Postdoctoral Positions at the Alliance Institutions
Mentoring and Support
Alliance NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes
This webpage gives a short description of each of the Alliance NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes (listed alphabetically). For more information about a specific institutes you can visit the homepage of that institutes (linked) or contact the Alliance Representative of that institute.
Alliance Representative: Leslie Hogben
The mission of American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) is to expand the frontiers of mathematical knowledge through focused collaborative research. AIM was founded in 1994 by Silicon Valley businessmen John Fry and Steve Sorenson, long-time supporters of mathematical research. In 2002 AIM became one of the mathematical sciences institutes funded by the National Science Foundation. The NSF-sponsored AIM Research Conference Center (ARCC) holds weeklong focused workshops and hosts small research groups (Structured Quartet Research Ensembles, or SQuaREs) in all areas of the mathematical sciences at the main AIM facility in Palo Alto, California.
ARCC focused workshops, usually involving 28 researchers, are distinguished by their emphasis on a specific mathematical goal, such as making progress on a significant unsolved problem, understanding the proof of an important new result, or examining the convergence
of two distinct areas of mathematics, and by the amount of time devoted to forming new collaborations and doing research. All workshops are open for anyone to apply for funding, and AIM Directors actively recruit a diverse group of applicants.
SQuaREs are groups of 4 to 6 researchers, who have not previously collaborated, who meet at AIM to work on an ambitious research project. Typically the groups meet at AIM for three weeklong sessions over a 2- or 3-year period. The first week includes the development of a long-term research plan.
The accessibility of AIM resources to the entire mathematical community is an integral part of AIM’s mission. AIM's efforts toward this goal have two foci:
1. Ensuring full inclusion of appropriate researchers from underrepresented groups, such as women, racial/ethnic minorities, faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions, and junior researchers, in AIM workshops and SQuaREs.
2. Undertaking new initiatives that support inclusion of diverse groups of mathematical researchers and enhance the mathematical workforce. Examples of these new initiatives include Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty, Finding and Keeping Graduate Students, and Math Teachers' Circles.
DIMACS was founded as the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science through a prestigious NSF science and technology center designation. Since its inception in 1989, DIMACS has had over 30,000 visitors. Many of them came for DIMACS workshops or tutorials or to participate in small, informal research "working groups". Others came to visit for a period lasting from a few days to a year or more, interacting with other visitors, postdoctoral fellows, and some of the 210 scientists who are "permanent members" of DIMACS and come from its 13 partner institutions from academia, industry, and government.
Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM)
Alliance Representative: Jill Pipher
The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) is the newest, and eighth, NSF funded mathematics institute. The first full year of scientific activities at the institute will begin in summer of 2011.
The mission of ICERM is to support and broaden the relationship between mathematics and computation: specifically, to expand the use of computational and experimental methods in mathematics, to support theoretical advances related to computation, and address problems posed by the existence and use of the computer through mathematical tools, research and innovation.
ICERM will receive its core funding from NSF, beginning in the summer 2010, for an array of scientific programs and events. These include semester long scientific research programs, industry-connected programs for junior researchers, summer research programs for undergraduates, public lectures, “Hot Topics” International Conferences, and will eventually include K-12 activities and community outreach. Our industry partners include Google, IBM, Microsoft, each of which have representatives on the Science Advisory Board.
ICERM will focus on the training of young people in science, and will pay special attention to the national need to broaden participation in the mathematical sciences. The institute will have a policy of promoting diversity in all of its scientific programs, its board memberships, and its outreach activities. One of the first events hosted and sponsored by ICERM will be the conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Association for Women in Mathematics, in September 2011.
