June 27, 2007
Dr. Dennis Hong, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory, Virginia Tech, 6-28-07
Dr. Dennis W. Hong is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. As the director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) at Virginia Tech, his research is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Dr. Hong recently received the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award. The five-year CAREER grant, worth more than $400,000, is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for creative junior faculty who are considered likely to become academic leaders of the future.
Dr. Hong is a two-time recipient of the Magoon Award (1998 and 1999) for excellence in teaching at Purdue University, won the ASME Freudenstein / General Motors Young Investigator Award and the 2nd Annual Biomimicry Award / Best Paper Award at the 29th ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference (2005), the ASPIRES Award (2004) at Virginia Tech, and was selected as a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (2005). He also has patents for a device for medical applications.
"Robot Evolution by Intelligent Design" is featured on YouTube
November 29, 2006
Dr. Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, UC Berkeley, and Founding Chair, Advisory Board, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science, 12-1-06
Dr. Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, UC Berkeley, and Founding Chair, Advisory Board, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science. Dr. Ken Goldberg is an artist and professor at UC Berkeley. He is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, with an appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1990 and studied at the University of Pennsylvania, Edinburgh University, and the Technion. From 1991–1995 he taught at the University of Southern California, and in Fall 2000 was visiting faculty at MIT Media Lab.
Dr. Goldberg and his students work in two areas: Geometric Algorithms for Automation, and Networked Robots. In the first category, he develops algorithms for feeding, sorting, and fixturing industrial parts, with an emphasis on mathematically rigorous solutions that require a minimum of sensing and actuation so as to reduce costs and increase reliability. In the area of Networked Robots, Dr. Goldberg and colleagues developed the first robot publicly operable via the Internet (in 1994). He has published over 100 research papers and edited four books.
In 2004, Dr. Goldberg co-founded the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering and is Founding Chair of its Advisory Board. He was named National Science Foundation Young Investigator in 1994 and NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1995. He is the recipient of the Joseph Engelberger Award (2000), the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award (2001), and was elected IEEE Fellow in 2005.
IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE) publishes foundational research on Automation: scientific methods and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability, specifically for methods, machines, and systems operating in structured environments over long periods, and the explicit structuring of environments.
Its coverage will go beyond Automation's roots in mass production and include many new applications areas, such as Biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and health care; Home, service, and retail; Construction, transportation, and security; Manufacturing, maintenance, and supply chains; and Food handling and processing. Research includes topics related to robots and intelligent machines/systems in structured environments and the explicit structuring of environments, and topics at the Operational/Enterprise levels such as System Modeling, Analysis, Performance Evaluation; Planning, Scheduling, Coordination; Risk Management; and Supply Chain Management. T-ASE integrates knowledge across disciplines and industries.
July 30, 2006
Dr. Michael Arbib, Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, University Professor, Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Southern California, 7-26-06
Dr. Michael A. Arbib is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, as well as a Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Southern California, which he joined in September of 1986. He has also been named as one of a small group of University Professors at USC in recognition of his contributions across many disciplines.
Professor Arbib grew up in Australia (with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Pure Mathematics from Sydney University), and received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1963. After five years at Stanford, he became chairman of the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1970, and remained in that Department until his move to USC in 1986.
The thrust of his work is expressed in the title of his first book, Brains, Machines and Mathematics (McGraw-Hill, 1964). The brain is not a computer in the current technological sense, but he has based his career on the argument that we can learn much about machines from studying brains, and much about brains from studying machines. His research has long included a focus on mechanisms underlying the coordination of perception and action. This is tackled at two levels: via schema theory and through the detailed analysis of neural networks, working closely with the experimental findings of neuroscientists on mechanisms for eye-hand coordination in humans and monkeys. Professor Arbib’s group prepared the first computational model of mirror neurons and conducted some of the key initial imaging studies of the human mirror system. He is now developing further insights into the monkey brain and using them to develop a new theory of the evolution of human brain mechanisms which support language.
In addition to his research in artificial intelligence, brain theory and cognitive science, Professor Arbib has been actively involved in theory of computation and system theory. His concern for the social implications of computer science was given textbook expression in Computers and the Cybernetic Society. In 1983 he and Mary Hesse delivered the Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology at the University of Edinburgh, since published as The Construction of Reality, extending schema theory to provide a coherent epistemology for both individual and social knowledge. Professor Arbib was also a founding member of the board of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Massachusetts.
