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Newsletter (Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences) : vol. 2, issue 1, February 1998 Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences Feb 28, 1998

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The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences  Newsletter, Feb. 1998PIMS Distinguished Lecturer:Nevannlina Prize winner Avi WidgersonOn Monday April 6, Dr. Widgerson (Hebrew University of Jerusa-lem) will be giving a lecture entitled: ``A Computational View ofRandomness’’.  This talk will be teleconferenced to all PIms sites(including UNBC and  U. Lethbridge) at 3:30 p.m. (BC), in aninteractive mode, at each University's Media Centre.Canada’ s three mathematical sciences institutes havecleared the first hurdle in their application to the pres-tigious National Centres of Excellence program.  Theirletter of intent was one of only eleven  selected, among72 submitted nationally, to be invited to submit a fullNCE proposal, which is due May 1, 1998.     ` `Mathematics of Information Technology and Com-plex Systems” (MITACS) is a joint initiative led by thePacific Institute for the mathematical sciences (PIms),the Fields Institute in Toronto and the CRM in Mon-treal. This proposed network is an initiative of the threemajor  maths research institutes which collectively linktogether research groups at universities across the coun-           PIMS, Fields and the CRM invited to develop                  NCE  in the mathematical sciencesPIMS to celebrate James Mirrlees’Nobel Prize in economicsPIMS Graduate Week-endIn a new initiative, the Pacific Institute  for the math-ematical sciences will be running the PIMS GRADU-ATE WEEKEND in Vancouver  on the campuses of UBCand SFU, Feb.19-21.  The goal is to give promising Ca-nadian undergraduates a chance to learn more about themathematical sciences graduate programs at the fivePIms universities in Alberta and B.C.      (See page  4)PIMS and CICSR launch theIndustrial Working Seminar SeriesAs a part of PIMS and CICSR (Centre for IntegratedComputer Systems Research)  industrial activities, theIndustrial Working Seminar Series is designed to estab-lish links with the local industry on a continuous basis.Once a month, an industry representative will be invitedto present a mathematical problem that is relevant tohis/her company to an appropriately chosen team of                                                             (continued Page 3)The recent Nobel laureate will be a  keynote speaker at the 4thinternational meeting of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare(July 3-6) which is one of the main events in PIMS upcoming The-matic Summer on mathematical economics and finance. This con-ference  which is organised by  J. Weymark (UBC) will be used tocelebrate Mirrlees’ recent Nobel prize and the 25th anniversary ofthe Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem.try and a growing number of partners from the sectors of infor-mation technology, financial services and medical sciences.From the foundations of these centers, this Network  will builda broader, independent network  that will capitalize on exist-ing resources to pursue a unified research program of vital im-portance and application to Canadian industry.      Challenges of mathematical modeling and the managementof complex and large-scale systems arise across the scientific,industrial, financial and medical sectors. Finding new tools tomeet these challenges is intrinsically collaborative work re-quiring a mix of mathematical, statistical and computationalmethodologies. The major concentration areas for MITACSwill be: Inference from High Dimensional Data, BiomedicalModelling and Biostatistics, Risk Management, Modelling andManagement of Computer and Communications Networks,Techniques for Resource Optimization, Mathematical Algo-rithms and Technology based Mathematical Tools and Cryp-tography.Dr. Hugh Morris, FRSC: New chairof PIMS Board of Directors (Page 2)… PacificInstitutefor the Mathematical Sciencesemail:pims@pims.math.cahttp://www.pims.math.caNewsletterFebruary 1998Vol.2 Issue 1The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences  Newsletter, Feb. 1998Director’s Notes:Nassif Ghoussoub    It  took 3 years of hard effort  from many people to open up theopportunities for the mathematical scientists in this country, espe-cially for those of us in the West. Now that we have gained accessto the NSERC envelope for the math. institutes as well as  to theNCE program,  we should know in the next few months whetherwe were really ready for these challenges.      • We were of course pleased to know that our Letter of Intent tothe Network of Centres of Excellence program was one of the 11successful  letters out of 72.  The letter of intent was submitted bythe Directors of the three Institutes; CRM, Fields Institute and PIms,for the NCE ``Mathematics of Information Technology and Com-plex Systems'' (MITACS).  We have been invited to submit a fullproposal by May 1, 1998.  It is anticipated that 3 to 5 of theseproposals will be funded. The proposed network  is structuredaround the three mathematical sciences research institutes (TheFields Institute, CRM and PIms) and the networks  of universitiesaffiliated with them. The invitation to present a full proposal cre-ates an exceptional  opportunity for the mathematical sciences com-munity to develop a large scale systematic program for research,HQP training and the development of  partnerships with key busi-ness, industrial and health care sectors across the country. Our mostimmediate goal is to get the word out so that we can involve asmany as possible of Canada's best mathematical scientists. Towardsthis we will be holding on February 12 at 11:00 am (Pacific time) ateleconferenced information session about it to all PIms universi-ties to explain the MITACS initiative and to discuss what we allneed to do next.    • PIms is also currently preparing its proposal to NSERC for the1999-2003 funding cycle. We are urging all PIms-affiliated math-ematical scientists to contribute to the development of the PImsvision and plan for the next five years.  We ask that you considerproposing a project (e.g. workshop, conference, thematic period,etc,...).  New ideas are sought: scientific projects, industrial col-laborations as well as educational initiatives. Think big!  We needimaginative, viable, high-quality proposals for  future planning ofPIms-based activity.  Such ideas are welcome any time, but we areasking you especially to put forward proposals well before the endof February '98, so they might be incorporated in the PIms applica-tion for NSERC support, due April 1, 1998.  If you have an ideawhich needs fleshing out, please contact your local PIms Site Di-rector who can help develop your proposal.      • We have received 38 applications for the PIms PostdoctoralFellowships for the academic year 1998-99. Applicants have allbeen  sponsored by  regular faculty members at one of the PImsmember universities.  PIms will provide $10,000 for each of thetop 20 of these  applicants.The remainder of the fellow's support,from teaching, research grants, industrial sources, etc. is arrangedby the sponsor. The selection will be done by the Scientific ReviewPanel chaired by Dr. David Boyd.Dr. Hugh Morris, FRSC:New chair of PIMS BoardAt its meeting on December 14, 1998 at the Empress Ho-tel in Victoria, PIMS Board of Directors elected Dr. HughMorris, as its new chair. He replaces Dr. Barry McBridewho was recently appointed VP-academic and Provost atUBC. Dr. Hugh Morris holds a Ph.D in Mining Geologyfrom the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SouthAfrica and has 44 years of experience in the mineral in-dustry. He is a fellow of the Royal society of Canada andis Chair of the Society's Canadian Global Change Program.      From 1962 to 1979 he held a series of positions withCominco Ltd. in its Exploration and Mining Departmentsin several Canadian locations, eventually becoming Di-rector, Exploration for its worldwide activities. In 1979Dr. Morris became associated with the E & B-GeomexGroup of affiliated companies in  Calgary, initially as Presi-dent and Chief Operating Officer of Geomex Minerals Ltd.,and in 1981, as President and Chief Executive Officer ofE & B Canada Resources Ltd. Following the merger ofthe E & B-Geomex Group and Imperial Metals Corpora-tion of Vancouver in May 1983, he was appointed Chair-man and Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Metals andof three public companies within the Imperial MetalsGroup. He resigned from these positions in February 1993to pursue other interests. Currently, he is a mineral indus-try consultant and board member of six Canadian publiccompanies.       Dr. Morris has demonstrated special interest in nationaland international scientific and professional associations.He is a member of NSERC's Council, a member of theStanding Finance committee of ICSU, and Chairman ofthe Board of Directors of the Lithoprobe Project. He ispast-president of the Geoscience Council of Canada, a past-president of the Geological Association of Canada, andwas also Treasurer of the Canadian Geological Founda-tion from 1987 to 1996. He is a member of the GeologicalSociety of London, the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy,U.K., the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, amember of the Association of Professional Engineers ofBritish Columbia and a number of other scientific and pro-fessional associations.  • Finally, we are extremely pleased with the selectionof Dr. Hugh Morris for  the chairmanship of PIMS Boardof Directors. We feel fortunate as we are looking for-ward to work with  someone who has already  given somuch for Canada’s research and development effort.The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences  Newsletter, Feb. 1998CHANGING THE CULTURE:Towards a closer Mathematics Community Feb. 20-21, 1998, SFU at Harbour CentreThe conference will continue the work initiated bythe 1995 BC  Miniforum on Education in Mathemat-ics, bringing together mathematicians, mathemat-ics educators and school teachers from all levels towork together towards changing the culture ofschool mathematics, to allow students to experiencewhat DOING mathematics means.    Plenary talks will be given by Peter Taylor(Queen’s University) and Bruce Schawyer (Memo-rial University).  There will be two panel discus-sions on ``What is happening in the math class’’and ``Doing mathematics with students’’ as wellas three discussion groups on themes  like “Whatsort of mathematics do we want to see in the school set-ting?” and “Doing mathematics with Children’’.      Participants include Becky Mathews (BC Min-istry of Education, Skills and Training), Tom O'Shea(Education, Simon Fraser University),  DavidRyeburn (Mathematics, Simon Fraser University),Malcolm Sneddon (Ministry of Education, Skillsand Training), Pamela Hagen (Westwood Elemen-tary School),  Nathalie Sinclair (Simon Fraser, Is-land Pacific School) and  George Bluman  (Univer-sity of British Columbia).PIMS and CICSR launch theIndustrial Working Seminar Series                                                                (from Page 1)mathematical scientists and engineers. A follow-up session will be arranged for further discussionwhich will provide a basis for continous collabo-ration. To insure success, the industrial facilitator(Huaxiong Huang) will  identify suitable prob-lems, will contact the appropriate research groupsassociated to PIMS and CICSR and will keep bothindustrialists and academics in constant contact.The first seminar will be given on  February 12 byMurray Margolis, Manager of  Powerex and willdeal with the complex problems of developing``Optimal Trading Strategies for electrical power’’.Upcoming            PIMS scientific events• The 1998 Canadian Operator Theory and Operator AlgebrasSymposium, U. Alberta, Edmonton, May 21-May 25, 1998.Contact: tlau@math.ualberta.ca (A. Lau)• Industrial Mathematical Modeling Workshop for GraduateStudents, Simon Fraser University,  May 25-29 1998.Contact:kpromisl@cs.sfu.ca (K. Promislow)• Workshop on Network and Computer Security, Banff, Alberta, May 27-29, 1998. Contact: cleve@cpsc.ucalgary.ca(R. Cleve)• Annual meeting of CAMS and Canadian Symposium onFluid Dynamics, SFU Harbour center, May 28-31, 1998.Contact: gac@cs.sfu.ca (C. Graham)• Second PIMS Industrial Problem Solving Workshop, June1-5, 1998. Contact: calistra@math.ucalgary.ca (D. Calistrate)• Computation, Statistics and Visualization in PetroleumIndustry, Calgary, June 8-10, 1998. Contact:shen@cake.math.ualberta.ca (S. Shen)• Pacific Rim Geometry Conference,  UBC, Vancouver, June28 - July 2, 1998. Contact: daustin@math.ubc.ca (D. Austin)• Fifth International Workshop on Mathematical Aspects ofFluid and Plasma Dynamics, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, June 28-July 3rd, 1998. Contact: rillner@math.uvic.ca (R. Illner)• Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, UBC,July 9-12, 1998. Contact: kozdron@unixg.ubc.ca(M. Kozdron)• Workshop on Micromechanical Models of Fracture Proc-esses, UBC, July 1998. Contact: peirce@math.ubc.ca(A. Peirce)• Western Canada Linear Algebra Meeting (W-CLAM),University of Victoria, July 30-31, 1998. Contact:pvdd@math.uvic.ca (P. van den Driessche)• Workshop on Coding Theory, Cryptography, and ComputerSecurity,  Lethbridge, Alberta, August 3-7, 1998. Contact:hadi@cs.uleth.ca (H. Kharagani)The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences  Newsletter, Feb. 1998PIms Contact ListDirector: N. GhoussoubAdmin. Asst: Shannon PhillipsPhone: 604-822-9328Fax     : 604-822-0883e-mail: director@pims.math..caSFU-site Director: A. Gupta (Comp.  