NSF PR 0256  July 2, 2002
NEW NSF INSTITUTES TO STRENGTHEN MATHEMATICS AS
BASE FOR NATIONAL S&T
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is establishing
three new research institutes that will help strengthen
the mathematical sciences as the backbone for U.S.
scientific and engineering research. These centers
will develop mathematical approaches in the biosciences,
promote applications of statistics and applied mathematics,
and create a new research conference center.
The new NSF awards are projected to total $24 million
over five years. A fourth $9million award renews
for six years the operation of an existing mathematical
center that integrates education with research.
"At the institutes, mathematicians and statisticians
will tackle new and compelling research and create
venues for educating the next generation of scholars,"
said Philippe Tondeur, director of NSF's mathematical
sciences division.
NSF currently supports three such institutes: the Institute
for Pure and Applied Mathematics at the University
of California, Los Angeles; the Institute for Mathematics
and its Applications at the University of Minnesota;
and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in
Berkeley, Calif.
An award to Ohio State University in Columbus will
lead to a Mathematical Biosciences Institute for interdisciplinary
work on problems such as neuroscience and cell processes.
This institute will develop the quantitative culture
within the life sciences by bringing together people
from both mathematical and biological backgrounds.
Postdoctoral scientists will be jointly mentored by
a bioscientist and a mathematical scientist, and seminars
and courses will be aimed at a joint audience.
The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute
in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will forge ties between
the statistical sciences, and applied mathematical
sciences and other disciplines to meet data and modeldriven
scientific challenges. Initial projects will include
largescale computer models for environmental systems.
The consortium is led by Duke University in collaboration
with North Carolina State University, the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National
Institute of Statistical Sciences.
The Research Conference Center of the American Institute
of Mathematics (AIM) in Palo Alto, Calif., will host
research workshops on fundamental and interdisciplinary
mathematical sciences. Collaborations formed there
are expected to lead to novel approaches to longstanding
scientific challenges and to include underrepresented
and junior researchers.
Renewal of an award to the School of Mathematics at
the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.,
will support participation by postdoctoral and midcareer
mathematicians. The institute guides junior scientists
in their research and conducts yearlong thematic programs
led by distinguished senior visiting members. Recent
programs have included theoretical computer science
and discrete mathematics.
NSF established the Mathematical Sciences Research
Institutes awards in 1980 to provide postdoctoral
training and to stimulate research, collaboration
and communication in the mathematical sciences. The
activity promotes interdisciplinary research, team
building and collaborations with industry, government
laboratories and international colleagues; enriches
and invigorates mathematics education at all levels;
and expands opportunities in the field for underrepresented
groups.
