Dear Alumni,

In December 2014, the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation recommended a ramp-down of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). This decision ends the IMA's successful run, which began in 1982. This site is created to record the impact the IMA has had on the mathematical sciences community, and the larger scientific and engineering communities. Please take a minute to share your thoughts. Stories about how the IMA impacted your research or your career are particularly appropriate. Thank you.

Notifications:
1. Please do not use this forum to express your opinion about the NSF decision.
2. Submissions will be monitored. Any inappropriate submissions will be deleted.

Comments

Affiliation: 
National University of Ireland Galway
Current Position: 
Lecturer

I was a long-term visitor in 2010, spending a semester at the IMA as part of the "Simulating Our Complex World: Modeling, Computation and Analysis". I count myself as very lucky to have been able to be part of the unique environment for learning and collaboration provided by the IMA. The visit led to new directions in my research, and initiated sustained collaborations.

Affiliation: 
Simon Fraser University
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics

I have benefitted from a wide range of IMA programs over my career.

As a graduate student, I attended the IMA Mathematical Modeling in Industry Workshop for graduate students. That was my first exposure to working in a team on a research-level problem with an industrial collaborator. I realized that there were very interesting mathematical problems in industry, but precisely identifying and formulating them took care.

I returned to the IMA as an industrial postdoctoral fellow in 1999-2001. The program was designed to allow for a longer-term interaction with a company, on-site. In addition to my industrial mentor, I had academic mentors at the IMA and at the U. Minnesota. They have had a deep impact on my career scientifically and professionally. I learned about fast integral equation methods to resolve an efficiency issue for the industrial problem. I have no doubt the IMA experience was a key factor in launching my subsequent academic career.

During this time, I was also able to participate in a range of other programs at the IMA- the annual program workshops, the industrial problems seminar, and more specialized workshops. The opportunity to interact with long-term visitors over a span of time was very important, because it allowed me to learn a for-me new area from scratch (geometric integration), and then work on a collaborative project with experts through an intense and sustained interaction. In conversations with them I recognized the power of designing compatible discretizations. This has remained an active area of research interest for me.

The training and support I received at the IMA extended beyond the mathematical. I learned about writing industrial-level code, a skill which no math sciences graduate program at the time incorporated in its curriculum. The computing facilities at the IMA were fantastic, and the staff were extremely helpful even on highly specific issues. I learned that working on industrial problems required intellectual flexibility- to be successful, one must be continually prepared to learn new mathematical ideas. This attitude, acquired at the IMA, has proved immensely beneficial to me. Thanks to interactions with industrial visitors, I had job offers in industry. I wrote my first grant proposal at this point, with the help of collaborators I met at the IMA. I gave seminars, and received very helpful feedback on them.

Yet another benefit of the IMA was the opportunity to interact with the other postdoctoral fellows. We had diverse backgrounds, and a range of mathematical interests. We were also at similar stages of our career. I have benefitted scientifically from them, and these professional relationships have been important throughout my career. These networks take time to establish, but the IMA helped foster them naturally.

Since 2001, I have encouraged students at my home institutions to participate in the IMA programs. They, in turn, have benefitted from the programs (many of which are new). As they branch into newer areas, the IMA is the perfect place for them to learn what the state-of-the-art is, to interact with domain experts in a manner more substantial than a chance conference encounter, and to meet visitors from other workshops entirely. I also return to the IMA for these reasons - to meet and interact with others working on similar problems, to learn about newer areas where mathematics and science intersect, and to meet experts in industry who have interesting problems.

While at the IMA, I try to interact with the long-term visitors of the annual program - thought the themes may be well outside my area of expertise, this is an excellent way to learn about them. The 'efficiency' of this is remarkable. If I am to learn about new mathematical opportunities, being immersed in this environment is crucial. To invite such a large density of experts to my home department is impossible for me. The IMA has, over the years, developed a range of programs which ensure such chance interactions are possible, meaningful, and sustained.

In summary, the IMA's effect on my career and the directions of my scientific interests has been extremely important. Like many others, I regard it as a vital intellectual resource.

Affiliation: 
Spacetime Capital Management & Research, LLC
Current Position: 
Founder and Managing Director

While a graduate student, I received funding to travel to the IMA and participate in the workshop "Fostering Mathematical Entrepreneurship." Even though I felt confident I would be able to secure a post doc position when I finished my Ph.D., I was interested in work outside academia, and so naturally the above IMA program was very appealing.

