The EMS Executive Committee (EC) holds two major meetings in each (non-exceptional) year, plus regular shorter virtual meetings. For reasons of environmental and financial sustainability, one of the major meetings is now also held virtually. So, the EC plus guests met online between 17 and 20 November 2023.

1 Officers’ reports

EMS President Jan Philip Solovej opened the meeting and reported on his recent activities, which included representing the EMS at several major events: a speech at the 2023 Abel Prize ceremony in Oslo; the inaugural Balkan Mathematics Conference in Pitești in July; the 29th Nordic Congress of Mathematicians in Aalborg in July; and ICIAM (International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics) in Tokyo in August. He has also participated in the meetings of numerous EMS and EMS-affiliated committees. He reported on progress in several ongoing EMS activities (many of which will feature later in this report).

EMS Treasurer Samuli Siltanen then presented the EMS income statement as of 9 November 2023. Although the EMS finances remain healthy, it is also the case that the number of EMS supported activities has recently increased (for example the EMYA, see below). It is also true, of course, that EMS expenditure, like everything else, is affected by rising prices in the broader economy. Some savings are expected from recent moves, including changing the EMS Magazine to being online by default, with printed copies only for members who request it. However, these savings are not yet reflected in the balance sheets. The EC discussed several proposals to be put to the EMS Council in 2024 to further shore up the society’s financial position.

EMS Secretary Jiří Rákosník delivered his report. Besides his many organisational activities for the EC, he has been busy in several other EMS and EMS Press activities, including in the maintenance of the EMS website, and creating the statutes for two major new prizes, the Simon Norton Prize for Mathematics Outreach and the Paul Lévy Prize in Probability Theory.

Vice-President Beatrice Pelloni reported on her role, including leading the evaluation of applications for EMS Topical Activity Groups (TAGs) and Strategic Activities (the call is currently paused), and for selecting new members of the EMS Young Academy (EMYA, see below).

Vice-President Jorge Buescu reported on his role, including involvement in the preparation of the Simon Norton Prize for Mathematics Outreach. He was also the EMS delegate to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) General Assembly in Brussels in May and is a member of the EOSC “Upskilling Task Force” (replacing former EMS VP Betül Tanbay).

2 Membership and website

Elvira Hyvönen from the EMS Secretariat, in attendance as a guest, took the committee through the latest membership statistics. The EC approved 130 new applications for individual membership. No new applications for corporate membership, or class change, have been received. The EC discussed possible strategies to attract more members, as well as for increasing donations to the Committee for Developing Countries. Increased collaboration with EMS Press will form an important part of the approach to advertising in future.

3 Scientific meetings and society activities

The 9th European Congress of Mathematicians (ECM) will be held in Sevilla, 15–19 July The chair of the organising committee Juan González-Meneses delivered a report on the preparations, which are progressing well. To date, 27 satellite events have been announced (22 in Spain and 5 in Portugal) and all 10 plenary speakers and 32 invited speakers accepted their invitations. The EMS prizes will be presented at the congress; they have recently expanded to include the new Paul Lévy Prize in Probability Theory with a cash prize of 20,000 euros donated by BNP Paribas.

The 10th ECM will be held in 2028. Three bids to organise the meeting were received, with one subsequently being withdrawn. The EC agreed to make visits to the sites of the two remaining bids and invite both bidders to the next EC meeting. The final decision on the location will be taken by the EMS Council in July 2024.

The first Balkan Mathematical Conference (BMC) was held in on 1 July 2023 in Pitești (Romania). Preparations for BMC II in summer 2025 were discussed. The 29th Nordic Congress of Mathematicians was held very successfully in Aalborg (Denmark), 3–7 July 2024. The next edition is expected in 2028.

The EC approved funding for 10 EMS summer schools over 2024, and 9 other scientific meetings, plus invitations to two EMS Distinguished Speakers.

Vice-President Beatrice Pelloni reported on the activities of EMYA, the EMS Young Academy launched in spring 2023. The EC was delighted to welcome María Ángeles García Ferrero, the new representative of EMYA to the EC, to continue this discussion. EMYA’s input will be important for the future of many EMS activities. For instance, EMYA will meet to discuss zbMATH Open, and will hold a discussion panel on sustainability at the next ECM.

The EC discussed plans for a new online system for handling grant applications, and to appoint a new community manager jointly with EMS Press who would take over some of the duties currently carried out by the secretary and other members of the EC, the publicity officer, EMS office, and EMS Press staff. The EC also considered several technical modifications to society procedures to be proposed to the council in July 2024 for approval.

