The Luxembourg Mathematical Society

Founded in 1970

The Luxembourg Mathematical Society began its existence in 1970 under the name Séminaire de Mathématique de Luxembourg. It organised symposia on general mathematical topics including Mathematics and Reality (1974), Mathematical Language and Mathematical Thought (1976), and Poincaré's Philosophy of Science (1986).

In 1988 the members of the Séminaire de Mathématique de Luxembourg planned to create the Société Mathématique du Luxembourg, or in English "The Luxembourg Mathematical Society". It was formally founded in January 1989 on the initiative of Professor Jean-Paul Pier.

Let us give a few details about Jean-Paul Pier (1933-2016). He studied mathematics in Luxembourg, Paris and Nancy. For 41 years he taught mathematics in various secondary schools, taking time away to have extended visits to the "Centre Nucléaire de Grenoble" and to take a post-doctoral degree at the University of Oregon in the United States. He taught mathematics at the Lycée de Garçons in Esch-sur-Alzette from 1956 to 1980 and he was a professor at the Centre universitaire de Luxembourg (now the University of Luxembourg) from its founding in 1974 until he retired in 1998. He founded the Mathematics Seminar at the University in 1971. He published books Amenable locally compact groups (1984) and Amenable Banach algebras (1988). A leading expert on the history of mathematics he published books such as L'analyse harmonique. Son développement historique (1990), Histoire de l'intégration. Vingt-cinq siècles de mathématiques (1996) and Mathematical analysis during the 20th century (2001). In addition he published many papers on the History of Mathematics, and several on Harmonic Analysis and Functional Analysis.

The mission of the Luxembourg Mathematical Society is the promotion of Pure and Applied Mathematics, and the ways that it aims to accomplish this is by: (i) organising conferences, workshops, seminars, round table discussions etc.; (ii) publishing books, mathematical journals, newsletters etc.; (iii) representing the mathematics of Luxembourg and the mathematics profession in Luxembourg both inside and outside the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

After the present Society was founded in 1989 it has continued to organise symposia, for example The Development of Mathematics 1900-1950 (1992), Developments in Mathematics at the Eve of 2000 (1998), Conference on Harmonic Analysis (2002), Conference on Poisson Geometry (2005). Particularly with the first three of these one can see the strong influence of Jean-Paul Pier.

The Society has been involved in holding joint meetings with other mathematical societies. For example, the 'First Joint Conference of the Belgian, Royal Spanish and Luxembourg Mathematical Societies' took place in Liège, Belgium, 6-8 June 2012. The 'Second Joint Conference of the Belgian, Royal Spanish and Luxembourg Mathematical Societies' took place in Logrono, Spain, 6-8 June 2016.

The Society also organises a weekly seminar in cooperation with the Mathematics Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg. Seminar sessions take place at Campus Belval on Tuesdays [1]:-
It aims at contributing to exchanges between all the groups of the Mathematics Research Unit through the organisation of various talks by external mathematicians, focusing on trends and results of global interest for the Mathematics Research Unit and researchers from closely related fields. In particular, this seminar is directed towards a large audience, including Ph.D. students, post-doctoral researchers and professors. In the established international atmosphere of the Mathematics Research Unit, it promotes a dynamic that is meant to strongly stimulate joint research efforts between algebra, number theory, geometry, the mathematical theory of quantisation, harmonic analysis, probability theory and mathematical modelling.
Also in cooperation with the Mathematics Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Mathematical Society publishes the journal Travaux Mathématiques. The first volume of the journal appeared in 1989. A special part of the journal, Volume 11 in 1999, published the proceedings of the conference Developments in Mathematics at the Eve of 2000 which we mentioned above. Also Volume 14 in 2003 published the proceedings of the Conference on Harmonic Analysis, while Volume 16 in 2005 published the proceedings of the Conference on Poisson Geometry. Special issues have also appeared in 2007, 2008, and 2011.

Here is a version of the article [2] written by Jean-Paul Pier about the Luxembourg Mathematical Society in 1999:-
In Luxembourg, organised mathematical activities, other than pedagogical ones, started around 1970, under the name of 'Séminaire de Mathématique de Luxembourg'. In 1988, the members of that group created the Société Mathématique du Luxembourg, which became a founding member of the European Mathematical Society. Currently the Luxembourg Mathematical Society has 35 members, of whom 21 belong to the European Mathematical Society. The regular activities of the Luxembourg Mathematical Society consist of weekly seminars. The topics vary, but usually relate to harmonic analysis or differential geometry.

The Luxembourg Mathematical Society endeavours to popularise mathematics in a small country, and from time to time organises conferences for the general public. Among the symposia on general mathematical subjects, each attended by about one hundred people, we mention: 'Mathematics and Reality' (1974), 'Mathematical Language and Mathematical Thought' (1976), and 'Poincaré's Philosophy of Science' (1986). The speakers have included Jean Dieudonné and René Thom

A regular congress of the Groupement des Mathematiciens d'Expression Latine was held in Luxembourg in 1981. It involved mainly mathematicians from neo-Latin speaking countries (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian). The Luxembourg Mathematical Society is much concerned with cooperation in the 'Grande Région' centred in Luxembourg, and regional meetings have included Université de Liège, Centre universitaire de Luxembourg, Université de Metz, FUNDP Namur, Université Henri Poincaré Nancy, Universität des Saarlandes and Universität Trier. Specialised symposia have also taken place, such as 'Harmonic Analysis' (1987), with the participation of George Mackey (Springer Lecture Notes 1359). Besides the publication of symposia proceedings, the Luxembourg Mathematical Society has for ten years edited a yearly issue of 'Travaux mathématiques', which should now be expanded further.

In the context of World Mathematical Year 2000 (WMY2000), the Luxembourg Mathematical Society has given much consideration to understanding the evolution of mathematical ideas during the now-ending century. Two symposia have already been organised:

(i) 'The Development of mathematics 1900-1950', at Bourglinster Castle in 1992; foreign speakers were J L Doob, G Fichera, I Gelfand, M Guillaume, W K Hayman, C Houzel, A Lichnerowicz, L Nirenberg and W Schwarz;

(ii) 'Developments in mathematics at the eve of 2000', at Centre universitaire de Luxembourg in 1998; foreign speakers were J P Bourguignon, C Houzel, V Kac, J-P Kahane, J Mawhin, N Nikolskii, R Penrose and R Remmert.

At the end of 1997 UNESCO unanimously adopted a motion introduced by Luxembourg, declaring its sponsorship for WMY2000 (draft resolution 29C/DR126). A new motion has recently been proposed by Luxembourg, asking UNESCO to increase its support for mathematical projects during WMY2000.

Jean-Paul Pier is President of the Société Mathématique de Luxembourg.
Presidents of the Luxembourg Mathematical Society
1989-1992: Jean-Paul Pier
1992-1993: Jean Ludwig
1993-2002: Jean-Paul Pier
2002-2006: Carine Molitor-Braun
2006-2010: Norbert Poncin
2010- : Martin Schlichenmaier

Visit the society website.

References (show)

  1. Luxembourg Mathematical Society website.
  2. J-P Pier, Luxembourg Mathematical Society, European Mathematical Society Newsletter 34 (December, 1999), 26.

Last Updated February 2018