Professor Arbib has published 322 scholarly articles and the author or editor of 38 books. His edited volume, The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks (The MIT Press, Second Edition, 2003) is a massive compendium embracing studies in detailed neuronal function, system models of brain regions, connectionist models of psychology and linguistics, mathematical and biological studies of learning, and technological applications of artificial neural networks. Neural Organization: Structure, Function, and Dynamics (The MIT Press, 1998), co-authored with Peter Érdi and the late John Szentágothai, provides a comprehensive view of the working of the brain. Most recently, Jean-Marc Fellous and he have edited Who Needs Emotions: The Brain Meets the Robot (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Professor Arbib has edited Action To Language via the Mirror Neuron System (Cambridge University Press, 2006, in press).
July 14, 2006
Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, Professor, Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Director, Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, 7/12/06
Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, and Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California. He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics, and mechatronics related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of mechatronics systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), and autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space.
Professor Khoshnevis routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, a Fellow member of the Society for Computer Simulation, and a Senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineering.
July 12, 2006
Dr. Michael Zyda, Director, GamePipe Laboratory, Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, 7/12/06
Professor Michael Zyda is the Director of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's GamePipe Laboratory, located at the Information Sciences Institute, Marina del Rey, CA. From Fall 2000 to Fall 2004, he was the Founding Director of The MOVES Institute, located at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NPS as well. From 1986 until the founding of the MOVES Institute, he was the Director of the NPSNET Research Group.
Professor Zyda's research interests include computer graphics; large-scale, networked 3D virtual environments; agent-based simulation; modeling human and organizational behavior; interactive computer-generated story, modeling, and simulation; and interactive games. He is a pioneer in the fields of computer graphics, networked virtual environments, modeling and simulation, and defense/entertainment collaboration.
Professor Zyda holds a lifetime appointment as a National Associate of the National Academies, an appointment made by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2003, awarded in recognition of "extraordinary service" to the National Academies. He served as the principal investigator and development director of the America’s Army PC game funded by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He took America's Army from conception to three million plus registered players and hence, transformed Army recruiting.
Professor Zyda was a member of the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Committee on Advanced Engineering Environments. He was chair of the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Panel on Computing, Information, and Communications Technology and member of the parent NRC Committee for the Review of NASA’s Pioneering Revolutionary Technology Program. Professor Zyda was a member of the NRC's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Vehicle Systems Panel that is part of the Committee for the Review of NASA’s Revolutionize Aviation Program.
June 09, 2006
Dr. Kevin Knight, Senior Research Scientist and Fellow, Information Sciences Institute, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, 5/24/06
Dr. Kevin Knight is Senior Research Scientist and Fellow, Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and Research Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California. Dr. Knight was a major force in reorienting the field of natural language processing toward the pervasive use of statistical learning over large corpora, and in the process revolutionized the practice of Machine Translation. He is now widely regarded as a world leader in statistical natural language processing, with significant contributions across a wide range of topics, including efficient decoding algorithms, incorporating syntactic knowledge into statistical translation models, natural language generation, machine transliteration, and knowledge representation.
Dr. Knight has also made a significant impact through co-authoring one of the definitive general textbooks on Artificial Intelligence (with Dr. Elaine Rich) and through his role in developing publicly available software for statistical machine translation (GIZA). A recent survey article in Scientific American identified Language Weaver, the startup company Dr. Knight launched wtih ISI colleague Dr. Daniel Marcu, as the standout in the field of machine translation, and identified Dr. Knight as “the pioneer in statistical translation”. He notes the state of the machine translation art still falls far short of a longtime goal first enunciated in 1957 by Noam Chomsky — the creation of an algorithm that would be able to judge whether a given string of words made up a grammatical English sentence.
Dr. Knight received his B.A. in computer science from Harvard University (1986) and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University (1992). He has served on the Editorial Boards of Computational Linguistics and Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.
April 13, 2006
Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot, author of The Fractal Geometry of Nature, and Battelle Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 4/12/06
Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot, Battelle Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is an internationally acknowledged and recognized mathematician. Dr. Mandelbrot originated the field of fractal geometry, and showed how fractals occur in many diverse places, both in nature and mathematics. He published The Fractal Geometry of Nature in 1982, recognized by The American Scientist as one of the most influential science books of the 20th Century.
