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New Mathematical Center in Ukraine

In summer 2022, a group of mathematicians of Ukrainian origin initiated an ambitious project—a new center for mathematical sciences with a mission to support top-level research in mathematics in Ukraine, with a special emphasis on training younger generations of mathematicians. The goal of the new center is to connect the mathematical community, and to become a catalyst for fundamental changes in Ukraine’s scientific infrastructure.

This letter is to announce the newly formed International Centre for Mathematics in Ukraine (ICMU) to the readers of the Notices. We envision ICMU as a modern facility similar to Mittag-Leffler Institut in Sweden or Isaac Newton Institute in Great Britain, where mathematicians from around the world will collaborate, share new discoveries, and train the next generations of mathematicians. ICMU will carry out educational and outreach activities, and help facilitate interaction of Ukrainian academics with the global mathematical community.

About a year ago, ICMU was registered in Ukraine as a non-governmental organization. The planning of the scientific activities is overseen by the Scientific Board composed of prominent mathematicians. A separate Supervisory Board is tasked with strategic planning of ICMU development. The inaugural chair of the Supervisory Board is the former president of the European Mathematical Society, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.

The center is proudly supported by XTX Markets, its Founding and Principal Donor. We have begun our fundraising campaign in the US through the KBF.⁠Footnote1 We welcome donations from organizations as well as individual gifts, and no donation is too small. The donations are tax-deductible and currently all are being matched by XTX Markets.

Despite the ongoing war, ICMU has already organized its first scientific event: school and conference “Numbers in the Universe,” which took place on August 7–11, 2023. Its aim was to present the latest breakthroughs in number theory and its applications to the broad public. The event took place in the premises of the Kyiv School of Economics and the Stefan Banach International Mathematical Center in Warsaw with a live connection between the two audiences. The program included lecture series by Vitaly Bergelson, Terence Tao, and Maryna Viazovska. On August 9, a special session of “Numbers in the Universe” dedicated to the opening of the ICMU was held. Government representatives of both Ukraine and Poland were present as well as the presidents of both Academies of Sciences.

The full-scale operation of ICMU will commence once the war ends, and once ICMU’s permanent building is found and renovated. Nevertheless, some programs are already open, and we plan to host them at the premises of partnering institutions such as the Kyiv School of Economics. The enthusiasm of Ukrainian students during the “Numbers in the Universe” school was palpable, and we believe that today the vision of ICMU is motivating students and scientists who are staying in Ukraine, emphasizing the dream of a bright future for the country and contributing to its rebuilding after the war.

More information about ICMU is available on its web page at

Andrey Gogolev, Professor
The Ohio State University

Volodymyr Nekrashevych, Professor
Texas A&M University

Pavlo Pylyavskyy, Professor
University of Minnesota

Dmytro Savchuk, Associate Professor
University of South Florida

Masha Vlasenko, Associate Professor
IMPAN, Warsaw

Letter to the Editor RE: Roots of Littlewood Polynomials

The image of the roots of Littlewood polynomials in the October 2023 issue of the Notices [Figure 1, page 1495] reminded me of a conversation I once had with Jonathan Borwein (1951–2016), who said that, because of its beauty, the image “had started a life of its own.” A version of the image appeared on the covers of (at least) two books that Borwein coauthored.

In 1997 Jonathan’s younger brother Peter Borwein (1953–2020), together with Christopher Pinner, now at Kansas State University, published an article that contained the image of zeros of all polynomials with coefficients and degree at most eight and the image of all zeros of all degree twelve polynomials with coefficients (P. Borwein and C. G. Pinner, Polynomials with coefficients and a root close to a given point, Canadian Journal of Mathematics 49 (1997), 887–915).

Jonathan and Peter Borwein were talented, creative, productive, and highly influential mathematicians. As happens with siblings born only a few years apart, Jonathan and Peter were very close even though they were two completely different characters: Jonathan was an inexhaustible source of energy and ideas while Peter was more of a laid-back thinker.

Their premature deaths are still felt as huge losses for their families, friends, and collaborators.

Veselin Jungic
Department of Mathematics
Simon Fraser University