June 20, 2024

Fields-MITACS Industrial Problem-Solving Workshop (FMIPW)
August 11-15, 2008
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto

Organizers: Sean Bohun (UOIT), Huihui Dai (City Univ. HK),
(Huaxiong Huang (York), Roderick Melnik (Wilfrid Laurier), JF Williams (SFU)
Scientific Committee: Sean Bohun (UOIT), Chris Bose (UVic),
Barbara Keyfitz (Fields), Huaxiong Huang (York),
Roderick Melnik (Wilfrid Laurier), Nilima Nigam (McGill)
Roderick Wong (City Univ. HK)

In collaboration with The Liu Bie Ju Centre for Mathematical Sciences,
City University of Hong Kong

History and mission statement

Fields Institute for Mathematical Sciences:
Founded in 1992, the Fields Institute plays a central role in ``promoting contact and collaboration between professional mathematicians and the increasing number of users of mathematics". It supports research in pure and applied mathematics and statistics. Thematic programs of international interest, academic workshops, and prizes are organized by the Institute.

Of specific interest to the business community is the Commercial and Industrial Mathematics program. This program seeks to develop synergistic links between mathematicians and industrial partners. The Fields-MITACS Industrial Problem-Solving Workshop (FMIPW) is a new initiative in this direction.


MITACS leads Canada's effort in the generation, application and commercialization of new mathematical tools and methodologies within a world-class research program. The network initiates and fosters linkages with industrial, governmental, and not-for-profit organizations that require mathematical technologies to deal with problems of strategic importance to Canada.

MITACS helps link academia, industry and the public sector, with a view to developing cutting edge mathematical tools vital to a knowledge-based economy. It sponsors research partnerships, industrial interchanges, workshops, and training programs.

What the workshop is about:


The objective of the FMIPW is to connect industries with faculty, postdocs and graduate students who have expertise in industrial case-studies. This interaction is fostered in the specific context of a problem-solving session over 5 days. The case-studies in question have a significant mathematical or statistical content.

The interaction between industry and academia has many potential benefits for both. Academics learn about interesting potential research problems and find application for their existing tools. Industries get access to some of the most experienced mathematical modellers and problem-solvers on the continent.


The FMIPW will occur over 5 days. Participants will include between 36-50 academic experts (including mathematicians and statisticians), and experts from industry. On the first day, the industrial sponsors will present their problem statements. The academic experts will divide into teams of 6-10 people each, with one team assigned to each problem. The teams spend the next 3 days collaborating on solutions to their problem, and present their solution on the final day of the workshop.


At the end of the week, the academic experts make a presentation consisting of the problem restatement and their solution. This is a summary of results; the teams also prepare reports for the industrial sponsors.

What's in it for the participating company:

The intellectual dedication of many expert problem-solvers during the workshop to the phenomenon of interest to the company yields many benefits. These range from partial or complete solutions to the problem of interest, to long-term collaboration between the companies and the participating academics. The forum is an informal but intensive opportunity for companies to take advantage of the mathematical and scientific computing expertise of participating researchers.

Often the academic reformulation and solution of the problem enables the company to find inexpensive in-house strategies. Similar workshops in Europe and North America have saved participating companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition, the academic experts typically use state-of-the-art scientific and technological tools, which may prove useful to the company in other contexts as well.

The workshop also serves as a mechanism for recruitment of talented graduate students; the company sponsors can watch this pool of potential employees in action!

Why do academic experts participate?

The potential benefits of the FMIPW to professional mathematicians involved are myriad. They range from an exposure to interesting mathematical problems arising outside the confines of academia to an opportunity to try new scientific tools in novel application areas. Previous workshops have seen such involvement turn into long-term collaborations, often leading to journal publications and new research directions.

Commitment of FMIPW:

The Fields Institute and MITACS will provide the academic expertise and infrastructure for this workshop. The recruitment of appropriate faculty and graduate students to best meet the needs of the problems will be done by the Fields Institute.