Dr. Mandelbrot has authored more than 180 research publications and nearly a dozen books. He has been cited more than 20,000 times for his journal publications and conferences. He has received many awards, honors, and prizes for his remarkable achievements, including the Wolf Foundation Prize for Physics, the Japan Prize for Science and Technology, the Richardson Medal in Geophysics, and the Sierpinksi Prize in Mathematics. In the Legion d’Honneur of France, Dr. Mandelbrot became a Knight in 1990 and an Officer in 2006.
March 31, 2006
Dr. Rudy Rucker, Author, Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award, and Professor (retired) of Computer Science, San Jose State University, 3/29/06
Dr. Rudy Rucker has generously provided this brief autobiography —
I began publishing at age 30 and moved to Silicon Valley at 40. I’ve put out 25 books of science-fiction and popular science.
Growing up, I was greatly influenced by the Beat authors. I was an early cyberpunk and an editor at the Berkeley-based Mondo 2000. I won two Philip K. Dick awards for the four cyberpunk novels in my best-selling Ware series about intelligent robots.
My most recent novels were written in other modes. Frek and the Elixir is a far-future epic about a boy’s galactic quest to restore Earth’s ecology. The book was designed to incorporate the mythic elements described in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces. And As Above So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel is a historical novel about my favorite painter. I identify with Bruegel: he loved both the fantastic and the specific, and depicted both otherworldly drolleries and everyday life — sometimes in a manner deemed vulgar or obscure.
I recently retired from my position as a professor of computer science at San Jose State University, where I created a number of freeware programs relating to chaos, artificial life, cellular automata, higher dimensions and computer games.
My classic nonfiction books The Fourth Dimension and Infinity and the Mind have remained in print for 20 years, and exist in dozens of translations. I recently completed a nonfiction book called The Lifebox, The Seashell and The Soul, and a fantastic novel called Mathematicians in Love. And now I’m starting a new novel, Postsingular, about life after a computational singularity.
I revel in the craft of writing; I like being able to control these little worlds where things work out the way I want. My emotional makeup is such that it doesn’t require any special exercise of willpower to stay focused during the weeks and months that it takes to turn out a book. Writing is simply what I like to do. If anything, it could be that I’m a bit compulsive about my writing, preferring it to the uncertainties and disappointments of daily life. It’s no accident that so many of my heroes leave the ordinary world for adventures in fabulous other lands --- for the real me, those other lands are my books.
Even so, writing is hard, and after each book is finished, I wonder if I’ll manage to write another. So far, I always do — but each time it works, I’m surprised.
I recently took up blogging, which is a huge time-sink, but a good way to limber up, test out ideas, and do self-promotion — not to mention doing public service by providing an alternate news source. My blog and home page can be found here.
February 17, 2006
Dr. Jim Spohrer, Director, Almaden Services Research, IBM Almaden Research Center, 2/8/06
Dr. Jim Spohrer is the Director of Services Research at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. From 2000-2003, at IBM, Dr. Spohrer was CTO of IBM's Venture Capital Relations Group, where he identified technology trends and worked to establish win-win relationships between IBM and VC-backed portfolio companies. Previously, Dr. Spohrer directed the IBM Almaden Research Center's Computer Science Foundation Department, and before that was senior manager and co-strategist for IBM's User Experience / Human Computer Interaction Research effort.
Previously, at Apple, Dr. Spohrerwas a DEST (Distinguished Engineer, Scientist, and Technologist) and program manager of learning technology projects in Apple's Advanced Technology Group. He lead the effort to create Apple's first online learning community and vision for anytime, anywhere e-learning.
Dr. Spohrer has published broadly in the areas of speech recognition, empirical studies of programmers, artificial intelligence, authoring tools, online learning communities, open-source software, intelligent tutoring systems and student modeling, new paradigms in using computers, implications of rapid technical change, as well as the coevolution of social, business, and technical systems. He has also helped to establish two education research non-profit web sites: The Educational Object Economy and WorldBoard: Associating Information with Places.
Dr. Spohrer is a frequent advisor to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and other groups on the implications of rapid technological change to the future of education.
January 12, 2006
Ned Curic, Strategic Security Advisor, Microsoft Corporation, 12/14/05
Ned Curic is Strategic Security Advisor at Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Curic is responsible for articulating the Microsoft security message to executives in the customer base, partners, and the security industry. He works with Microsoft field teams and is the trusted advisor for the Microsoft Enterprise accounts. Mr. Curic offers strategic, long-term guidance to executives on security strategy and IT matters.
