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A VERY SPECIAL DAY AT UNESCO

AROUND MATHEMATICS AS A MAJOR ISSUE FOR DEVELOPMENT

The study of meteorological, environmental or biological phenomena for developing countries necessitates more and more sophisticated mathematical tools. The training of engineers and scientific staff able to conduct these studies and to implement solutions requires to elaborate education and train teachers in mathematics at the highest level. In addition, the promotion of mathematical research is essential to nurture the innovation we need to implement the industry and infrastructure yielding fair and sustainable development. This very special event aims at raising awareness about the importance of mathematics regarding development issues.

This day is proposed by the Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées (CIMPA), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French National Commission for UNESCO (CNFU), under the sponsorship of the French Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Committee.


SPEAKERS

Through a series of talks, scientists from around the world will focus on different aspects of mathematics as a development tool.




PROGRAM

The event will be animated by Luc ALLEMAND, a journalist and science communicator, founder of Afriscitech, online media dedicated to the scientific production of the African continent.


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MORNING

from 9:30 to 12:30 AM


AFTERNOON

from 2:00 to 5:30 PM

9:30 - 10:15

OPENING SPEECHES

by Audrey AZOULAY (Director-General of UNESCO),
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Ludovic RIFFORD (Director of CIMPA),
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Laurent STEFANINI (Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO),
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Pascal AUSCHER (Director of INSMI-CNRS),
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Sonia BAHRI (Advisor for Science and Sustainable Development, French National Commission to UNESCO),
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Patrick MONFRAY (Deputy Director of the Research and Innovation Strategy Service, French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation),
Étienne GHYS (Permanent Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences).

10:15 - 10:20
VIDEO ADDRESS BY INGRID DAUBECHIES,

former President of the International Mathematical Union, Professor at Duke University, laureate of the 2019 L’Oréal-UNESCO International Awards for Women in Science.
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10:20 - 10:45

TALK
Meaningful Teaching and Learning of Mathematics for Sustainable Development

Bijura
by Angelina BIJURA.
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One of the UNO Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is commitment “to ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including by eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. All people must enjoy a basic standard of living, including through social protection systems”.
For this to happen, young people should be prepared to be not only productive, but also active members of their communities. To be men and women who are creative, innovative and quick thinkers who constantly reflect on their actions with the intentions of improving their lives, thus building communities of critical thinkers. When school mathematics is taught and learnt in a meaningful way, critical thinking is acquired. This talk is about meaningful teaching and learning of mathematics. About the positive interaction between teachers, learners and the mathematical content. The kind of teaching that puts emphasis on relational understanding; procedural and conceptual understanding. Challenges that are currently facing developing countries like Tanzania to deliver meaningful school mathematics will be outlined and discussed.

10:45 - 11:00

COFFEE BREAK

11:00 - 11:25

TALK
Mathematics in Brazil, from the 1950s to the 2020s

Viana
by Marcelo VIANA.
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Starting from little, Brazil built up within seven decades a world-renowned school of mathematics. After entering Group One of the International Mathematical Union in 1954, the country has just been promoted to Group Five, which gathers the eleven top nations in this scientific domain. A symbol of this development, Carioca Artur Avila, researcher and alumnus of the IMPA (Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro), became the first Fields medalist to have done his entire course of study in a developing country.
How was it possible? One can point out two main factors. On the one hand, a decisive and intelligent leadership who knew how to take advantage of the country’s desire for scientific development at the end of World War II, when Brazil started its accelerated industrialization. On the other hand, the wide international opening of the Brazilian mathematicians’ community at the international level (France playing a major part) as well as in the regional framework of Latin America.

11:25 - 11:35
VIDEO PROJECTION ON ALI NESIN,

2018 recipient of the Leelavati Prize.
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11:35 - 12:30

ROUND TABLE 1
The Importance of Mathematics in Education and Higher Education in Developing Countries

Bijura
Bourguignon
green
Phan
Viana

With the participation of Angelina BIJURA, Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON, Barry GREEN, Thi Ha Duong PHAN, Marcelo VIANA.
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12:30 - 2:00

LUNCH AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

2:00 - 2:25

TALK
Mathematics for Billions: Relevance of Mathematical Sciences to Planet Earth

Apte
by Amit APTE.
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Mathematics is a singular achievement of the human mind, that constructs precise logical relations between abstract concepts. The usefulness, and uselessness, of mathematics in aiding us understand the world around us has been a puzzle that many have pondered over. In this talk, we will discuss how development of new mathematical ideas in recent years has been and continues to be essential to study the climate of the Earth, especially in unravelling the secrets hidden in the huge and complex observational datasets. We will also illustrate how mathematical research is guided not only by considerations of beauty and simplicity but also by notions of relevance and utility.

