Enrique Thomann has been a regular visitor to the IMA over the course of his career as a workshop attendee and organizer. It just so happened that he was looking for an opportunity to take a sabbatical where research was active and collaborations would thrive. It was around this same time that he found out about the IMA's New Directions program. The topic of the year— Infinite Dimensional and Stochastic Dynamical Systems and Their Applications—was very much aligned with his research, but one that he wanted to learn more about.
"In particular, the topic that I was curious about, and that one that I learned the most about, was stochastic PDEs," he explained. During his visit, he and other long-term visitors and postdoctoral fellows at the IMA worked to understand how small noise perturbations propagate through systems of fluid mechanics.
"What I am most proud of is the collaboration—that really started from nothing—that developed during my visit. This is a substantial investment of time for me and the area is very interesting. There are opportunities for taking this technology to different areas and to collaborate with different people. This area has a very steep learning curve, so being on sabbatical and able to use these months to jump into research was a big advantage," he said.
According to Thomann, although the highlight of his visit was the collaboration, he noted that he was also impressed by the third Abel Conference in celebration of Endre Szemerédi.
"I attended the conference and it completely blew me away. It was one of the best conferences that I have ever attended. The quality of the speakers was excellent—it was very intense. It was just on another level. The mathematics was extremely inspiring and the conference represented a remarkable series of lectures," said Thomann.
The IMA is currently accepting applications for its New Directions Research Professorships. Like Thomann, participants will spend an academic year immersed in the thematic program at the IMA, where they learn new mathematics and applications, connect their research with important problems, and establish new contacts and collaborations. IMA support, in the form of a subcontract to the home institution, will be for up to 50% of 2014-2015 salary with a maximum of $50,000 for the entire nine- to 12-month visit.
If you are interested in visiting the IMA during the 2014-2015 year on Discrete Structures: Analysis and Applications or the 2015-2016 year on Control Theory and its Applications, please apply online. Applications are due by February 2014.