MaThCryst recent activities
Training course on symmetry and group theory, August 2014, Tsukuba, (Japan)
IUCr Congress Satellite Workshop on the Role of Magnetic Symmetry in the Description & Determination of Magnetic Structures, August 2014, Hamilton, (Canada)
School on Topological methods for expert systems in materials science, August 2014, Samara (Russia)
School on Fundamental Crystallography, April 2014, La Plata (Argentina)
School on Fundamental Crystallography, October 2013, Glulechitza (Bulgaria)
School on Topological methods in crystal chemistry and materials science, September 2013, Lausanne (Switzerland)
SIAM Conference on Mathematical Aspects of Materials Science, June 2013, Philadelphia (USA)
School on Fundamental Crystallography, November 2012, Uberlândia (Brazil)
School on Fundamental Crystallography, April 2012, Mahdia (Tunisia)
Workshop on Crystallographic Software, December 2011, Tokyo (Japan)
Workshop on Mathematical Crystallography, November 2011, Manila (Philippines)
Approved by action of the IUCr General Assembly, 25 August 2005
The IUCr-MaThCryst was founded to promote and achieve the following aims:
- To strengthen links and interactions among crystallographers, mathematicians and theoretical physicists and chemists, and to promote a common language in these fields.
- To promote the presence at IUCr meetings of scientists working in the fields of mathematics, geometry, topology, and symmetry.
- To strengthen the recognition of crystallography as an interdisciplinary science in those fields where nowadays it is considered only to be a technique.
- To promote the publication of mathematical and theoretical papers in the Journals of the Union.
- To encourage the development and dissemination of mathematical and theoretical methods, software and databases for the solution of crystallographic problems.
- To promote and organize symposia of interest to mathematical and theoretical crystallographers during IUCr congresses and meetings of regional associates, in cooperation with other Commissions of the Union.
- To promote and organize meetings, workshops and schools in collaboration with other Commissions particularly targeting post-graduate students and young scientists needing and willing to complete their education in crystallography.
Far from having exhausted its research potentiality, Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography (MaThCryst) is today facing new challenges, not only in the very classical field of group theory (magnetic groups, chromatic groups, N-dimensional groups) and its applications (phase transitions, polymorphism and polytypism, twinning, bicrystallography, ferroic crystals), but also in several directions that previously were less strongly perceived as being directly related to crystallographic and crystal-chemistry problems, such as graph theory, combinatorial topology, number theory, discrete geometry, diffraction theory, etc. The development of mathematical and theoretical crystallography will strengthen the interaction between crystallographers, mathematicians and materials scientists and will definitely contribute to the recognition of crystallography as an interdisciplinary science.
The outstanding success that applied crystallography has experienced in recent years has transformed common structural investigation into a routine task, often performed by researchers with no specific background in crystallography. Moreover, the success of automated structure solutions, whose results are persistently accepted without sufficient criticism, has contributed to the spread of the pernicious impression that a specific education in crystallography is no longer necessary in order to perform crystallographic tasks on a daily basis. The result is that nowadays crystallography is increasingly perceived as a technique, if not just as a tool, rather than an interdisciplinary science strongly interacting with fundamental and applied disciplines like mathematics, chemistry, physics, material science, geosciences and biosciences. As a consequence, the time devoted to crystallographic education in undergraduate and graduate courses is continuously shrinking, and the requirement of a solid background in crystallography is disappearing from the requirements of many positions which involve a considerable amount of crystallographic work.
The IUCr-MaThCryst commission was started on September 2002 as an informal workgroup from a nucleus of researchers who felt the necessity of trying to reverse the current trend towards "crystallography as a black-box tool". From the didactic viewpoint, the commission aims at an activity which will hopefully cover the gap now existing between the "user" and the "specialist". This activity will develop on this web site, and with the production of printed or printable (downloadable) material.
- Algorithms for structure solution and refinement, computer software for crystallography, computing methods in crystallography are covered by the Computing Commission
- Aperiodic crystals, incommensurately modulated crystals, composite crystals and quasicrystals are covered by the Aperiodic Crystals Commission