The workshop was a hugely important experience for me, a pivotal part of my graduate and professional career. The reasons are twofold: First, the workshop was excellently organized and run, with a solid group of engaging speakers and participants ranging from leaders in industry, venture capitalists with deep experience in start-ups based on mathematics and the physical sciences, as well as at least one established mathematician (full professor) who successfully started his own cryptography consulting firm based on his work. Many of the talks given were totally eye opening and extremely valuable; I still have notes of answers I received to questions I was able to ask the speakers, answers I don't think I'd have been able to get any other way. The goal of the workshop was, in my opinion, to expose interested or curious math grad students to the possibilities for them outside of academia, and this goal was achieved with good success.

The second reason the workshop was so important for the students attending was that the IMA was close to alone in trying to provide this kind of guidance in an organized way. Many math grad students are never exposed to anything outside the traditional academic path. Even if they are interested, often there is nobody in their department who can provide any advice or guidance, which was true in my case. This isn't surprising, as most professors in math departments got there via the usual path of Ph.D. to postdoc(s) to tenure tack job and so don't have any experience to draw on when speaking to a student about non-academic career options. This is a shame, for even graduate work in very "pure" subject areas can be excellent preparation for work outside academia, with some supplementary guidance to preparing for it (I consider my own career path as an example). This supplementary guidance doesn't need to be very extensive, but it must be available. In particular I think students must begin thinking early about a non-academic path and begin aiming for it before they are close to finishing their Ph.D.

For me, the IMA workshop filled a gap and filled it extremely well. I've been anticipating a follow up workshop and would love to come back as a speaker and participant to share my experiences with a new group of grad students. There were key lessons I took away from the workshop, in particular that a mathematician, and probably any scientist, must think very carefully about issues around intellectual property. Applying this last lesson in particular made the difference between being able to start my own company and not. Spacetime Capital recently closed its first round of funding, is in the process of closing its second and is currently in the hiring process to bring on another math Ph.D. as a research scientist. The IMA directly contributed to my getting things to this point.

Affiliation: 
University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics

I have participated in a number of IMA workshops over the last 15 years. They were extremely well organized and provided many opportunities to learn new things, exchange ideas, start new collaborations and maintain ongoing ones. I also very much appreciate the generous support IMA provided to attend and organize conference at PI institutions. Another benefit of IMA for me was the opportunity to work with my long-distance collaborators when we met for a few days at IMA at a time to finish a paper or discuss a new project. The staff was always very friendly and provided us with office space and everything we needed. Finally, my graduate students and postdocs benefited tremendously from attending IMA workshops. In short, IMA has been an important part of my academic life, and I hope it will continue to perform its crucial function in the applied mathematics community.

Affiliation: 
MIT
Current Position: 
Associate Professor

At the end of 2013, I attended an IMA-organized workshop on uncertainty quantification in materials science and engineering. This field was just at the cusp of emerging into the mainstream of materials research at the time and is now firmly within it. The IMA workshop fostered this transition by providing a venue for materials researchers with an interest in uncertainty quantification to meet and interact. The discussions I held there contributed to a paper I subsequently co-authored [MSMSE 23, 015009 (2015)]. The participants of the IMA workshop are acknowledged in it.

Affiliation: 
University of Minnesota - Morris (UM-Morris)
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics and Chair, Division of Science and Mathematics

I was one of the long-term visitors at the IMA during my sabbatical year; and to say that my experience at the IMA was invaluable would be an understatement.
The UM-Morris is a public liberal arts university and it is one of the coordinate campuses of the U of Minnesota. The special annual programs and the different workshops that IMA hosts are extremely helpful in supporting my research agenda. It was at IMA that I met a post-doc with whom I have collaborated and written articles for the past decade, and we are still doing more joint work. I am certain I am not the only one who have benefited from being at the IMA.
I have also participated in the IMA workshops on mentoring PhD students from underrepresented groups in learning about the diverse careers available for them to pursue and the resources to help them succeed in their careers.
In my opinion, the IMA is the "jewel of the crown" of the many centers of applied mathematics in the world.

