Tatiana Toro)


  1. ^ "International Mathematical Union (IMU): sorted by names".
  2. ^ "IMU General Assembly in Bangalore, India in August 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  3. ^ "Weierstrass Institute". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  4. ^ Communication, IMU Committee on Electronic Information and. "CEIC". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  5. ^ "IAS Scholars Win IMU Awards 2022 for Mathematical Achievement, including Fields Medal – IAS News | Institute for Advanced Study". 5 July 2022.
  6. ^ "IMU awards". International Mathematical Union. 2022-06-25.
  7. ^ "International Mathematical Union (IMU): Member Countries".
  8. ^ "International Mathematical Union (IMU): Affiliate Member".
  9. ^ "International Mathematical Union (IMU): Executive Committee".
  10. ^ "Best Current Practices for Journals" (PDF). Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  11. ^ Countries, IMU Commission for Developing. "Grants - CDC". Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Mathematics in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities" (PDF). Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Mathematics in Africa 2014 Update" (PDF). Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  14. ^ Mathematics in Latin America report
  15. ^ "The International Mathematical Union in the Developing World" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  16. ^ here MENAO Channel at Youtube
  17. ^ MENAO (12 August 2014)Symposium Report: Mathematics in Emerging Nations: Achievements and Opportunities

Further reading