History of C.I.M.E. Foundation

Clicca qui per la versione italiana

C.I.M.E. means Centro Internazionale Matematico Estivo, that is, International Mathematical Summer Center.

Conceived in the early fifties, it was born in 1954 and made welcome by the world mathematical community where it remains, in good health and spirit, having reached by now the already respectable age of 50.

Such an event is the origin of the present report devoted of the fathers, to the long rank of supporters from all countries, who made its survival and growth possible, and, especially, to younger people from the mathematical research world who may not yet know much about C.I.M.E. or never have heard of it at all.

Younger people may not even know, but surely can imagine, that the latest world war, among the other sad heritage, obviously let scientific groups and individuals isolated.

The necessity of re-establishing the flow of information and of restarting connections was keenly felt in all countries.

In Italy this need was made worse by a pre-war period which was unfavourable for political reasons to the exchange of ideas at a normal level. This means that only few outstanding persons and their achievements were known abroad and few fortunate people did approximately know what was going on beyond the boundaries of the country in the various fields of scientific research.

It took about five years after the end of the war before the italian mathematicians as a community could face and try to solve the problem.

The first move in this direction may be traced back to the meeting of the Scientific Committee of the U.M.I. (Unione Matematica Italiana) held on July 13, 1952, whose agenda included the item ``Corso estivo di matematiche superiori'', i.e., ``Summer course of higher mathematics''. At the meeting, under the chairmanship of the president of the U.M.I, GIOVANNI SANSONE, a Committee ad hoc, composed by ENRICO BOMPIANI, ATTILIO FRAJESE, BENIAMINO SEGRE, was appointed. Later on FABIO CONFORTO joined the Committee.

A report was read before the Scientific Committee of the U.M.I. on January 7, 1953. The discussion led to the foundation of what is now C.I.M.E., as an independent organism under the sponsorship of the U.M.I.

Bureaucratic difficulties, as usual, delayed the starting of C.I.M.E.'s activity until 1954. The same year the Scientific Committee of the U.M.I. gave birth to C.I.M.E. by appointing a Scientific Committee composed by L. AMERIO, E. BOMPIANI (Director), R. CONTI (Secretary), A. FRAJESE, C. MIRANDA, G. SANSONE, B. SEGRE, F. SEVERI, A. SIGNORINI.

After an initial, experimental period of three years, in 1957, a set of Regulations was published in the Bollettino U.M.I. (s.III, XII, 1957, 119--121). Subsequent modifications were published in the same Bollettino (s.III, XVII, 1962, 148--151; s. III, XX 1965, 410--412).

Since the begining an annual report of the activities of the C.I.M.E. is read in the framework of the general meeting of the Italian Mathematical Union.

Since 1962 the Scientific Committee has been composed by 10 members, elected by all Professors of Mathematics of Italian Universities to serve for a 6 years term. Only electors who have been participating in the C.I.M.E.'s activities during the 6 years prior to the selection are eligible. Elections are triennal, hence partial, to the effect of renewing only one half at most of the Committee each time. Elected members coopt one more member, not necessarily among the eligible ones. A Director is appointed by the Committee and a Secretary is then appointed by the Director to serve for a three years term.

The following persons have been members of the Scientific Committee: C. Agostinelli, L. Amerio, C. Baiocchi, A. Barlotti, E. Bombieri, E. Bompiani, (Direttore, 1954-1974), F. Catanese, V. Capasso, C. Cattaneo, C. Cercignani, A. Cellina (Direttore, 1999-2001), P. Colli, A. Conte, R. Conti (Segretario, 1954-1974; Direttore, 1975-1998), G. Dal Maso, G. Da Prato, P. De Bartolomeis, C. De Concini, A. Frajese, B. Finzi, B. Forte, D. Galletto, G. Geymonat, F. Gherardelli, M. Giaquinta, D. Graffi, S. Greco, G. Grioli, L. Lombardo Radice, M. Manetti, E. Magenes, E. Mascolo (Segretario 2002-), A. Maugeri, C. Miranda, A. Moro (Segretario, 1975-1983), M. Pratelli, M. Primicerio, G. Ricci, G. Sansone, B. Segre, F. Severi, A. Signorini, G. Stampacchia, F. Tricerri, E. Vesentini, V. Vespri (Segretario, 1999-2001), V. Villani, C. Viola, G. Zampieri, P. Zecca (Segretario, 1984-1998; Direttore, 2002-).

After a long strive, in 1980 C.I.M.E. became a Foundation, namely the ``FONDAZIONE CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE MATEMATICO ESTIVO'', whose seat is in Firenze at the Dipartimento Matematico Ulisse Dini.

Many mathematicians from all over the world have been involved in a way or another in C.I.M.E.'s activities during the past years. So they already know what the C.I.M.E. is all about. For the benefit of future potential users and cooperators the main purposes and the functioning of the Center may be summarized as follows

Every year, during the summer, Sessions (three as a rule) on different themes from pure and applied mathematics are offered by application to mathematicians from all countries, who can produce a reasonably documented evidence of their interest in the subject.

Each Session is generally based on three or four main courses (24 hours over a period of 8 working days) held from specialists of international renown, plus a certain number of Seminars.

A C.I.M.E. Session, therefore, is neither a Symposium, nor a School, but maybe a blend of both. The aim is that of bringing to the attention of younger researchers the origins, later developments, and perspectives of some branch of live mathematics. It is the responsibility of the Scientific Committee to make a choice of the themes (not too general, not too specialized), and that of the Scientific Director (Coordinatore) of the Session to make the right choice of main courses and lectures.

No registration fee is due. On the contrary, when allowed by the budget, some financial contribution may be exceptionally granted to the participants.

C.I.M.E. is supported by annual subventions from the M.I.U.R. (the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Scientific Research), the M.A.E. - Ufficio V (the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the C.N.R. (the Italian National Research Council), the I.N.d.A.M. (Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica "Francesco Severi"), the E.U. (European Union under the Training and Mobility of Researchers Program ) and the UNESCO-ROSTE. Some of the Sessions were also subsidized by the Scientific Affairs Division of the N.A.T.O. under the Advanced Summer Institutes (A.S.I.) program. Travel grants from the N.S.F. were also of help. Other contributions were obtained from the Fondazione Einaudi and, occasionally, from other sources.

Since 1962 the annual financial reports are being published in the Bollettino U.M.I. (1963-1973) and the Notiziario U.M.I. (1974-).

Technical, logistical and clerical assistance from most of the host institutions has to be acknowledged. In particular, the Ente Villa Monastero di Varenna, the Università di Padova (Casa della Gioventù in Bressanone), the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Palazzone di Cortona), the Municipality of Montecatini Terme deserve a special mention.

Appendix A contains the essential data pertaining to each of the Sessions held from 1954 to today.

It should be noticed that until 1964 the titles of the Sessions were in Italian, though the languages used were always English and French with a very few exceptions.

The were attended by over 8000 participants, of which about one third were from foreign countries.

The texts of lectures and seminars of each Session were all published.

The volumes of Sessions 1--38 are out of print. Those of Sessions 39--70 are on the Catalogue of Edizioni Cremonese, Borgo S. Croce 17, 50122 Firenze, Italy. The volumes of Sessions 71--83 are on the Catalogue of Liguori Editore, Via Mezzocannone 19, 80134 Napoli, Italy.

Starting from 1981 the texts are being published by Springer Verlag in a Subseries (Fondazione C.I.M.E.) of the ``Lectures Notes in Matematics'' series.

Prof. Pietro Zecca (C.I.M.E. Director)