University of Minnesota Professor Fadil Santosa has been appointed the next director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), an internationally recognized research center based within University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology. Santosa's appointment is effective July 1, 2008.
Santosa was appointed to the position by Institute of Technology Dean Steven L. Crouch upon the unanimous recommendation of the IMA's Board of Governors, a 14-member governing board of distinguished mathematical scientists from across the country who work in industry and academia. Santosa will replace Doug Arnold, the IMA's director since 2001, who will remain a professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Santosa's appointment was made a year in advance to ensure continuity in leadership.
Santosa brings more than 25 years of experience in the mathematical sciences and engineering to his new position. He began his career at Cornell University in the theoretical and applied mechanics department. He then worked for 10 years at the University of Delaware in the mathematical sciences and mechanical engineering departments. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1995 as a professor in the School of Mathematics.
In addition to his appointment as a professor, Santosa serves as director of the Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics and has been involved with the IMA, first as associate director for industrial programs from 1997 to 2001, and later as deputy director from 2001 to 2004.
"I am a firm believer in the IMA's mission and I am truly honored to have been chosen to lead the institute," Santosa said. "The IMA has flourished under Doug Arnold's leadership and I am dedicated to ensuring its continued success."
Santosa's research interests are in the areas of photonics, inverse problems, optimal design, and financial data analysis. Many of the problems he researches are those that arise in industrial applications or in other areas of science and engineering. Santosa has served as a consultant for a number of companies and holds a 2006 patent for a spectacle lens design method. In addition to research, Santosa serves on the editorial board of several mathematics journals, has written dozens of articles on his research, and has co-authored or co-edited five books.
Santosa received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1976. He earned a master's degree and Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1977 and 1980, respectively.
"Senior mathematicians from across the country expressed interest in the IMA director position," said Robert Kohn, a professor of mathematics at New York University who served as head of the IMA director search committee. "We ultimately decided that Fadil's combination of talents, skills and experience are optimal for the IMA. We were particularly impressed by Fadil's deep appreciation of and commitment to the IMA's mission and his extensive experience connecting with industry."
"It has been an honor and pleasure for me to be associated with such an exciting organization," said Doug Arnold, current IMA Director. "I couldn't be happier with the thorough search process and its outcome. I will be leaving the IMA in excellent hands."
The IMA was established in 1982 by the National Science Foundation as a result of a national competition. The primary mission of the IMA is to increase the impact of mathematics by fostering research of a truly interdisciplinary nature, linking mathematics of the highest caliber and important scientific and technological problems from other disciplines and industry. Allied with this mission, the IMA also aims to expand and strengthen the talent base engaged in mathematical research applied to or relevant to such problems. The IMA includes more than 50 participating organizations including universities, corporations and government labs. Each year, the IMA involves more than 1,000 visiting researchers from around the world.