Alliance Representative: Chehrzad Shakiban
The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications was established in 1982 by the National Science foundation. It is located at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus and enjoys a close affiliation with the School of Mathematics, the college of Science and Engineering, and the Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics. There are also over 50 participating universities and corporations that are affiliated with the IMA. 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. The IMA provides an environment that is highly conducive for collaboration, bringing together mathematicians and scientists to discuss important research areas and problems and build lasting multidisciplinary research communities. The IMA seeks out and engages mathematicians and scientists from as wide as possible a variety of backgrounds, particularly considering groups which are traditionally underrepresented including mathematicians at the start of their career and after they have been well-established. The IMA also enriches the education of the next generation of mathematical scientists by introducing graduate students and to some extend undergraduate students to a wide view of the role of mathematics. The annual programs at the IMA last 10 months and involve over 1,000 participants including long-term, medium-term and short-term visitors, coming from academia, industry, and government. There are also a number of intense activities held at the IMA, such as workshops, tutorials, hot topics workshops, short programs which can be launched quickly as necessary to respond to areas of particular interest or opportunity. Summer Programs typically last 2-7 weeks and involve over 100 participants. There are also a number of programs designed for graduate and undergraduate students, including Industrial Math Modeling for graduate students, summer REU’s for undergraduates, and conferences that are held at the participating institutions, and international collaboration with other institutes to offer workshop opportunities in other countries. IMA postdoctoral Fellowships and IMA Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowships are designed to enable the postdocs to engage in the annual programs and receive mentorship and participant in interdisciplinary collaborations. In addition, the IMA makes every effort to increase the involvement of scientists from traditionally underrepresented groups with IMA programs at all levels---as workshop participants and speakers, long-term visitors, postdocs, new directions research professors, and organizers. Further, the IMA's success in fostering new connections and collaborations gives its outreach efforts particular force through offering regular conferences on career options for women and minorities and organizing and participating in conferences such as SACNAS and Blackwell-Tapia. The IMA website, webcasting, archives and publications provide a mechanism for disseminating information. Another successful way of dissemination of mathematics and its impact is, the public lecture series given by distinguished mathematical scientists. The audience for these public lectures, always in the hundreds, is the interested public, including faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and even high school and middle school students. The principal governing body of the IMA is its Board of Governors that consists of 15 distinguished mathematical scientists from academia, industry, and government laboratories. It provides oversight and direction for all major aspects of the IMA operation, and advises the Director on the management of the institute. The Participating Institutions Council consists of representative, from each academic IMA Participating Institution. The PI Council is an important source of input and oversight for the IMA, and an important conduit for information from the IMA to reach the academic community. The Council is kept aware of the activities of the IMA through regular mailings and meets for a full day each year.
Alliance Representative: Christian Ratsch
IPAM is one of seven NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes in the U.S. It opened its doors in 2000. The mission of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) is to make connections between a broad spectrum of mathematicians and scientists, to launch new collaborations, to better inform mathematicians and scientists about interdisciplinary problems, and to broaden the range of applications in which mathematics is used. Encouraging the careers of women and minority mathematicians and scientists is an important component of IPAM's mission. IPAM seeks to bring the full range of mathematical techniques to bear on the great scientific challenges of our time, to stimulate exciting new mathematics via new problems motivated by other sciences, and to train the people who will engage in these activities.
IPAM offers a variety of programs for junior and senior scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students in mathematics, engineering, and a wide range of scientific disciplines in which mathematics may be applied. Every year IPAM offers two three-month scientific programs that feature a series of workshops on a broad theme. IPAM sponsors independent five-day workshops and co-sponsors conferences on a variety of topics as well. During the summer, IPAM holds a program for undergraduates (RIPS) and for graduate students and postdocs (summer school).
Alliance Representative: Helen Chamberlin
The Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) is an NSF-supported math institute dedicated to cross-disciplinary research and education on the application of mathematics to biological questions, and on new mathematical discoveries that arise from the evaluation of biological data and systems. To achieve these aims, MBI programs and activities engage mathematical and biological scientists, and act to expand the community of interdisciplinary scholars through education, training, and support of students and researchers.
The MBI offers long and short term opportunities for postdoctoral researchers. The MBI postdoctoral program (http://mbi.osu.edu/postdoctoral/three_year.html) offers three year, research-intensive training and collaboration in independent, postdoc-initiated projects on important topics in math biology. Shorter visits for early career postdoctoral scientists (from one month to one year; http://mbi.osu.edu/visitors/visit_mbi.html) are also available. Prospective visitors are encouraged to contact the MBI director (firstname.lastname@example.org) with inquiries.
The MBI’s scientific programs bring together leading mathematical and biological scientists from around the world. Over 500 scientists visit the MBI each year, for workshops that extend over a few days, or for extended visits from 1 month to 1 year. These programs have positively impacted the research programs of participants. For example, in a recent survey, over 40% of respondents reported that their participation at MBI resulted in new collaborations, and over 60% reported new research directions. Overall, the goal of the MBI is to push the boundaries between disciplines, and to foster innovative and unexpected research connections.
The MBI is engaged in a range of outreach programs. In particular, MBI offers a series of public lectures by engaging, high profile mathematical and bioscientists. The MBI also has a Visiting Lecturer Program that supports visits of mathematical biologists to institutions with large numbers of undergraduate students who are members of groups under-represented in the mathematical biosciences. (See http://mbi.osu.edu/about/vlprogram.html). In addition, all research talks at MBI may be viewed by live video streaming (please consult the MBI website for instructions).