Affiliation: 
Seagate Technology LLC
Current Position: 
Senior Engineer

My work focuses primarily on applied mathematics and CFD (finite elements, finite volume, etc), although aspects of my work also involve both signal and image processing. Through the IMA, I have been able to attend workshops and tutorials on optimization, taken classes on discrete wavelets, attended lectures on the implementation of WENO techniques, and had the pleasure of meeting researchers/professors whose work forms the foundation of everything that I do (e.g., Prof Timothy Barth of NASA/Ames, Prof John Dennis of Dennis and Schnabel fame, and Prof Thomas JR Hughes of FEM fame). I have also been exposed to the mathematics of Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) and have been able to meet some of the experts in the field (e.g., Prof Karen Willcox of MIT). I have benefited from every IMA workshops that I've attended and would rank them among some of the best conferences that I've attended (e.g., SIAM, International Meshing Roundtable). Numerous software packages, algorithms, and concepts learned through IMA workshops have been incorporated into design software used in my everyday job. Recently, I have focused on IMA's online database of material and videos from previous workshops, but I expect to attend more workshops in the coming year as the IMA focuses on Control Theory.

Affiliation: 
Caltech
Current Position: 
Professor of Applied & Computational Mathematics

When I was a graduate student, I was having difficulty finding a project to pursue, and I was having doubts about whether to continue with my graduate education. A research mentor sent me to the IMA to attend my first applied mathematics conference, a 2001 meeting on Ideal Data Representation. Among other things, the workshop covered nonlinear approximation and sparse modeling, areas that are now referred to as compressed sensing. For the first time, I had an opportunity to see ideas from the classroom directed toward research problems that were fresh and exciting. At the meeting, I also met my future research advisors, Anna Gilbert and Martin Strauss, who offered me a summer internship at AT&T Research. This visit ultimately led to my first paper. Indeed, I owe my career as a researcher to this trip to the IMA.

I have returned to the IMA many times since then. I will visit again next week as one of the organizers of a workshop on Concentration Inequalities. It is always a pleasure to be able to participate in this vibrant and welcoming community, and I'm looking forward to the trip.

Affiliation: 
UCLA
Current Position: 
Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering and Orthopaedic Surgery

I was asked to speak at the "Medical device-biological interactions at the material-tissue interface" workshop which was held September 13-15, 2010. I had learned enough applied mathematical "speak" over years of interacting with these creatures during my postdoctoral days at Caltech. So interaction with them at the workshop was like coming home from years of beating my head against orthopaedic surgeon walls. The interactions were a valuable learning experience. In fact an old problem from my Caltech days suddenly appeared to my great delight: Spirochete swimming. The delight spread when I reported the experience to my mentor Ted Wu at Caltech. Workshops like these have unexpected benefits. We are so specialized in physiology that a bone physiologist rarely converses with a microbiologist (Even if the bone is infected, it's the pathphysiologists' problem). Applied mathematicians have no such boundaries. I can talk about muscle pumps and lung ciliary propulsion to the same person and as long as I can supply definitive mechanics boundary conditions and a few measures, we are on the same page.

Affiliation: 
Nanjing University
Current Position: 
Professor

In recent several years, I have been invited to attend two IMA workshops. I call IMA Workshop on Theory and Applications of Stochastic PDEs as Stepping up to "Fields Metal" Workshop, and I call IMA Workshop on Random Dynamical Systems as Soaring up to "ICM" Workshop. Both of the comments for the workshops have been posted in my personal website at http://math.nju.edu.cn/~wydai/

Affiliation: 
University of Maryland, College Park
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics

I first visited IMA when I was a post-doctoral researcher at MIT, more than ten years ago. This first visit had a good impact on my view of applied mathematics and my career. First, I became witness of an unforgettably vibrant interdisciplinary environment: mathematicians, physicists and engineers gathered in the same room, interacting, exchanging views, and arguing constructively. This made a deep impression on me at the time. Second, I got the chance to talk about my work and introduce myself to experts working on similar problems or new inspiring problems. This enabled me to see connections of my work with broader theories and applications, start productive collaborations that helped me both intellectually and professionally, and pursue exciting research directions.

Since that time, I had the opportunity to visit IMA on several occasions as a workshop participant. Overall, this experience has broadened my horizons intellectually. I consider myself fortunate to have been there.

