About the Math Institutes
To further stimulate research in the mathematical sciences, the National Science Foundation (NSF) put out a call for proposals for a mathematical sciences research institute in 1979 and approved funding for the establishment of two institutes. Since then, the number of institutes has expanded as a result of multiple open funding competitions, the first occurring in 1997. As a whole, the math institutes form the Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes Program that receives funding from the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), a branch of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) that is one of seven directorates under the National Science Foundation. The DMS now supports programs at eight U.S.-based institutes, but the level of support varies among the institutes, and several institutes have programs other than those supported by the DMS.
Operating on a national scale, these institutes are effective in important ways:
- Encouraging research that is potentially transformative and timely
- Assisting rapid and broad dissemination of new idea
- Providing infrastructure for research collaborations
- Sponsoring interdisciplinary activities to increase impact
- Supporting the exchange of information with industry and national
- Promoting diversity and involvement of underrepresented groups
- Engaging in outreach to the education community and the public at large
- Playing an important role in fostering international collaborations
- Providing opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows to interact
with leading researchers
The mathematical sciences have gone through a period of spectacular growth and excitement. New ideas have been developed within the discipline, some significant long-standing open problems have been solved, and unification has replaced fragmentation as the dominant trend in the discipline. At the same time, the mathematical sciences have been embraced as an enabling technology in many areas of application, from the physical sciences and engineering to the life sciences and finance. The mathematical sciences research institutes have played a transformative role in these developments, and this role is expected to grow even more as the mathematical sciences reach out to new areas of human activity. Find out more about each math institute.