The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented medical, scientific and economic challenges, and researchers of every academic and scientific discipline have refocused their efforts to find ways they can contribute their expertise to finding solutions. On Oct. 29-30, the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI) at the University of Chicago will host an interdisciplinary workshop to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, “Dealing with COVID-19 in Theory and Practice,” will bring together key stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and expertise from across academia, industry and government—including biomedical experts, epidemiologists, public health officials, economists, business professionals and bioethicists.
Conference to explore how math, statistics can address urgent global problems | University of Chicago News
Mathematical models are important tools for understanding the behavior of complex systems. For example, in order to predict the growing consequences of climate change, researchers build computational models that can suggest the rise in sea levels in 100 years or project the intensity of droughts and storms. But because the climate is such a complex system—spanning geographical and time scales—trying to create such models can exceed the limits of computational power and make reliable predictions difficult.
Launched earlier this year, the new Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation at the University of Chicago will address these kinds of pressing global challenges. At the institute’s opening conference on Oct. 7-9, researchers will discuss how they can apply mathematical and statistical ideas to scientific and societal problems like climate change.
Conference highlights graduate research opportunities for women in mathematical sciences | News | Physical Sciences Division | The University of Chicago
This fall, 171 undergraduate women from across the globe who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the mathematical sciences will gather virtually to learn about potential research and career pathways. The annual conference, called Graduate Research Opportunities for Women (GROW), will be hosted by theInstitute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI) at the University of Chicago for the first time since its inception in 2015.
An article in the Washington Monthly makes the case that a focus on social justice is an important motivation for many Black students to pursue degrees and careers in STEM, and that the extent to which that is welcomed is an important factor in their success:
“[T]he current tendency for STEM academics to ignore social justice presents a major opportunity. If Black STEM students are disproportionately interested in using their degrees to make the world more equitable and fair, then STEM departments can attract and retain more Black students by making these themes central to their curriculums. Doing so will have two sets of benefits: It will help Black people enter well-paying professions, and it will help create a corps of scientists and engineers focused on making a more just planet.”
Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, act as incubators to tackle problems ranging from health care and economics to data science and artificial intelligence. By engaging multiple research communities, the institutes enable the field of mathematics to respond quickly to national needs.
NSF is investing more than $118 million over five years for six awards to Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes. In addition to five renewal awards for existing institutes, one is brand new: the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation at the University of Chicago. The new institute, in collaboration with Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will convene both leaders in the field and junior trainees for long-term programming such as workshops and residencies that help to shape the direction and progress of mathematical research in the United States.