Affiliation: 
Iowas State University
Current Position: 
Professor

I know from personal experience over more than 15 years what a wonderful research environment IMA provides. Most recently, I spent fall semester 2014 as a long-term visitor at IMA in the Discrete Structures annual program (and will return for a workshop next week). The workshops held last fall brought in both leading experts and junior researchers (including graduate students) and provided a broad perspective on connections between and application of combinatorics to other areas of mathematics, science and engineering. The majority of my research is in combinatorial matrix theory, and participating in this IMA program expanded my perspective on combinatorics and led to several new research directions. The long-term visitors were also a mathematically diverse group, enabling collaborations that otherwise would never have occurred. I particularly enjoyed interactions with the IMA postdocs.

IMA has also had a tremendous impact on Iowa State's graduate students, many of whom have participated in IMA Programs such as the upcoming special workshop Careers and Opportunities in Industry for Mathematical Scientists. One of our students secured an internship that led to a permanent job through connections he made at a similar workshop last year.

IMA fosters collaboration both within mathematics and with other disciplines and with industry, and helps develop an excellent and more diverse next generation of researchers. To not have IMA would isolate mathematics from the sciences and engineering and damage our profession.

Save IMA!

Affiliation: 
Nanjing University
Current Position: 
Professor

In recent several years, I have been invited to attend two IMA workshops. I call IMA Workshop on Theory and Applications of Stochastic PDEs as Stepping up to "Fields Metal" Workshop, and I call IMA Workshop on Random Dynamical Systems as Soaring up to "ICM" Workshop. Both of the comments concerning the workshops are posted in my personal website at http://math.nju.edu.cn/~wydai/

Affiliation: 
University of New Mexico
Current Position: 
Professor Emaritus

I attended the Workshop on Compatible Spatial Discretizations for Partial Differential Equations (May 04) and helped organize the Workshop on Symbolic Computation Methods in Partial Differential Equations (June 89). Both of these workshops had a strong influence on my research.

Affiliation: 
Texas A&M University
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics

My primary experiences at the IMA revolved around the 2006-2006 thematic year in applications of algebraic geometry. While I attended several workshops earlier in the year, I was in residence from February through June, helping to organize one of the workshops and to coordinate some activities in the last third of the year.

Of the US institutes I have visited and organized workshops at, the IMA is my favourite. The attention to detail of the staff and the support they gave us allowed the participants and organizers to focus on the science. I still marvel at how deft was their touch. I found my time at the Institute to be extremely productive and very worthwhile. Several main themes in my subsequent work, including the primary direction of my current research, had their genesis in what I learned and who I talked to at the workshops and during the quiet periods between them at the IMA.

The IMA has had a gigantic influence on my subject. The thematic year was the first time that the topics in applications of algebraic geometry were brought together, and thus it has helped to define what we mean by applications of algebraic geometry. I got to know some key people better that year, and this all came to fruition when the IMA Director, Doug Arnold, suggested to a group of us that we try to organize an activity group in the SIAM. We did, and that has become very successful, helping to shape our subject and giving us a home in the SIAM. It has also had a deep influence on the work and training of many. I firmly believe that this could not have come about without the help and impetus provided by the IMA.

Affiliation: 
Univ. of California
Current Position: 
Professor

Not only I have been participant of several excellent IMA workshops in the past, recently I spent a
quarter as a long-term visitor. It was one of the most productive times I have had, with excellent stimulation of
seminars and the ability to talk to other visitors and the ability to be doing mathematics 100%. I am grateful
to IMA for the wonderful set up and the friendly staff support, the facilities that allow for great discussions.

Affiliation: 
Ecole des Ponts
Current Position: 
Researcher

I benefited a lot from the IMA, in particular in the early stage of my carrier, through interesting workshops gathering applied mathematicians and people working in various applicative fields (biology, chemistry). There are very few places in the world where such interdisciplinary meetings can be organized on a regular basis. Personally, I learnt a lot during the special year on "Mathematics of Materials and Macromolecules: Multiple Scales, Disorder, and Singularities" in 2004-2005. Many people I met there during workshops became later on collaborators.

Affiliation: 
University of Illinois at Chicago
Current Position: 
Associate Professor

I have been to several IMA workshops over the years, each resulted in new thought directions and conversations, some of which continue to this day. The one workshop that stands out is the Network Links: Connecting Social, Communication, and Biological Network Analysis
February 27 - March 2, 2012. The workshop not only brought together the big percentage of the spread out and surprisingly silo'ed network analysis community, but it also provided the physical and intellectual space to think about networks in general, to combine our perspectives. It was hugely beneficial to the network analysis community. Having been in the field for about 10 years, I know of no other workshop that did what the IMA workshop has done.