The MBI diversity committee is charged with developing new strategies to involve scientists from traditionally under-represented groups in MBI scientific and educational programs. The members of this committee are Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Helen Chamberlin, Joan Herbers, Trachette Jackson, Yi Li, Maeve McCarthy, and Aziz Yakubu.
Alliance Representative: Dave Auckly
The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is the one of the country’s premier public institutions for the support of advanced mathematics learning and mathematics research. MSRI is an independent, nonprofit corporation that enjoys academic affiliation with more than ninety leading universities and strong support from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, as well as from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other government organizations.
The mission of MSRI is the advancement and communication of fundamental knowledge in mathematics and the mathematical sciences, the development of human capital for the growth and use of such knowledge, and the cultivation in the larger society of awareness and appreciation of the beauty, power and importance of mathematical ideas and ways of understanding the world.
The institutes’ scientific programs bring together the foremost mathematical scientists from around the world, in an environment that promotes creative and effective collaboration. These programs extend through pure mathematics into computer science, statistics, and applications to other disciplines, including engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and finance. More than 1,500 mathematical scientists visit MSRI in the course of a year, and many are in residence for extended stays.
MSRI has launched several nationally significant programs related to K-12 mathematics. These started with math circles in the San Francisco bay area. The National Association of Math Circles was started at MSRI and it now includes more than 80 registered circles from across the nation. This association provides math circles with problems and lesson plans and meetings where they can meet other people who are interested in math circles. The Bay Area Circle for Teachers and the Summer Institute for the Professional Development of Middle School Teachers provide avenues for practicing teachers to acquire new skills and meet with mathematicians and education professionals.
The Institute is also known for its innovative programs to further the public understanding of mathematics. These include a series on mathematics in music and theater. The institute’s public interview/performance series has featured entertainers such as Alan Alda, Steve Martin and Robin Williams speaking about mathematics, mathematically oriented plays such as Truth Values and public forums on current events such as the Symposium on Global Warming.
MSRI disseminates its programs partly through its streaming video archive of mathematics. This is the largest one of its kind in the world.
The members of the Human Resources Advisory Committee at MSRI are: David Auckly, Hélène Barcelo, Sylvia Bozeman, Robert Bryant, Donald Cole, Ricardo Cortez, Camille McKayle, Robert Megginson, Victor Hugo Moll, Rosa Orellana, Ivelisse Rubio, David Scott and Monica Stephens.
Alliance Representative: Suzanne Lenhart
The mission of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is to foster the maturation of cross-disciplinary approaches at the interface of mathematics and biology and to encourage the development of a cadre of researchers who are capable of conceiving and engaging in creative and collaborative connections across disciplines to effectively use appropriate and necessary mathematics to address fundamental and applied biological questions.
As part of this mission, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. The diversity goals
are required to be clearly stated in all applications for potential activities to be supported by NIMBioS, and these goals are taken into consideration in determining which activities are supported. NIMBioS advertises clearly its intent to have broad diversity in participants in all activities.
Examples of specific educational activities supported by NIMBioS that promote diversity include the NIMBioS Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Veterinary Students, NIMBioS's annual Undergraduate Research Conference, and our outreach efforts to build cooperative partnership arrangements with minority-serving institutions. These partnerships have as goals enhancing the diversity of participants in NIMBioS activities and encouraging these institutions to develop their own educational efforts at the interface of mathematics and biology. NIMBioS encourages the faculty and researchers at these institutions to become organizers of activities at NIMBioS and works with the administration of these institutions, as appropriate, to provide support for their faculty to take on leadership roles in NIMBioS activities.
Park City Mathematics Institute (IAS/PCMI)
The Institute for Advanced Study / IAS / Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) programs include a three-week residential summer session, a year-round program of professional development and outreach groups (PDOs) for secondary school teachers; and a lecture publication series.
The flagship program of PCMI is the three week summer session for secondary school teachers, mathematics education researchers, undergraduate college faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, and mathematics researchers. Meeting simultaneously, the groups pursue both individual courses of study and a meaningful amount of interaction. With few exceptions, all program lectures and seminars designed for specific groups are open to all participants. In addition there are daily activities and lectures of general interest, designed to foster communication among the participant groups. Many opportunities for informal and social interaction are available, ranging from organized Cross Program activities to casual conversations over breakfast or lunch. In addition, the PCMI environment facilitates cross-program mentoring to encourage a sense of community among participants. The deep mathematical experience combined with interaction among all participants results in greatly increased understanding and awareness of the issues confronting mathematics and mathematics education today.
