|December 21, 2014|
Toronto, Canada - April 15, 2014 – Today, the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences received confirmation from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States that they will fund the Institute with $690,000 (US). This will be done through a project grant over three fiscal years in order to support US-based scientists to participate in the Institute's programs and activities. This project will be administered by the Director of the Institute, Dr. Walter Craig, and the Deputy Director, Dr. Matheus Grasselli. The award will become effective today, April 15th 2014, and will continue though until March 31st, 2017.
The proposal for funding was submitted to the NSF in May 2013 by the Institute’s previous director, Edward Bierstone, to provide support for the numbers of mathematicians who come from institutions in the United States to contribute to work being done at the Fields Institute. The award we received today is a recognition of the importance of the Institute's activities.
As a Canadian Institution with deep international connections to the mathematical community, the Fields Institute believes that this grant represents an acknowledgement of their importance to research being done outside its geographic boarders. Approximately 4000 researchers from around the world participate in Fields Institute programs each year. On average 620 are US-based researchers, about half of whom are offered support by the Institute. Also about one-half of these US-based researchers are junior faculty, postdoctoral researchers or graduate students.
Their time spent at the Institute as participants, speakers in conferences, or in workshops, advanced courses, and other events provides the opportunity for them to work with and learn from some of the top international researchers in their areas of specialization. This NSF grant award provides resources to support some of these US-based researchers for their participation at the Fields Institute. The impact of this funding will be to provide travel and local support for approximately 92 US-based participants per year, for the most part early career mathematicians, including junior faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows.
When asked how these funds will impact the Institution and its programs, Dr. Craig stated that the funds will enable the Institute to further develop their relationships with their colleagues in the United States. “The contributions of US-based scientists has always been important to the Fields Institute, with the United States having one of the most vibrant national research enterprises in the world. Programs held at the Institute represent a very good deal for the NSF, in getting the most for its researchers out of the programs and scientific activities we hold at the Institute. This award is a recognition of this fact, and solidifies our relationship with the NSF and with our US-based colleagues,” he said.
Dr. Grasselli believes that the award can be seen as confirmation of the place that the Institute holds in the esteem of both the NSF and the world.
“Along the IHES outside of Paris, the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach in Germany, and BIRS in Banff Canada, the Fields Institute is only the fourth international institution that has been selected to be directly funded by the NSF,” said Dr. Grasselli. “This demonstrates the selectivity that NSF employs when making these decisions. The other institutes are certainly world-class, and I think this is, in part, a recognition of the fact that Fields shares the same caliber of research and discovery that these other organisations do,” said Dr. Grasselli.
“The Fields Institute plays an important role in the Canadian mathematical sciences community, showcasing our research on the international playing field, and bringing the world's mathematical scientists to Toronto to work, collaborate, and share their results,” said Dr. Craig. “Our partners span the globe and we benefit, both directly and indirectly, from research advances, both theoretical and in the applications of mathematical ideas. In fact the time it takes for a theoretical result to go from the desk of a researcher to applications with an impact on society can be remarkably short, as for example in medical imaging or in algorithms used for internet traffic or for industrial simulations. The Institute is our vehicle for bringing a focal point of the international mathematical research enterprise to Canada.”
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