CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Volume 07 Number 3
April 12, 2007

Editor: Rod Edwards (edwards@math.uvic.ca)



Special Issue:

1. NSERC increases mathematics institutes funding

2. CAIMS*SCMAI membership renewal reminder

3. CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Information



From: Bill Langford <wlangfor@uoguelph.ca>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2007 09:39:22 -0400


The three Canadian mathematics institutes, le Centre de recherches
mathematiques (CRM), the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical
Sciences and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences
(PIMS) all have received significant increases in their level of
funding from NSERC. The increases are close to 25% and the grants are
for a five year duration. This provides a stable base for growth of
the institutes' programs and is very good news for Canadian mathematics.

This success comes in the first competition under NSERC's new Major
Resources Support (MRS) program. The mathematics institutes were
reviewed in competition with other major national scientific
resources. The large increase allocated to the mathematics institutes
(more than half of the new funding available in the competition) is
proof of the outstanding quality and growing international stature of
these Canadian mathematics institutes.

CAIMS members are strong supporters of the mathematics institutes and
of their broad mandate in the mathematical sciences, which spans
traditional pure and applied mathematics research as well as
multidisciplinary research, industrial applications and mathematics
education. They have become an essential resource, not only for
Canadian mathematics but for Canadian science. CAIMS strongly
supported the institutes in this funding competition by sending
letters to NSERC and representatives to all three of the institute
site visits.

On this happy occasion, we have invited each of the three institute
directors to present a statement to the CAIMS membership, describing
their institute's activities and future plans. These statements
follow below, arbitrarily ordered from West to East.



The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) is pleased
to announce that its grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has been renewed for a further
five-year period, and increased to $5.5-million for the period
2008-2013. Ivar Ekeland, Director of PIMS, said, "This has been a
great year for PIMS. Alberta doubled the size of our grant, the French
CNRS is entering into a permanent agreement, the only one of its kind
in North America, British Columbia is interested in our First Nations
Education program, and now we have this great news from NSERC. This
shows the extent of support for PIMS, both inside and outside our
borders. We are all tremendously encouraged, and are committed to live
up to these expectations."

With continued funding secured from a variety of sources, PIMS will
continue to address its core mission, as outlined in its statutes: to
promote research in the mathematical sciences; to strengthen ties and
collaboration between the mathematical scientists in the academic
community, in the industrial and business sector, and in government;
to enhance education and training in mathematical sciences, and
broadening communication of
mathematical ideas; and to create strong mathematical partnerships and
links within Canada and with organizations in other countries.

PIMS will immediately implement the new ideas contained in our
successful proposal: in September, 2007, we will inaugurate the first
of its International Graduate Training Centres (IGTC), in Mathematical
Biology, bringing together disciplines and colleagues from PIMS member
universities in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and beyond.
Further details about this exciting new program are forthcoming. We
will also continue our very successful post-doctoral fellowships
program and we will launch new collaborative research groups (CRGs)
and industrial initiatives in strategic areas, such as the mathematics
of the environment, in close cooperation with our international
partners in Latin American and around the Pacific Rim.

PIMS is grateful to NSERC for the increase in support for the
mathematical institutes in Canada, and congratulates Fields and CRM on
the success of their applications.

We thank all members of the PIMS community for their support during
the renewal process and the site visit, and their outstanding
contributions to science during the past granting period, which has
made our continued success possible.



You offered us a chance to say something. Here are my thoughts on the
subject (this will appear in more detail in the next Fields Notes).

First, I'd like to recognize the excellent results of the competition.
Though one never gets all one asks for, or wants, the three
institutes collectively garnered 60% of the million-dollar increase
that NSERC had put into the competition. We were also very impressed
with the quality of the site visit team: the fact that such
distinguished people agreed to serve says great things about our
reputations, and the fact that such an excellent team was put together
speaks very favourably of NSERC's commitment to giving the institutes
a fair hearing. Finally, it's clear that we were able to make our
case to a committee consisting mainly of people outside of
mathematical sciences. The congratulations go, of course, to the
whole community: each institute had enormous help from many people in
putting together the proposals and the site visits.

The second thing is that after a period of nine months in which the
three mathematical sciences institutes were placed in direct
competition with each other, it is a tremendous relief to be able to
return to the normal state of cooperation with each other. We all, in
our proposals, made a commitment to work together to achieve common
objectives that will benefit the Canadian community: providing support
jointly for important events like the 2008 Canada-France meeting and
ICIAM 2011, working with AARMS and NPCDS to help them obtain stable
funding, and helping to plan a national network.

I'd like to thank you especially for reminding us of the opportunity
to send messages about our events to CAIMS members, through your
newsletter. Fields tries to do so. Of course, we select what we
think will be of interest, and we aren't always correct. Our message
though is that the events we run reflect the interests and energy of
the community, so by all means encourage CAIMS members to propose



For the first time, the three mathematical institutes were
competing within a new programme open to all disciplines represented
at NSERC. Given the severe budgets constraints of that programme, and
the low success rate, they did very well. More than half of the new
funds available in that competition were awarded to increase the
overall budget of the three institutes. NSERC's funding to the CRM
increased by 25 percent to 6 M$ over the five-year period 2008-2013.

This is the result of many factors: the exceptional quality of the
achievements of the institutes over the last five years, the new era
of collaboration between the three directors, Barbara Keyfitz, Ivar
Ekeland and myself when we began our mandate simultaneously, and the
commitment of so many groups of scientists in Canada and abroad who
helped us reach the highest standards that should characterize an
institute. At the CRM, 40 percent of our activities are carried out
with researchers who are not funded by the 336-337 committees. This
means that the CRM is a focal point for researchers from a large array
of disciplines. It is obvious that the success in this competition is
the result of a collective effort over five years that started under
Jacques Hurtubise's direction and involves some of the best
researchers in the world.

Over the last four years, the CRM has increased its foreign
funding by 400 %: from 100K per year four years ago, it is now 500 K
(NSF, Clay, NATO's civil division at Brussels, INSERM, INRIA,
CNRS,...). Without this international support, the CRM would not have
performed at such a level. As nice as the results of the competition
could appear, it will be a challenge to reach the end of the next
funding period (2013) without increasing in a drastic way other
international sources of funds.

The CRM's direction would like to acknowledge the exceptional
quality of NSERC's staff: they set up a top-level site visit committee
and helped each of the institutes at every stage in the most dedicated



From: Leah Keshet <keshet@math.ubc.ca>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:25:50 -0700 (PDT)

Dear CAIMS friends and members

Most of you receiving this email have already renewed
your membership in CAIMS for 2007. If so, the Society
thanks you for your continued support.

If not, it is not too late to renew your membership,
or to sign up your student(s), post-doctoral fellow(s)
or young colleagues. Remember that you can now charge
CAIMS membership dues to your NSERC grant.

We count on you to help maintain the strength of CAIMS
with your continued membership and support.

Thanks again,

Leah Edelstein-Keshet,
Membership committee



CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Information

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