The history of relation between Vietnam and France was very complicated. However, after Vietnam getting the independence, this relation was improved year by year, and France was one of main countries making great contributions to the foundation and the development of Mathematics in Vietnam.

The link between France and Vietnam in Mathematics goes back to the time when Professor Lê Van Thiém studied at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris during the World War II, who later became the founder of Vietnam Mathematical Society and Institute of Mathematics Hanoi. The highlight of the effective collaboration between the two countries is the award of Fields medal of International Mathematical Union to Professor Ngo Bao Chau in 2010.

The joint congress of Vietnam Mathematical Society (VMS) and the French Mathematical Society (SMF) was held in order to celebrate the almost sixty years of collaboration and to give impulse to a new stage of their collaboration. It was organized by VMS, SMF, the University of Hue and Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics. It took place at the University of Hue from August 20 to August 24, 2012.

There were 13 plenary talks, one public lecture, 152 invited lectures in 15 parallel sessions and some short communications in the VMS-SMF joint congress. The plenary speakers were Ngo Bao Chau (Chicago–Hanoi), Dinh Tien Cuong (Paris 6), Hélène Esnault (Duisburg–Essen), Patrick Gérard (Paris 11), Nguyen Huu Viet Hung (VNU Hanoi), Jean Bernard Lasserre (Toulouse), Pierre Mathieu (Marseille), Huynh Van Ngai (Qui Nhon), Sylvain Sorin (Paris 6), Ngo Viet Trung (IM Hanoi), Vu Ha Van (Yale) and Jean Christophe Yoccoz (Collège de France, Paris). The public lecture was given by Pierre Cartier (IHES, Paris). Nearly 350 mathematicians participated in the congress, among them around 80 from France and 20 from other countries.

This special issue is the proceeding of the VMS-SMF joint congress which contains nine from 165 invited lectures given at the congress. On this occasion we would like to thank all lecturers and participants of the VMS-SMF joint congress. Special thank goes to the contributors of this special issue and to the organizing institutions.

Hanoi, October 2013

Le Tuan Hoa, and Lionel Schwartz