$15.5M Grant Brings New Math Institute To Chicago

Jennifer Keiper
July 20, 2020 - 8:22 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A new math institute is coming to Chicago.

Mathematicians and statisticians from the University of Illinois at Chicago will join a collaborative group of researchers representing three other universities in as part of the new Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation.

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UIC said the math institute is being funded with a five-year, $15.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, the University of Chicago-based institute aims to bring powerful mathematical ideas to bear on key contemporary scientific and technological challenges, while enriching scientific research and workforce development in Chicago and the state of Illinois.

Researchers from UIC, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will build a program that accelerates the translation of applied mathematical and statistical techniques into solutions for urgent scientific and societal problems.

“UIC mathematicians and statisticians are excited to be involved with IMSI in building new research collaborations and industry partnerships to work on these urgent problems while also enhancing workforce development in the region,” said Brooke Shipley, UIC professor and head of mathematics, statistics, and computer science and co-principal investigator of the grant.

Shipley noted that expanded internship opportunities for graduate students is another benefit of the partnership.

UIC said the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation will serve as a national platform for research, outreach, and workforce development to train the next generation of researchers in mathematics and statistics, and bring together researchers from across the nation and around the globe.

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Scientific activity at the institute will include workshops and long programs, typically 10 weeks in length. Research activity will be organized around themes that will evolve over time, with an initial focus on data and information, climate science, health care, material science, quantum computing and information, and uncertainty quantification.

The institute will also sponsor outreach and workforce development programs aimed at K-12 students, teachers, undergraduates, and graduate students to introduce participants to career opportunities in mathematics and statistics, especially those from communities traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.
“The influence of mathematical sciences on our daily lives is all around us and far-reaching,” said Juan C. Meza, division director of mathematical sciences at the NSF. “This program represents an investment in interdisciplinary connections across fields of science, and with impacts across sectors like computing, engineering, and health.”

UIC will play a key role in the institute’s mission to increase diversity in the mathematical sciences. Through an expansion of UChicago’s Young Scholars Program, UIC will host a summer program for middle school and high school students beginning in 2021.

“This expansion of the Young Scholars Program at UIC will focus on excellence and inclusion and it will allow many more students from schools throughout Chicago to participate,” Shipley said. 

The NSF supports six other mathematical sciences institutes to advance research in the mathematical sciences, increase the impact of the mathematical sciences in other disciplines, and expand the talent base engaged in mathematical research in the United States.

These are: American Institute of Mathematics Research Conference Center (AIM) in San Jose, California; Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University; Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at the University of California-Los Angeles; Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at Berkeley, California; the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and a partnership with the  Institute For Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton.