From 21 to 24 February 2020, the International Mathematics Union (IMU) Executive Committee visited AIMS, where they held their annual meeting and participated in a special day of engagement with local mathematicians and AIMS students.

The day of engagement included plenary talks, panel discussions, informal conversations and face-to-face interaction. This was a unique opportunity for attendees to meet the IMU leadership, including the Fields Medallists Prof Shigofumi Mori and Prof Andrei Okounkov and gain insight into current mathematical developments. The event was arranged by the Council of the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS) and was hosted at the AIMS South Africa centre in Muizenberg.

During the day Prof. Carlos Kenig, IMU President, University of Chicago gave a survey lecture titled: ‘Simplification in partial and differential equations.’ This was followed by an interview with Prof. Nalini Joshi, IMU Vice-President, University of Sydney. Prof. Andrei Okounkov, Fields Medalist, IMU Executive Committee member-at-Large, Columbia University then gave a survey lecture titled: ‘Lie theory without groups.’

A panel discussion titled: ‘Internationalistion versus Geographical Isolation’ was hosted with the following panellists: Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, IMU Vice-President, South Africa; Prof. Nalini Joshi, IMU Vice-President; Prof. Paolo Piccione, IMU ExCo Member-at-Large, Brazil and Prof. RT Ramadas, IMU ExCo Member-at-Large, India. The Chair was Prof. Precious Sibanda, SAMS President.

Further interviews took place after lunch with Prof. Helge Holden, IMU Secretary General, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Prof. Daya Reddy, ISC President, University of Cape Town; Prof. Jill Adler, ICMI President, University of the Witwatersrand and Prof. Barry Green, AIMS Director and CIMPA President. The Chair was Prof. Loyiso Nongxa

There was also an opportunity for participants to network with the entire IMU executive later in the day.