Commitment of industrial sponsors:

Each participating company contributes a problem with mathematical or statistical content for discussion during the workshop. They also commit a representative to participate in the workshop during the problem-solving phase. The company may sponsor part of the FMIPW through a one-time or ongoing financial contribution.

Western Canada Study Groups
UK Math-in-Medicine Study Groups
Mathematical Problems in Industry
This year's UK Study Groups in Bath:

Participant List

Fullname University Name
Altalli, Rajaa Northeastern University
An, James Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Anderssen, Bob CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences
Arino, Julien University of Manitoba
Barford, Tom Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Bautista, Maurino Rochester Institute of Technology
Bocar Amadou, Wane Laval University
Bohun, C. Sean UOIT
Breward, Chris Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
Butt, Nabeel University of Western Ontario
Cai, Zongxi City University of Hong Kong
Caponnetto, Andrea City University of Hong Kong
Cara, Mirela York University
Caudillo-Mata, Luz Angélica Center for the Mathematical Research (CIMAT)
Chadam, John University of Pittsburgh
Cisneros, Myriam Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Cottrell, David McGill University
Dai, Hui-Hui City University of Hong Kong
De la Rosa, David Centre of Mathematics Research CIMAT
Diaz Bobadilla, Irma University of Regina
Findlay, Justin University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Flint, Ortho University of Western Ontario
Fritze, Peter Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Gao, Yunchuan Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Garcia Dominguez, Luis Hospital for Sick Kids
Gordon, Brian Mitacs
Heffernan, Jane York University
Hennessy, Matt UOIT
Hjorth, Poul G. Technical University of Denmark
Howell, Peter University of Oxford
Huang, Haohan York University
Huang, Huaxiong York University
Jiang, Xiamei University of Toronto at Scarborough
Kan, Kin Hung University of Western Ontario
Kane, Abdoulaye Laval University
Kavazovic, Zanin Université Laval
Keyfitz, Barbara University of Houston and Fields Institute
Khaykin, Roman York University
Kilgour, D. Marc Wilfrid Laurier University
Kitanov, Petko University of Guelph
Krywiak, Claudia MITACS
Labibi, Batool K. N. Toosi University of Technology
Ladipo, Kehinde Fields Institute
Lewis, Gregory University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Li, Jiawei York University
Madras, Neal York University
Marcotte, Odile CRM, Université de Montréal
McGuinness, Mark Victoria University
Melnik, Roderick Wilfrid Laurier University
Miura, Robert M New Jersey Institute of Technology University Heights
Moghadas, Seyed National Research Council Canada
Moore, Richard New Jersey Institute of Technology
Morfin Ramírez, Mario University of Toronto
Ockendon, John OCIAM Mathematical Institute
Orser, Brenda B.I.O. Letha Information Systems Inc.
Ortan, Alexandra McGill University
Pass, Brendan University of Toronto
Phillips, Joel McGill University
Pitcher, Ashley University of Oxford
Pourziaei, Bobby York University
Privault, Nicolas City University of Hong Kong
Qazi, Sanjive Gustavus Adolphus College
Qiao, Yun York University
Quenneville-Bélair, Vincent McGill University
Ross, David Rochester Institute of Technology
Sabbagh, Mohammad S. Isfahan University of Tech.
Salisbury, Thomas York University
Schilders, Wil NXP Semiconductors Research
Selkirk, Randall Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Shontz, Suzanne Pennsylvania State University
Sivaloganathan, Sivabal University of Waterloo
Sørensen, Mads Peter Technical University of Denmark
Sun, Wei Wei City University of Hong Kong
Tan, Yongji Fudan University
Tilley, Burt S. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Tsui, Lung Kwan University of Pittsburgh
Vaidya, Naveen York University
Walker, Homer Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Warlow, Scott Manulife Financial
Wylie, Jonathan City University of Hong Kong
Zhang, Guoqing University of Windsor
Zhu, Bruce Mapleridge Capital Corporation

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