Specifically, the summer session programs, centered around a single mathematical research topic, are as follows:
- The Research in Mathematics Program comprises daily seminars and informal working groups, offering advanced scholars the opportunity to do research, collaborate with peers, meet outstanding students, and explore new teaching methods with professional educators.
- The Graduate Summer School gives students the opportunity to interact with advanced researchers as well as professional educators, other graduate students, and undergraduate students. Activities are designed to promote personal contact, facilitate collaborative work, advance careers, and demonstrate the complementary aspects of research and education.
- The International Seminar on Mathematics Education: Bridging Policy and Practice brings diverse perspectives and practices to a U.S. national dialogue on mathematics education. This annual, one-week program is by invitation, and the briefs it produces are published each year through PCMI.
- The Undergraduate Summer School immerses undergraduate students in a multi-level, intensive research environment and in the educational, cultural, and social issues that characterize the broader mathematics community.
- The Undergraduate Faculty Program encourages collegiate mathematicians with a strong interest in undergraduate education to apply. Seminars and activities are designed to give these participants the opportunity to advance their mathematical knowledge and hone their teaching skills in an environment where both research and educational goals are being pursued.
- The Secondary School Teachers Program is structured around three goals: all teachers should continue to professionalize their work by 1) continuing to learn and do mathematics, 2) analyzing and refining classroom practice, and 3) becoming resources to their colleagues and the profession. The SSTP is organized around three strands related to these goals; enriched by additional activities tailored to specific participant needs and by programs involving other components of the PCMI community. An additional opportunity is involvement in a year-long program of Professional Development and Outreach (PDO) groups based at cooperating universities around the country, where the secondary school teachers work in collaboration with university faculty to become leaders in their schools, their school districts, and the larger community.
The members of the Diversity Subcommittee of the PCMI's Steering Committee include Erika Camacho, Duane Cooper, Edray Goins, Leona Harris, Robert Megginson, Janis Oldham, and Robin Wilson. This committee advises the Steering Committee on matters of inclusion of underrepresented groups as part of its duties.
Alliance Representative: Pierre Gremaud
The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (www.samsi.info), which was established in 2002, is forging a synthesis of the statistical sciences and the applied mathematical sciences with disciplinary science to confront the very hardest and most important data- and model-driven scientific challenges. These challenges are too large and complex to be adequately addressed by individuals, groups or single disciplines. SAMSI’s scope and engagement are national and international, bringing together researchers who would not otherwise interact, and focusing the people, intellectual power and resources necessary for simultaneous advances in the statistical sciences and applied mathematical sciences that lead to ultimate resolution of the scientific challenges.
SAMSI maximizes its impact by being primarily a formulator and stimulator of research. It conducts programs that target the areas most in need of attention and most amenable to high-impact progress, and brings together established and young researchers from academia, industry, national laboratories and government to define the central problems and catalyze the research that addresses those problems.
The human impact of SAMSI is both a goal in itself and the mechanism by which research impact is realized. Visiting young and senior researchers are resident at SAMSI for periods of a month to a year. Postdoctoral fellows participate at the crucial, formative stage of their careers. Graduate and upper level undergraduate students are provided unique insight into the formation of research areas and collaborations. Every SAMSI program conducts public workshops that inform and energize the national statistical and applied mathematical sciences communities to take up the challenges identified by SAMSI. Selective outreach programs to undergraduate students, high-school teachers and faculty from teaching institutions extend SAMSI’s impact still further.
The scale of SAMSI, which matches the scale and urgency of the problems that drive it, exceeds the capabilities of any single institution. Therefore, SAMSI is a partnership between the U.S.A. National Science Foundation and the consortium of Duke University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). Support is also provided by William Kenan, Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. SAMSI is housed at the NISS building in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The scientific efforts at SAMSI are organized into regular programs of six months to one year duration, and shorter summer programs, as well as an extensive education and outreach program. Some research programs focus on particular scientific problem areas, while others are defined by statistical and mathematical themes that cut across multiple scientific contexts. Each is led by national and international leaders in the statistical and applied mathematical sciences, coupled with strong involvement of disciplinary scientists. The programming ideas arise from many sources, foremost of which is simply an individual or group proposing – and wishing to help lead – an exciting new program.