Champaign – The National Science Foundation has awarded a $15.5 Million grant to four Illinois universities, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to create an Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI). The aim of the IMSI is to bring powerful mathematical ideas to bear on key contemporary scientific and technological challenges.
Laura Frerichs, executive director of the University of Illinois Research Park, has been selected for one of the seven IMSI Board of Trustees.
In addition to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IMSI will include a collaborative group of mathematicians and statisticians from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The $15.5 million grant will be provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) over the next five years.
“The project builds on the leadership of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Matt Ando, associate dean for life and physical sciences at the College of LAS, who played a key role in forming the institute. “The university’s outstanding record of success with interdisciplinary institutes, such as the Beckman Institute and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and the innovative record of the departments of Mathematics and Statistics in workforce development, in collaboration with the University of Illinois Research Park, were important strengths of the proposal.”
Researchers at the new IMSI will build a platform that efficiently applies mathematical and statistical techniques into solutions for urgent real-world applications. Some of these applications include climate change, health care, quantum information theory, artificial intelligence, data science, economics, and materials science.
IMSI will also have a sustained focus on communication with researchers in other fields, and in educating the public about how mathematics and statistics can be used for everyday problems and social issues. IMSI will sponsor outreach and workforce development programs aimed at K-12 students, teachers, undergraduates, and graduate students. With the goal to introduce participants to career opportunities in mathematics and statistics, especially to communities who traditionally have been underrepresented in STEM.
To read more about the IMSI grant, click here.