Sci.)Admin. Asst: Thomas UphillPhone: 604-291-3349Fax     : 604-291-3045e-mail: arvind@cs.sfu.caUVic-site Director: Ian Putnam (Maths & Stats)Admin. Asst: Kelly ChooPhone: 250-472-4271Fax     : 250-721-8962e-mail: chook@math.uvic.caUBC-site Director:  D. Rolfsen (Maths)Admin. Asst: Emma MacEnteePhone: 604-822-3922Fax     : 604-822-0883e-mail: rolfsen@math.ubc.caUA-site Director:  A. Rhemtullah  (Math. sciences)Admin. Asst:  Patti MacDonaldPhone: 403-492-3396Fax     : 403-492-6826e-mail: patti@vega.math.ualberta.caUC-site Director: C. Laflamme  (Maths & Stats.)Admin. Asst:  Joanne LongworthPhone: 403-220-5203Fax     : 403-282-5150e-mail:  jlongwor@acs.ucalgary.caPIMS Graduate Week-end:UBC-SFU Feb. 19-21  (continued  from Page 1)Students that  meet  our graduate criteria will be invited from allover Canada to be PIms guests for a couple of  days in Vancouver.It is an opportunity for them to interact with faculty and gradu-ate students and to meet their peers from across Canada.Following the PIMS funding decision of the BC  gov-ernment, Dan Miller, minister responsible for the B.C. Information, Science and Technology Agency, saidthe funding will provide application of high-levelmathematical methods in the development of B.C.'sindustries.  "British Columbia's economy is diversi-fying at a rapid rate, and technology-based industriesare taking their place in the market and playing aprominent role in job creation," said Miller.  "The ap-plication of mathematics to daily challenges found inmany sectors is leading to increased productivity...Thepotential of the Pacific Institute for the MathematicalSciences has been recognized as a valuable resource’’.BC Government Press releaseabout  PIMSPIMS forum on industrialmathematics, SFU-UCMay 25-June 5,1998         Following  on the heels of its highly successful IndustrialProblem Solving Workshop,  PIMS has recently announced an an-nual Forum on Industrial Mathematics to take place May 25 -June05, 1998.  The forum will feature a  series of events designed tobring together academic scientists, graduate students, and indus-trial researchers in the mathematical sciences to investigate indus-trial mathematics.  One of the main goals of the forum is to traingraduate students in the various aspects of high-level industrialmathematical research and this theme is clearly evident in the se-lection of events.       In its inaugural year, the forum will feature three  marqueeevents.  Kicking off the forum will be a one week Graduate In-dustrial Modeling Workshop at SFU from May 25-29, 1998.  Be-tween 25 and  30 graduate students from the PIMS universitieswill come together to learn techniques for solving industrial math-ematics problems.  The participants will work in small groupslearning the most recent  modeling techniques from experts in thefield.  The students will come away with a foundation for under-standing and contributing to the next two events. Immediatelyfollowing the modeling workshop will be the Annual meeting ofthe Canadian Applied Math Society (CAMS) in downtown Van-couver (May 28-31). The graduate student attendees from theworkshop will have a chance to hear research talks by some of thebest applied mathematicians from across Canada. They will seehow many of the techniques they just learned have been appliedto make major breakthroughs in applied mathematics.       The following week (June 1-5),  PIMS will sponsor the Sec-ond Industrial Problem Solving Workshop at the University ofCalgary.  Once again PIMS will solicit industrial problems fromindustry in BC and Alberta with teams of graduate students andscientists working together to model these problems and ultimatelyyield partial or full solutions.  It is anticipated that many of theparticipants at the CAMS meeting will take the unique opportu-nity of attending the workshop.  PIMS will cover the travel ex-penses of the graduate students attending the three events. Thestudents will now have a chance to try out their newly acquiredskills and make a significant contribution to the solutions of thesenew problems.


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