Mr. Curic has spent more than 10 years in the security field working for Fortune 50 companies. Prior to joining the Microsoft National Security Team, Mr. Curic’s most recent role in Microsoft Consulting focused on customers’ growing need for expert advisory assistance with complex security issues and designs. Mr. Curic has successfully advised and led numerous projects devoted to the architecture, design, and deployment of secure enterprise systems. He was principal architect of Microsoft System Architecture.
The mission of the Microsoft National Security Team (NST) is to work with Company customers, partners, internal constituencies, and the information security industry to promote the adoption of security processes and technologies. The goal of the NST is to assist Microsoft’s customers and partners in creating more secure businesses, reducing risk, and making security cost of ownership more effective.
November 17, 2005
Dr. George Bekey, Gordon Marshall Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, 11/16/05
Dr. George A. Bekey is Gordon Marshall Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research interests are in the areas of cooperative intelligent multiple robotic systems and applications of AI and robotics to medicine. Dr. Bekey was a founder of the Biomedical Engineering Department and the founder of the Robotics Research Laboratory at USC.
Dr. Bekey has published over 200 technical papers in the areas of robotics, computer simulation, control systems, biomedical engineering, and human-machine systems. He is the co-author (with W.J. Karplus) of a textbook, Hybrid Computation (Wiley, 1968), and co-editor of several books, the most recent being Neural Networks and Robotics (Kluwer, 1993), Autonomous Underwater Robotic Systems (Kluwer, 1996), and Robot Colonies (Kluwer, 1997). Dr. Bekey is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Autonomous Robots, Founding Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, and a member of the editorial boards of Mathematics and Computers in Simulation and Transactions of the Society of Computer Simulation.
October 21, 2005
Dr. Charles Reinholtz, Alumni Distinguished Professor, and Dr. Al Wicks, Director, Modal Analysis Laboratory, Virginia Tech, 10/12/05
Dr. Charles Reinholtz is the co-author of Mechanisms and Dynamics of Machinery, published by John Wiley. At Virginia Tech, more than 90 students, or about one-third of the senior class in mechanical engineering, are enrolled in one of his autonomous-vehicle-related senior design projects. Under Dr. Reinholtz's guidance, teams from Virginia Tech swept the 2005 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition and took first place in the 2005 International Aerial Robotics Competition. Dr. Reinholtz is also leading a team that is working with the National Federation of the Blind to develop the inaugural Blind Driver Challenge. Dr. Reinholtz also advises the senior project teams that qualified two robotic vehicles in the finals of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. Dr. Al Wicks, who has expertise in experimental modal analysis, digital signal processing, and testing of transducers, is the Director of Virginia Tech's Modal Analysis Laboratory (MAL), housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Al Wicks, who has expertise in experimental modal analysis, digital signal processing, and testing of transducers, is the Director of Virginia Tech's Modal Analysis Laboratory (MAL), housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The MAL specializes in research relating to the characterization of dynamic properties of structures.
Dr. Wicks is also associated with the School of Biomedical Engineering and Science, a joint venture between Virginia Tech and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Wicks and the graduate students in his Advanced Instrumentation class developed a design for a new device to reduce x-ray exposure during surgery to repair broken bones. The result is a new low-cost, hand-held magnetic surgical tool called a Magnetic Targeting Device.
October 12, 2005
Dr. Dan Rockmore, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Dartmouth College, 9/21/05
Dr. Dan Rockmore is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dartmouth College. Dr. Rockmore is also a technical consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses and has served as a member of the Defense Sciences Studies Group.
Dr. Rockmore has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles and three technical books, mainly around the subject of the design of efficient algorithms for data analysis and data transmission. He has applied this work to climate modeling, image and signal processing, and the design of robust communications schemes. Dr. Rockmore's related work on digital techniques for art authentication has been reported in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, and other major papers. His research has garnered support from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Keck Foundation.
Additionally, Dr. Rockmore is a nationally recognized expositor of mathematics. His recent book, Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis, was published by Random House/Pantheon Books in Spring 2005.
Dr. Rockmore's expository work also appears in documentary form. He has co-produced the well-received video documentary “The Math Life” (distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences) on the people, process, and problems of mathematical research. His new films, “Living Math”, on the mathematical re-invention of the life sciences, and “Happy Birthday Hal: AI turns 50”, marking the 50th anniversary of artificial intelligence, are scheduled for release in Spring 2006.