Affiliation: 
Faculty of Mathematics, Bielefeld University, Germany

I spent two wonderful stays at IMA during a special year related to stochastic partial differential equations. There were several very successful workshops held at IMA at the time. The influence of those activities on the development of the field was substantial.

Affiliation: 
Fachbereich Mathematik und Statistik, Universität Konstanz, Germany
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematics

I participated in January 2007 at the IMA workshop on Optimization and Control. This was an extremely interesting workshop where concrete problems have been illuminated from the viewpoint of such different areas as algebraic geometry, control, optimization, complexity and convexity. Personally, I got introduced by Christopher Hillar to the BMV conjecture which resulted soon in my article "Sums of hermitian squares and the BMV conjecture" and gave rise to part of the doctoral thesis of Sabine Burgdorf and to several articles related to it. This long-standing conjecture was solved by Herbert Stahl in 2013.

Affiliation: 
Institut Louis Bachelier and Paris Dauphine University
Current Position: 
Head of the steeering committee, Finance and sustainable dev., Paris Dauphine University

Obviously, IMA has been extremely helpful for the international research in mathematics and there applications.
A math. community which is spread all over the world, extremely connected, which needs to have the opportunity of international high level "spots" to meet physically on a regular basis.
I will testify on the "Mean Fields games and applications" worshop, held nov. 12, 2012 at IMA
This 2-day short course was designed to introduce attendees to the rapidly developing and important area of Mean Field Games. Much of the research activities in Mean Field Games started in Europe and where taking place in Europe. This IMA worshop offered an intense program to introduce this topic in the U.S. .
The impact has been great.
It has been an important step toward today's huge research stream on Mean Fields games and there applications in the US and worldwide (>300 papers in 2014), and the diversity of application domains : economy, ingineering, machine learning,..
Thanks to this IMA meeting the development and diversity of the Mean Fields games research community has been boosted, with now several hundred of researcher worldwide, including both high level theoritical and apllied results by US researchers. And several field of applications have been openened , including industrial topics.

Affiliation: 
Freie Universitaet Berlin, Institute for Mathematics
Current Position: 
Heisenberg Fellow/Long Term guest Professor

I have been short term guest in May 2009. I am a theoretical physicist, however the interaction I had at the IMA with so prominent applied and pure mathematicians led to a substantial change in my career perspectives. I left the very applied sector of Molecular Dynamics and started to work on conceptual problems related to theory and algorithms. At the IMA I met a group of people from the Institute for Mathematics of the Freie Universitaet of Berlin and I became convinced that I should move to that place. My change in perspective, i repute, is the best event that happened in my career so far, this would not have been possible without the IMA with its advanced level of academic activity.
I think that IMA for mathematics and for multidisciplinarity is the most advanced institution in the whole academic world.

Affiliation: 
Institut Jacques Monod, Paris
Current Position: 
Retired (Former Head of laboratory)

I would like to mention that my article :
Sivolob A., Lavelle C & Prunell A. (2009)
Flexibility of nucleosomes on topologically constrained DNA,
in Mathematics of DNA Structure, Function and Interactions,
The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications 150, C.J. Benham et al. (eds.)
is the most downloaded of all my articles, as shown by ResearchGate.

Affiliation: 
University of Science and Technology of China
Current Position: 
Professor

I was been visiting the IMA as a long-term visitor in Autumn 2012, spending 3 months to perticipate part of the thematic annual program "Infinite dimensional and stochastic dynamical systems and their applications". I felt myself so lucky to have such a great opportunity to involve in the exellent adademic environment for working and collaboration provided by the IMA. The visit brought lot of insiration in my future research, and also from there started many of my current collaborations.

Affiliation: 
Centro de Matemática e Aplicações, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Current Position: 
Researcher

In March 2009 I participated in the workshop "Coherence, control and dissipation" at IMA. This was an invaluable oportunity to interact with other researchers involved in the problem of quantum control. In particular I feel that this interaction was important for the completion of my program on quantum control in infinite dimensions, which led to the papers "Universal families and quantum control in infinite dimensions", Physics Letters A 373 (2009) 2529–2532 and "On the problem of quantum control in infinite dimensions", J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 44 (2011) 135302

Affiliation: 
Ecole Polytechnique, France
Current Position: 
Professor

At all stages of my career (post-doc, young researcher, senior professor) I had the opportunity of participating to some IMA programs which were very beneficial for my research. I enjoyed the unique atmosphere of IMA bringing together people from all around the world and the disciplines to focus on one mathematical field. There may be other places in the world for hosting concentrated research programs in maths (MSRI, IHP in Paris, CIRM in Marseille, Oberwolfach, Newton Institute, etc.) but this one was quite unique since it focused on applied mathematics. Surely I will miss the IMA.

