President Klas Markström on the SMS

Klas Markström wrote an article 'The Swedish Mathematical Society' which appeared in the London Mathematical Society Newsletter 474 (2018), 41. We give a version of this article below:


The Swedish Mathematical Society (SMS) was founded in 1950 and has a bit over 500 members. For a long time Swedish mathematics was concentrated at the universities in Lund and Uppsala, but by the end of the 19th century Stockholm, and later Gothenburg, were growing into large departments as well. The SMS helped bring together members from these, and later many more, universities, as well as a number of mathematics teachers from schools around the country. The first President of the society was Arne Beurling, who served from 1950 to 1952. The tradition has become to elect a new President every two years and always pick the new president from a different department than the current one.

The SMS has two member meetings per year, the larger annual meeting in late May or early June, and an autumn meeting in November. Each meeting has two parts, first a scientific one with talks on different mathematical topics, and after that a business meeting where the members vote on various issues. The annual meeting hosts the award ceremony for the Wallenberg Prize, awarded for research by a promising younger mathematician. The 2017 Prize was awarded to Maurice Duits, based at KTH in Stockholm, for his work in the theory of random matrices. The prize winner is also the main speaker of that year's autumn meeting, which is held the day before the finals of the Mathematical Competition for Schools. This is an annual mathematics competition for school children, grades 10 to 12, which the SMS has arranged since 1961.

Apart from these regular meetings the SMS also arranges conferences and other scientific meetings together with other mathematical societies. The largest of these is the Nordic Congress of Mathematicians, which is arranged together with our sibling societies from the other Nordic countries. The different countries take turns in hosting the four day congress. The most recent congress was held from 16-20 March 2016 in Stockholm.

This meeting had approximately 550 participants and was part of the centenary celebration for Institut Mittag-Leffler, the mathematical research institute situated just outside Stockholm. As an example apart from the recurring congresses, from 12-15 June 2017 the SMS arranged a joint meeting with the Catalan and Spanish mathematical societies. This meeting was arranged at Umea University and had approximately 180 participants, with equal participation from the three societies. Three times per year the society publishes a member bulletin, primarily in Swedish and now in electronic format. The Society also awards a number of yearly conference travels grants for PhD students.

Klas Markström President of the Swedish Mathematical Society.


JOC/EFR February 2018

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