Venezuelan Mathematical Association

Founded in 1980

There have been various attempts over the years to establish a Venezuelan mathematical society. The first attempt that we are aware of was at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Boston in 1950. There was a meeting at this Congress, chaired by Norbert Wiener, which aimed to establish an association of Latin American mathematicians but, although it was agreed to set up such an association, it never happened. In 1970, the Third Bolivarian Congress of Mathematics was held in Caracas and at this Congress it was proposed to set up an association of Venezuelan mathematicians but this project was quickly shelved.

The University of Los Andes sponsored the First Venezuelan Congress of Mathematicians in Mérida, 17-20 March 1977. It discussed the teaching of school and university mathematics, the shortage of mathematics teachers, the development of mathematics departments in universities, and postgraduate studies and mathematical research. The Second Venezuelan Congress of Mathematicians took place at the Universidad de Oriente in the City of Cumaná in 1978 and the Third Venezuelan Congress of Mathematicians took place in 1980 at the University of Zulia in Maracaibo. It was at this Third Venezuelan Congress that the Venezuelan Society of Mathematics (SVM) was founded.

The purpose of the Venezuelan Society of Mathematics was to bring together all those involved in mathematical work in Venezuela in all its various aspects: research, applications, and teaching, at all levels. In addition, the aim of the Society was to organise the Venezuelan Congress of Mathematics in 1981 and continued to organise future congresses every two years after that, to publish a Mathematics Bulletin, and to organise interdisciplinary seminars. The Society struggled from the beginning and failed to have the necessary funds to organise the Fourth Venezuelan Congress of Mathematics in 1981. Unable to carry out what was required by its Statutes, it essentially ceased to exist. This was not too surprising given that Venezuela, having a strong economy in the 1960s and 1970 based largely on oil, suddenly was hard hit by collapsing oil prices.

There were many efforts to reactivate the Venezuelan Society of Mathematics, but faced with the impossibility of achieving it, a group of mathematicians decided to create a new organisation whose objectives and goals were, in essence, the same as those envisaged by the founders of the Venezuelan Society of Mathematics in 1980. Having to change the name, it the society was called the Asociación Matemática Venezolana (AMV), or in English, the Venezuelan Mathematical Association, and it was established in January 1990. In February of that year branches of the Association were set up in Caracas, Maracaibo and Mérida and in April elections were held to fill the positions on these local committees. In January 1991 the Barquisimeto branch was set up with its committee.

Joaquín Ortega, Secretary General of the Caracas branch, was appointed as President of the Association and it was decided that this branch would be in charge of the organisation of the three national projects that the Association took over, namely, the Congress, the Venezuelan School of Mathematics, and publishing the Bulletin The Congress was broadened and renamed the Conference on Mathematics. It was held at the Simón Bolívar University in 1991 and made an annual event, being at San Cristobal in 1992, Caracas in 1993, and Barquisimeto in 1994. This has continued with the 32nd Venezuelan Conference on Mathematics taking place at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Carabobo from 9 to 11 November 2022. This was both a face-to-face and an online event.

Ivan Rodriguez explains in [4] that over 100 local and foreign mathematicians have participated in each meeting. During the Conference on Mathematics, researchers present the results of their investigations and exchange ideas about the progress in their fields. The Venezuelan Mathematical Association also organises the Venezuelan School of Mathematics in which over 3000 mathematicians have participated in the annual meeting it has run up to 2022, most of them being graduate students; more than 124 textbooks have been produced for these courses which have been online events in the last few years. The Bulletin of the Venezuelan Mathematical Association is the principal Venezuelan mathematical journal. The Venezuelan Mathematical Association is the link between the Venezuelan community of mathematics professors and researchers with important international associations such as the International Mathematical Union ...

Writing in 2018, Ivan Rodriguez explained how the Association was struggling to continue to carry out its commitments:-
These activities have been profoundly affected in recent years by the difficult situation of the country, which has resulted in the near paralysis of the Venezuelan Mathematical Association's activities and a significant migration of mathematicians from Venezuela to other countries. For example, the Bulletin of the Venezuelan Mathematical Association had to be converted into an electronic journal, as it became impossible to print the 400 copies that were produced and distributed every year. It has only been possible to continue the Venezuelan School of Mathematics thanks to the extraordinary commitment and efforts of a few mathematicians, and some financial support from international institutions, including the International Mathematical Union, albeit with a decreasing number of participants. The Venezuelan Mathematical Association has been unable to pay its fees to the International Mathematical Union [and other similar bodies].

Visit the society website.

References (show)

  1. O Araujo, 25 Años, Boletín de la Asociación Matemática Venezolana 19 (2) (2012), 159-164.
  2. O Araujo, Veinte Años, Boletín de la Asociación Matemática Venezolana 21 (1) (2014), 3-.
  3. O Araujo and J Ortega, Acerca del Origen de la Asociación Matemática Venezolana, Boletín de la Asociación Matemática Venezolana 1 (1) (1994), 13-19.
  4. I Rodriguez, Help the Venezuelan Mathematical Community, (2018).

Last Updated February 2023