While at an IMA workshop, I ended up meeting a colleague (for the first time) who later invited me to visit Japan and speak at a workshop and at the University of Tokyo. This helped both of us grow our research networks significantly.

Affiliation: 
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Current Position: 
Professor

My few weeks at IMA in January 2008 widened my mathematical horizon. The IMA theme for the year was Mathematics of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The interaction with Biologists made it possible for me to advise interdisciplinary projects and I am now affiliated with the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which enhances my otherwise purely theoretical career as a discrete mathematician greatly.

Affiliation: 
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Current Position: 
Professor

My few weeks at IMA in January 2008 widened my mathematical horizon. The IMA theme for the year was Mathematics of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The interaction with Biologists made it possible for me to advise interdisciplinary projects and I am now affiliated with the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which enhances my otherwise purely theoretical career as a discrete mathematician greatly.

Affiliation: 
The Ohio State University
Current Position: 
Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

In 2014 I have attended a couple of workshops on the theme of Computational Topology and Topological Data Analysis organized by various prominent researchers in the field. The workshops included many invited talks by experts. They included academicians, researchers from various universities, research labs, industries. It was really beneficial to my research work in computational topology. Not only did I come to know about recent hot problems in the area of topological data analysis, but also could interact with many top mathematicians working in the area of computational topology. It was an excellent opportunity for a computer scientist like me to interact with these mathematicians to talk about problems that I encounter in developing algorithms in topological data analysis. I came out of these workshops with the pleasant and ever-lasting experience enriching myself in a way that wouldn't have been possible without an institute like IMA. I am saddened to know that NSF is withdrawing support from such an institute. We do not have many institutes like IMA that promote research at the interface of Mathematics and Computer Science. I hope IMA still exists and thrives.

Affiliation: 
Mayo Clinic
Current Position: 
Associate Consultant

The IMA has been invaluable to me over the years, providing an intimate venue to learn advanced mathematical techniques that I've been able to then bring home and apply towards the development of new medical imaging technologies. Moreover, it has allowed me to present open problems in medical imaging to the general mathematical community -- and utilize diverse mathematical expertise that we do not have in house -- in effort to find novel solutions. Although one might argue that other neighboring academic centers (e.g., UMN) can provide these resources, I believe it will be nearly impossible for any academic institution on its own to replicate the diverse and open environment provided by the IMA over these years.

Affiliation: 
Georgia Tech
Current Position: 
Professor

I spent one academic year at IMA as a long term visitor of an annual thematic program. I benefited greatly from the program and the extremely supporting environment of IMA. It provided me a wonderful opportunity to interact with other field experts as well as a peaceful period to focus on research. IMA always has great programs which are not only scientifically interesting, but also are well organized by the right people. I particularly enjoyed the both physically and scientifically open and interactive environment at IMA. In additional the staff of IMA were very efficient and helpful. I am very much grateful to that wonderful year.

Affiliation: 
US Naval Academy
Current Position: 
Professor, Physics

My brief visit to the IMA in 2010 was productive and enjoyable. At the time, Stephen Wiggins was staying at the IMA on sabbatical. I began my 5-year collaboration with that visit which has been a proven lasting collaboration. I thank the IMA again for hosting me, even briefly. It goes to show that by creating the right atmosphere, bringing similar minds together, great beginnings can happen.

-Kevin Mcilhany
Physics
USNA

Affiliation: 
American University
Current Position: 
Assistant Professor

I have had a number of colleagues spend time at IMA and it's been constantly present (albeit often in the background) throughout my career. As someone who's committed to applications as much as the mathematics, I think IMA has done a good job supporting like-minded people. I spent some time during the Applied Topology workshops, and was able to finally meet colleagues in engineering and industry that I had only previously talked to sporadically over the phone or electronically. These people are not mathematicians, but have a strong desire to collaborate with mathematicians -- IMA's welcome to them and to me simultaneously has strengthened my collaboration with them!

