Fall 2020 Newsletter

Director's Note

This is a brief note to give you some sense of where things stand with IMSI, and what's in the pipeline. IMSI launched just over three months ago, and was announced by the NSF only a few weeks before that. Since then, my colleagues (Doug Simpson from UIUC and Takis Souganidis from UChicago) and I have been operating very much in start up mode. The space at 1155 E. 60th Street in Chicago which will house IMSI is under renovation, we are using a temporary website I put together over a couple of weeks this past summer, and we have yet to hire our first full-time staff member. We are working to build an institute with little more than our Zoom accounts to connect us with others, at a time of great political, social, economic, and natural upheaval.

We have hosted three virtual events thus far: our opening conference, a conference on Dealing with COVID-19 in Theory and Practice, and the 2020 Graduate Research Opportunities for Women (GROW) conference. These were all exciting events to host, and we look forward to many more to come. Many of the programs we have planned are listed below.

I very much hope IMSI will become an valuable resource for the mathematical sciences community, and that many of you will find that it comes to play an important role in your professional lives.

Best wishes,
Kevin Corlette

Coming Activities

Fall 2020

November 20-23: paraDIGMS 2020 Fall Conference  

This online conference is the first event of the American Mathematical Society’s paraDIGMS initiative to build a community of practice for graduate education in mathematics, with the goal of making the profession stronger and more equitable.

December 10, 2-3pm CST: Introduction to IMSI Webinar

This webinar will be an opportunity to learn more about IMSI.

Winter 2021

February 15-19: Mathematical and Computational Materials Science

March 1-5: Confronting Climate Change

Spring 2021

April 12-16: The Multifaceted Complexity of Machine Learning

April 26-30: Topological Data Analysis

May 10-14: Verification, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification Across Disciplines

May 17-21: Decision Making in Health and Medical Care: Modeling and Optimization

May 24-28: Quantum Information for Mathematics, Economics, and Statistics

Summer 2021

June 1-25: Introduction to Mean Field Games and Applications

This program provides mathematical background for the long program in Fall 2021 on Distributed Solutions to Complex Societal Problems. Examples of the problems to be addressed in the long program include modeling phenomena such as the macroeconomy, conflict, financial regulation, crowd movement, big data, and advertising, as well as engineering problems involving decentralized intelligence, machine learning, and telecommunications. An important mathematical framework contributing to the understanding of such problems is the theory of Mean Field Games.

June 28-July 23: Introduction to Decision Making and Uncertainty

This program will serve as an introduction to the long program on Decision Making and Uncertainty scheduled for Spring 2022. How do we make decisions in the face of risk? The need to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty cuts across a wide range of issues in science and human behavior. The underlying problems require both sophisticated modeling and advanced mathematical and statistical approaches and techniques.

August 30-September 3: Eliciting Structure in Genomics Data: Bridging the Gap between Theory, Algorithms, Implementations, and Applications


Fall 2021 Long Program: Distributed Solutions to Complex Societal Problems

The need to understand and model large populations of rational agents interacting through intricate networks of connections is ubiquitous in modern science. Problems along these lines arise in settings such as the economy, global conflicts, and the spread of diseases, and they raise consequential regulatory issues. Population control, crowd analysis, smart cities, and self-driving vehicles present problems of a similar nature that are often tackled with tools from machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, in spite of spectacular successes, the lack of a deep understanding of how robots and human beings learn to navigate their environments and make forward looking decisions remains a major impediment to systematic progress, and the debate on the relative merits of centralized versus decentralized intelligence remains very much alive. This program will address problems along these lines using the mathematical framework of Mean Field Games.

Spring 2022 Long Program: Decision Making and Uncertainty

Economics, finance, and business activities like marketing, operations management, and R&D all substantially rely on the use of formal, mathematical approaches to model human behavior, agents’ interaction, trading exchanges, mitigation of risks, and more. However, these areas are all rich enough that many important challenges are as yet unmet and new ones are constantly arising. For example, recent advances in data science, new platforms and means of human interaction, the growing speed of trading exchanges and flow of information, and various technological and other breakthroughs are all fertile ground motivating the use of new mathematical and statistical models and methods.

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.
IMSI acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation
(Grant No. DMS-1929348)

Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation
1155 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

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