4 Standing committees and projects

The EC considered reports from the chairs of the ten standing committees which carry out so much of the EMS’s work. Some new members were approved to replace those whose terms are ending. The committees are:

  • Applications and Interdisciplinary Relations (CAIR), which has focussed on promoting grants of the European Research Council to the mathematical community.

  • Developing Countries, which has been running the EMS Simons for Africa programme, and recently approved 12 travel grants.

  • Education, which is highly active in several areas related to mathematical education at high school level and above.

  • European Research Centres in the Mathematical Sciences (ERCOM) Two new member institutes have recently been accepted: the Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Belgrade) and SwissMAP (Les Diablerets, Switzerland).

  • Ethics, which considers allegations of malpractice in mathematics. This committee intends to revise the EMS Code of Practice and other documents, including creating a new document regarding teaching mathematical ethics. The EC discussed material that it would be appropriate to include in these.

  • European Solidarity, which considers travel and funding requests for mathematicians from economically less favoured European countries.

  • Meetings, which handles applications for EMS summer schools and other scientific events, and makes recommendations to the EC.

  • Publications and Electronic Dissemination (PED), whose members intend to organise a mini-symposium at 9ECM.

  • Mathematics Outreach and Engagement, which has finalised the procedures for the new Simon Norton Prize for Mathematics Outreach to be presented in years 2024, 2026 and 2028. The next deadline for nominations is 30 April 2024. It also runs an outreach listings

  • Women in Mathematics (WiM), which, in cooperation with EMS Press, has been monitoring the participation of women in editorial boards of journals published by EMS Press. The situation is improving step by step. Following a successful 2023 EMS WiM Day where Ana Caraiani and Isabelle Gallagher delivered online lectures, the committee is organising a sequel on 17 May 2024 within the broader “12 May” initiative in honour of Maryam Mirzakhani.

5 Publishing and publicity

EMS Publicity Officer Richard Elwes, in attendance as a guest, reported on his activities. The EMS social media channels continue to grow healthily, although overall Twitter (now called “X”) is deteriorating as a platform. The EMS is currently available on:

  • Twitter,

  • Facebook,

  • LinkedIn,

  • Mastodon,

  • and

The managing director of EMS Press, André Gaul, also attending as a guest, presented an update from EMS Press. It has been very busy, with 8 books published this year and 2 more coming soon. The Subscribe to Open (S2O) publishing model for journals continues to operate very well, with 21 titles fully open access under S2O in 2023, alongside a further three Diamond open access publications, and prospects for 2024 also looking promising. EMS Press is a forward-looking publishing house as regards technology and is also an invaluable source of support to the EMS in this regard.

The editor-in-chief of the EMS Magazine, Fernando da Costa, another guest at the meeting, reported on the Magazine, including the fact that his term will end in June 2024, along with those of three other editors. The EC agreed that the Magazine is in excellent shape and discussed possible replacement editors.

The quarterly EMS Digest is currently paused. It is expected to restart in a new format in 2024.

The editor-in-chief of zbMATH Open, Klaus Hulek, also attending as a guest, reported to the committee. There has been significant increase in the number of users since zbMATH became Open Access. Particularly encouraging is the increase of users from developing countries. The president congratulated the zbMATH Open team for their excellent progress, and on behalf of the EMS expressed deep gratitude to outgoing editor-in-chief Klaus Hulek for all his work.

6 Funding, political, and scientific organisations

The committee discussed its relationship with several external organisations, including the European Research Council (ERC), the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), the Bernoulli Society, and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM). The president and other officers represented the EMS at ICIAM 2023 Tokyo in August.

The president closed the meeting with his thanks to all the EC members and guests. The next major EC meeting was scheduled for March 2024 in Helsinki, with regular short online meetings continuing in the meantime.

Richard Elwes is currently the EMS publicity officer (until July 2024) and a senior lecturer at University of Leeds (UK). As well as teaching and researching mathematics, he is involved in mathematical outreach and is the author of five popular mathematics books.

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Cite this article

Richard Elwes, Report from the EMS Executive Committee online meeting, 17–20 November 2023. Eur. Math. Soc. Mag. 132 (2024), pp. 68–71

DOI 10.4171/MAG/201
This open access article is published by EMS Press under a CC BY 4.0 license, with the exception of logos and branding of the European Mathematical Society and EMS Press, and where otherwise noted.