Affiliation: 
Tufts University
Current Position: 
Professor

When I came to the IMA as an NSF postdoctoral fellow in Fall of 1993, I found myself, as a discrete mathematician, graph theorist, and theoretical computer scientists, surrounded by probabilists, for the special year on probability. I listened to talks by Persi Diaconis, Joel Spencer, David Aldous and Robin Pemantle. Many years later, I find myself now working on diffusion methods in protein-protein interaction networks and Markov random fields in protein remote homology detection. I can trace my success in these topics directly to the probability exposure and background I aquired at the IMA. I would not have been able to do this work were it not for the things I learned at the IMA during that semester. The IMA was really the environment that pushed me to real world applications of mathematics, and gave me the background to have an impact.

Affiliation: 
North Carolina State University
Current Position: 
Professor

I visited the IMA for six weeks during the 2006-2007 program on Applications of Algebraic Geometry. This program had a transformative effect on the field. Discussions that started at the IMA led to the formation of the SIAM activity group on Algebraic Geometry in 2009. I don't think this would have happened without this yearlong program at the IMA.

More broadly, I think that the IMA has a great advantage over some of the other math institutes in that it is physically located right in the middle of campus at the University of Minnesota. That means it is easy for faculty from the university to be actively involved in programs and for visitors to interact with people outside the institute.

Affiliation: 
Harvey Mudd College
Current Position: 
Diana & Kenneth Jonsson Professor of Mathematics

I have been fortunate to attend many conferences at the IMA and also to spend a sabbatical semester in residence there. The conferences have been focal points for researchers who share my interests (energy-driven pattern formation, fluid dynamics, self-similarity in partial differential equations, dynamical systems, swarming) to gather, to exchange ideas and to work. Collaborations have grown out of these meetings and as a researcher at an undergraduate institution, my time at the Institute helped keep me up to date and connected.

The staff have always been generous and caring and the location in the center of the country adds some equity to the institute portfolio. I have also been grateful for the travel support I have received.

The last few years my colleague Chad Topaz and I have built a summer research group at Macalester College together. The co-curricular activities (colloquia, poster sessions, mixers) at the IMA in the summer have connected our students to a broader swath of the mathematics community. For this, we are most grateful.

Finally, I feel that unlike some of its peers, the IMA represented Applied Mathematics and connections to industry natively, not as an after-thought. This is yet another reason it always seemed like a natural home.

Affiliation: 
Schlumberger-Doll Research
Current Position: 
Scientific Advisor

During my 20+ years with Schlumberger I supervised 1 postdoc with IMA in 1996-1997 and have another postdoc now. Shari Moskow was the first one. Back in 1996 we were working on multiscale finite-volume algorithms for geophysical electromagnetic simulations, and Shari's expertise in homogenization theory acquired in grad school was really great match for us. She was a driving force in developing so-called nodal homogenization algorithm, that has become an important part of most of electromagnetic simulators currently used at Schlumberger. Her internship initiated our long time collaboration.

The second postdoc, Andrew Thaler was recommended by Fadil as "second Shari". Andy started his position last fall, but already significantly contributed to our ongoing project on full Waveform inversion.

So, the joint IMA-industry postdoc program has been of great importance for us, and I am afraid, that the decision to discontinue IMA funding would leave big void in our applied math research.

Current Position: 
Professor

I have been both a short-term and long-term visitor to the IMA over the course of more than a decade. IMA hosts workshops on emerging topics in applied mathematics and serves as a focal point for discussions between mathematicians and scientists. No other institution has been so successful in this regard.

Affiliation: 
Iowa State University
Current Position: 
Barbara J. Janson Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics

What a great resource the IMA has been for all of us at Iowa State. One cannot underestimate the value of physical proximity. As the only Mathematics Institute in the upper midwest, the IMA has provided professional development opportunities for so many members of our department, including graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. I'd particularly like to cite the career workshops for graduate students. As typical academic mathematicians, most of us are not well-prepared to introduce our students to opportunities outside the academy. This has been a great role for the IMA.

Affiliation: 
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Current Position: 
Professor

I was in to workshops organized by the IMA. The quality of the talks was excellent. The IMA staff is really friendly and helpful, keen to help in all means. Video conferences were hang in the web for future reference. Excellent work spirit and collaboration. In the IMA I started to learn about mathematical aspects of fluctuating hydrodynamics, a subject which was later a central one in my research. Thanks to IMA labor and wish them many years to come.

