April 24, 2014

Fields-MITACS Industrial Problem-Solving Workshop (FMIPW)
August 16-20, 2010
Health Sciences Building,
155 College Street (rooms)

Organizers: Sean Bohun (UOIT),
Huaxiong Huang (York), Greg Lewis (UOIT),
Roderick Melnik (Wilfrid Laurier), Nilima Nigam (SFU),
Siv Sivalogathan (Waterloo)

Scientific Committee: Sean Bohun (UOIT),
Chris Bose (UVic), Matt Davison (UWO),
Huaxiong Huang (York), Greg Lewis (UOIT),
Nilima Nigam (SFU), Siv Sivalogathan (Waterloo)

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.
MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems)

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.

Proposed Problems:

Proposed Problem 1 - Calidus-Fathom.
Position Sensing Problem

Proposed Problem 2 - Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Irreversibility of Financial Time Series

Proposed Problem 3 Farouk Eshragi Acculogic Inc.
Optimization Problem, Two Dimensional Linear Motor based Flying Probes Testers with Articulating Probe Modules

Proposed Problem 4 J.L. Perez Velazquez, Adam Teitelbaum, Vera Nenadovic
Neuroscience and Mental Health Programme, Brain and Behaviour Centre,Hospital for Sick Children,
-Bounds in the variability of brain coordinated activity in health and disease

Proposed Problem 5 - Andrew JE Seely, Alexandre Iolov, Andre Longtin
Fractal Variability Problem

Earlier Industrial Problem Solving Workshops:

June 22-26, 2009
OCCAM-Fields-MITACS, Math-in-Medicine Study Group
Biomedical Problems Solving Workshop

August 11-15, 2008
Fields-MITACS Industrial Problem-Solving Workshop (FMIPW)

August 14-18, 2006
Fields-MITACS Industrial Problem-Solving Workshop (FMIPW)

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.

List of Participants as of August 11, 2010:

Full Name University Name
Anvari, Vahid York University  
Arabzadeh Esfarjani, Sanaz University of Toronto  
Baddour, Natalie University of Ottawa  
Beckett, Brian Calidus-Fathom Machinery Inc.  
Bohun, C. Sean University of Ontario Institute of Technology  
Bose, Chris University of Victoria  
Breward, Chris University of Oxford  
Butt, Nabeel University of Western Ontario  
Chang, Dong Eui University of Waterloo  
Chen, Stephen York University  
Chen, Tian University of Ontario Institute of Technology  
Claridge, Jonathan University of Washington  
Dhote, Rakesh University of Toronto  
Dhote, Sharvari    
Eshragi, Farouk Acculogic Inc.  
Foxall, Eric University of Victoria
Fuerst, Carlton General Motors
Gustafsson, Jonathan McMaster University
Hamedani, Hamideh Shahid Beheshti University
Huang, Haohan York University
Huang, Huaxiong York University
Iolov, Alexandre University of Ottawa
Jadallah, Hala  
Kavazovic, Zanin Université Laval
Ketelaar, Christiaan Southern Methodist University
Kloosterman, Matt UOIT
Kohandel, Mohammad University of Waterloo
Lewis, Gregory University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Mahmood, Asif State University of New York at Buffalo
Majumdar, Apala University of Oxford
Marcotte, Odile Université de Montréal
Melnik, Roderick Wilfrid Laurier University
Miasnikof, Peter University of Toronto
Miscoi, Gheorghe Free International University of Moldova
Morfin Ramírez, Mario University of Toronto
Ng, Eddie Mapleridge Capital Corporation
Nigam, Nilima Simon Fraser University
Perez Velazquez, Jose Luis University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children
Phipps, Colin University of Waterloo
Pourziaei, Bobby York University
Pugh, Mary C. University of Toronto
Seely, Andrew University of Ottawa
Sivaloganathan, Sivabal University of Waterloo
Stoica, Cristina Wilfrid Laurier University
Tan, Yongji Fudan University
Teitelbaum, Adam Sick Kids
Westbrook, Rex University of Calgary
Worku, Hailemichael Metiku University of Hasselt
Zia, Amin University of Toronto


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