September 15, 2005
Dr. Leon N Cooper, 1972 Nobel Laureate in Physics and Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science, Brown University, 8/17/05
Dr. Leon N Cooper is the Thomas J. Watson Senior Professor of Science at Brown University. He specializes in theoretical physics, including low-temperature physics, and has also done theoretical work in neuroscience as well as in neural networks. Dr. Cooper is the director of the Brown University Institute for Brain and Neural Systems, which consists of groups of scientists applying various disciplines to the study of the brain. He is also a professor in the departments of Physics and Neuroscience at Brown University. Dr. Cooper was awarded the Comstock Prize by the National Academy of Sciences in 1968, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1972, the Descartes Medal by the Academie de Paris in 1977, and the College de France Medal in 2000. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for Advancement of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Neuroscience.
Members of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems conduct research in brain function and neural systems that draws on biology, psychology, mathematics, engineering, physics, linguistics, and computer science. Their overall goal is a deeper understanding of the basic processes by which the central nervous system learns and organizes itself and acquires the capacity for mental acts.
The Institute is especially interested in the interaction between theoretical ideas and experimental results. Current areas of research include theories of cortical plasticity, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory storage, the analysis and application of artificial neural networks, and signal processing.
September 10, 2005
Dr. Peter Will, USC/Information Sciences Institute Fellow and Research Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Science, and Astronautics and Spacecraft Engineering, 7/27/05
After a distinguished 30-year career in research and R&D management with IBM, Schlumberger, and Hewlett Packard, Dr. Peter Will joined the USC/Information Sciences Institute in 1992 as Director of the Networking and Communications Division. He is currently an ISI Fellow and Research Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Science, and Astronautics and Spacecraft Engineering.
Dr. Will’s research career has focused mainly on robotics and image processing. He invented structured light for vision, did the first digital rectification of Landsat images, conceived the project and led the team that produced the IBM robot that went on sale in 1982, led the team that built the first working solid modeling software, and produced the configuration space technique. At ISI he was Principal Investigator on MEMS multi-robot chips for micro-assembly, co-founded USC's laboratory for Molecular Robotics, and was Principal Investigator and the inventor of CONRO, the precursor to Superbot.
Dr. Will has published over 100 papers and holds 12 U.S. patents with several in the application stage. He is at present a member of NASA's MARS Technology Review Board and NIST's Systems Integration Division Review Panel. Dr. Will is a former member of DARPA's ISAT group and the Computer Science and Technology Board of the NRC, and was awarded the Joseph E. Engelberger Medal in Robotics in 1990.
September 06, 2005
Dr. Douglas Arnold, Director, Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota, 8/31/05
Dr. Douglas N. Arnold is Director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Arnold's research interests include numerical analysis, partial differential equations, mechanics, and in particular, the interplay between these fields. Much of his work has concerned finite element methods, with the main applications being to the numerical simulation of elastic plates and shells, and also of incompressible fluids. Recently he has been working in computational relativity, with the long-term goal of the numerical simulation of massive astrophysical events, such as black hole collisions, and the resulting gravitational radiation emission.
The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) is a national research institute established in 1982 by the National Science Foundation. The primary mission of the IMA is to increase the impact of mathematics by fostering interdisciplinary research which links high caliber mathematics with important problems from other disciplines, technology, industry, and society. Allied with this mission, the IMA also aims to expand and strengthen the talent base engaged in mathematical research applied to or relevant to such problems. The IMA is located at the University of Minnesota, and is operated as a partnership between the National Science Foundation, the University of Minnesota, and a consortium of 50 affiliated universities, national laboratories, and corporations. The National Science Foundation recently extended the funding for the IMA to the period 2005-2010 with a grant of $19.5M, the largest mathematics research grant ever awarded by the NSF.
The IMA is a visitor-based institute. It does not have a permanent faculty, but instead brings around 1200 mathematicians and scientists every year to its Minnesota facilities to participate in its programs, and benefit from its highly charged, highly interdisciplinary environment. The major activity of the IMA each year is its thematic program, a 10-month period of concentration on a broad area of research, involving post-docs, long- and short-term visitors, workshops, tutorials, seminars, and other formal and informal activities. Recent programs have focused on Probability and Statistics of Complex Systems and the Mathematics of Materials and Macromolecules, and the IMA is about to begin its 2005-2006 thematic program on Imaging. The IMA also runs a variety of programs for training interdisciplinary mathematical scientists from the level of graduate students through senior scientists.