Spring 2006
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From the Director
mathinstitutes.org

Doug Arnold, 
IMA Director 
On May 30 a new web site, mathinstitutes.org,
was launched. The site, which is served from a machine at the IMA, is a
web portal for the seven mathematical sciences institutes of the
National Science Foundation.
The site features:
 A description of and easy access to all seven institutes, American
Institute of Mathematics (AIM) in Palo Alto, Institute for Advanced
Studies (IAS) in Princeton, Institute for Mathematics and its
Applications (IMA) in Minneapolis, Institute for Pure and Applied
Mathematics (IPAM) in Los Angeles, Mathematical Biosciences Institute
(MBI) in Columbus, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in
Berkeley, and Statistical and Applied Mathematical Institute (SAMSI) in
Research Triangle Park.
 An events database which can be browsed or searched by
institute, keyword, dates, and program length, giving access to all the
programs at all the institutes.
 An ever expanding collection of research highlights pointing out some
of the scientific outcomes from the institutes.
 A search box which interacts with Google to return matches which
occur at any of the institutes' web sites.
The web portal is the most visible outcome of the Mathematical
Sciences Institute Directors Council, which was formed in an effort to
maximize the value of the portfolio of mathematical sciences institutes
supported by the NSF.
As Bill Rundell, director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at
the NSF, wrote in a
recent article,
the collection of NSF math institutes is "a jewel in the U.S.
mathematical crown," and cooperation and coordination "allows the
whole to far exceed the sum of the individual institutes themselves."
Such cooperation and coordination requires significant effort,
and to this end the NSF institutes formed a math institute directors council.
The portal was
finalized, after a year in development, at the third of our annual twoday meetings,
which took place last month at MSRI.
The NSF institutes are themselves only a part of the picture. In Canada, which
has invested heavily in math institutes, the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques
(CRM) in Montréal, the Fields Institute in Toronto, and the Pacific Institute
of Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) in the Pacific Northwest, are big players in
the mathematical landscape, along with the Banff International Research
Stations, a mathematical conference center with significant funding from NSF.
North America is also home to private institutes, most notably the Clay
Mathematical Institute, and smaller institutes such as DIMACS at Rutgers and
CSCAMM at University of Maryland. Europe has developed an umbrella
organization for their many math institutes called
ERCOM (European Research Centres on
Mathematics), with 25 member institutes. Asia hosts many established
and recently founded institutes as well, and mathematical
sciences institutes are flourishing or taking root in South America,
the Australian subcontinent, India,
and Africa as well. An international committee called
IMSI (International Mathematical Sciences Institutes) exists to try to foster
cooperation and communication in this diverse and globespanning mathematical
enterprise. As cocoordinator of IMSI, I am now in the midst of planning our
next major meeting, which will take place at the International Congress of
Mathematicians this August in Madrid. (Contact me if you would like further
information.) Perhaps an intlmathinstitutes.org portal will grow from this
effort. For now, I hope that many mathematicians will find mathinstitutes.org a
useful tool. Give it a look. I would very much welcome your suggestions and comments.

