International Congress of Mathematicians

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The International Congress of Mathematicians ( English International Congress of Mathematicians , ICM ) is the largest conference in the field of mathematics . It is held every four years under the auspices of the International Mathematical Union (IMU).


The first congress was held in Zurich in 1897 and 204 mathematicians and 4 female mathematicians from 16 countries took part.

The 1998 congress in Berlin had 3346 participants. The program comprised 21 one-hour plenary lectures and 169 mathematicians selected by the organizers gave 45-minute lectures with specialists in their field. In addition, each participant could present his or her work with a short 15-minute presentation or a poster . Holding a plenary lecture or being invited as an invited speaker at all is considered a special honor.

At the 1900 Congress, David Hilbert presented his famous list of 23 open problems in mathematics .

Due to the aftermath of the First World War, mathematicians from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria were excluded from the congresses in Strasbourg in 1920 and Toronto in 1924. As early as Toronto, the US delegation - supported by Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Denmark - submitted a motion to reconsider this and the restrictions were lifted for the 1928 Congress in Bologna by the new IMU President Salvatore Pincherle .

Several prizes are awarded at the congress: since 1936 the Fields Medal for outstanding discoveries in mathematics, since 1983 the Nevanlinna Prize for outstanding work in the field of theoretical computer science , since 2006 the Carl Friedrich Gauß Prize for applied mathematics and since 2010 the Chern Medal for outstanding life's work in mathematics.

Participants with relatives at the 1932 International Mathematicians Congress at the west entrance of the University of Zurich

List of congresses

Motif from geometry: At first glance the simple, perfect squaring of a square of the order 11;  actually the tiling of a roughly square rectangle.
German special postage stamp from 1998 for the congress in Berlin

See also


  • Guillermo P. Curbera: Mathematicians of the world, unite! The International Congress of Mathematicians. A Human Endeavor. AK Peters, Wellesley MA 2009, ISBN 978-1-56881-330-1 .
  • Donald J. Albers, Gerald L. Alexanderson, Constance Reid : International mathematical congresses. An illustrated history, 1893-1986. Springer, New York NY 1986, ISBN 0-387-96409-6 .

Web links

Commons : International Congress of Mathematicians  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foreword in the proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Bologna 1928