Math Institutes Inaugurate Joint Web SiteJune 12, 2006
Readers intrigued but overwhelmed by the abundance of special years and other events at the mathematical institutes supported by the National Science Foundation will want to check out www.mathinstitutes.org. The site seeks to provide, in one place, pretty much anything anyone might want to know about the aims and activities of each of the seven institutes.
Seven? Yes: In addition to the IMA, MSRI, IPAM, MBI, and SAMSI, the list includes AIM (the American Institute of Mathematics, based in Palo Alto, California), and the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey.
"A couple of years ago we formed a math institute directors council," IMA director Doug Arnold wrote to SIAM News. Since January 2005, he said, the council has met three times, with "the most visible outcome of its efforts being the joint Web site." The IMA is the host and designer of the site, which is scheduled to go live on May 30.
Someone interested in, say, combinatorics, could quickly find activities in the field at any of the institutes, Arnold pointed out; the events database can be browsed or searched by institute, keyword, or dates, giving access to all the programs at all the institutes.
An additional feature of the site is a set of research highlights to which all the institutes are encouraged to contribute. The items---short, lively capsule descriptions of research advances that can be said to have emerged from institute activities---are designed to appeal to several audiences, not only experts in the area.
At press time for SIAM News, the following items had been posted:
- Honeybee Olfaction, MBI;
- Sparse Representations, IPAM;
- Mind-bending Math, IMA; and
- New Tools for Old Problems, AIM.
The institute directors encourage readers to visit www.mathinstitutes.org for updates.