2:25 - 2:50

TALK
Mathematical Modelling, a Decision Tool for the Management of Fishery Resources

Apte
by Nadia RAÏSSI.
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The economic situation of Morocco and the launching of development policies restructuration programs have increased the already high pressure on natural resources. With a 3500 km long sea coast, a more than 1.5 million tonnes fishery production in 2017, a 3% share of GDP and 6% of labour force, the fishing industry plays a prominent role in the national Moroccan economy.
Through mathematical modelling, one describes the complex mechanisms of this activity. Models analysis enables to rationalize and improve the decision-making for a sustainable and responsible management of the sector, by taking into account its environmental and economic issues.
This approach is based on sophisticated mathematical tools and may be adapted to other applications, particularly to the modelling of environment management. Given the current ecological transition, in which Morocco stands as a leader among African countries, this is indeed a topical issue.

2:50 - 3:00
VIDEO PROJECTION OF AN ARTISTIC PERFORMANCE

by the UNESCO Club of the University of Lomé.
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3:00 - 3:25

TALK
Mathematics in Erosion and Transport Problems

Seck
by Diaraf SECK.
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This talk is intended for the widest possible audience. Therefore, we will not display mathematical results as one usually does in mathematical conferences. We will rather try to highlight the contribution of mathematics to helping us understand problems with concrete impact on human lives, such as erosion and dynamics problems of sand dunes in a desert, traffic problems in urban areas, pollution problems, etc. To support our argument, we will focus on a couple of examples. We will talk about the dynamics of underwater sand dunes that are close to the seashore and are affected by tidal movements. Without sand transport or sea level rise, coastal erosion phenomena stay more or less reasonable. One could then hope for better projections of coastal lines’ evolution in the long, medium and short run. Different mathematical models are proposed for long, medium and short-term evolutions. These mathematical models derive from morphodynamics (Exner equation) and hydrodynamics equations (shallow water equations and Navier-Stokes equations). By analogy, one can perfectly propose mathematical models to study the dynamics of sand dunes in deserts.

3:25 - 3:45

COFFEE BREAK

3:45 - 4:40

ROUND TABLE 2
The Importance of Mathematics as a Tool to Meet Development Issues

Jaoua
Macchi
Raissi
Raoult
Seck
yazdanpanah

With the participation of Mohamed JAOUA, Odile MACCHI, Nadia RAÏSSI, Annie RAOULT, Diaraf SECK, Yazdan YAZDANPANAH.
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4:40 - 5:05

TALK
Mathematics and Development: Theory and Experience

Villani

by Cédric VILLANI.
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5:05 - 5:30

CLOSING SPEECHES

by Antoine PETIT (President and Chief Executive Officer of CNRS)
and Thierry COULHON (Advisor for Schooling, Higher Education, Research and Innovation to the President of the French Republic).



HONORARY COMMITTEE

An honorary committee bringing together the following personalities was formed to sponsor the day.




AN EXCEPTIONAL PLACE:
THE UNESCO HOUSE

Located near the Eiffel Tower, Place de Fontenoy in Paris, the UNESCO House houses conference rooms and exhibition spaces. There is also a bookshop and many remarkable works of art by Picasso, Bazaine, Miro, Tapiés, Le Corbusier ... Concerts, shows, ceremonies, screenings, exhibitions and conferences are hosted every month, free and open to all.



INFORMATIONS

Address

UNESCO

Salle IV
125, avenue de Suffren
75007 PARIS

We recommend that you use the following public transportation:

Metro : Ségur-UNESCO, Cambronne, École Militaire
Autobus : 28, 80
Station Velib' : n° 15009 Suffren, 140 avenue de Suffren

CONTACT THE ORGANIZERS



ORGANIZERS



PARTNERS