Affiliation: 
Università di Trieste, Italy
Current Position: 
Professor of Mathematical Analysis

I first visited IMA in 1987, at an early stage of my career. I spent there one month during an intensive period on Inverse Problems, more precisely, the "Period of concentration on inverse problems and applications to bioengineering and geophisics". Before arriving I’ve heard rumors about Sylvester and Uhlmann’s solution of the Calderòn problem, but I had no concrete information. At IMA I had the opportunity to meet for the first time John Sylvester, along with many others who, in the following years, mostly contributed to the growth of the field of Inverse Problems. Talking with John, I learnt of his uniqueness result with Gunther Uhlmann and I immediately started working on the stability. The rest of my stay was fully dedicated to this task. As an extra bonus of my visitor program at IMA, the final part of my travel consisted in visiting other Universities, partners of the IMA. This enabled me to have illuminating conversations with Avner Friedman in Purdue, and Emmanuele DiBenedetto at Northwestern. My manuscript was finished soon after my return home.
I owe to the IMA the chance of having met at the right time the most prominent people in the field (Inverse Problems) I was entering at that time and the opportunity to enjoy the right environment which enabled me to quickly get to the result.
This is the story of my most cited paper and of the beginning of a research program which is still continuing.

Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences
Current Position: 
Affiliate Professor

I participated in the 2014 IMA Coastal Waves Workshop. Professionally, the 3.5 days of presentations and discussions were one of the most valuable of my career. The mix of theorists and practitioners was stimulating and provided me with fresh perspectives and ideas for new approaches that I subsequently am pursuing in my own research into Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment methodology and application. I've attended a number of workshops in my career, but the design and management of this particular event was exceptional, and led to the most successful exchange of ideas across disciplines and scientific/engineering specialties that I have experienced. I hesitated to commit, in effect, a week to this activity; however, I now feel I was fortunate to be invited and privileged to participate in such a well-organized, effective and valuable meeting and I would do so again, in a heartbeat.

Affiliation: 
Humboldt University at Berlin
Current Position: 
Full Professor

I participated in many workshops and research stays at different centers of Mathematical research worldwide. IMA is one of a handfull of outstanding centers in the world like Cambridge, Banff, Oberwolfach, Luminy. Many of these stays have been important and decisive for the evolution of my research goals over the years.

Affiliation: 
Portland State University
Current Position: 
Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics

My postdoctoral position at IMA was one of the most valuable experiences in my career as a researcher and teacher. The thematic workshops
(2001 Mathematics in the Geosciences, 2002 Optimization) provided the opportunity to meet world experts in the field of optimization, optimal control and atmospheric data assimilation and to establish new research contacts. IMA provided an excellent research environment and as a result I was able to have five journal papers published over a two-year period. I also had the opportunity to teach a graduate-level course at the University of Minnesota, a valuable experience for me as a teacher. My skills to build and deliver research presentations were significantly improved by the weekly post-doctoral seminars and informal research talks at IMA. This was of major benefit during my interviews for an academic position. At IMA I found a warm, collegiate atmosphere, and I was always able to get valuable advice for my future research/academic career. I am proud of participating in the IMA postdoctoral program that I recommend to any top graduate student seeking a challenging, yet highly rewarding research experience.

Affiliation: 
University of Bremen
Current Position: 
Professor

Seemingly countless talks and events at the IMA were great moments for me as a grad student at the U of M, providing mathematical insights and directions for a career path. Later, as a workshop participant I enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere and near perfect organisation. It has been a great place to discuss and connect.

Affiliation: 
University of Michigan
Current Position: 
Professor

I have been involved with the IMA in so many roles, as a graduate student, a researcher in industry, a faculty member, a member of the Board of Governors, a workshop organizer, and a workshop attendee! I attended my first academic conference was at the IMA as a student and it was at this workshop that I met the two people with whom I worked most closely on my thesis (my advisor introduced me to Greg Beylkin and Mary Brewster and suggested I talk with them about a research problem they were working on). It was at the IMA that I first met Joel Tropp -- you can read his comment to see what impact that workshop had on him. As a workshop organizer, I know how smoothly the programs run, how important it was to bring together people from different scientific communities in one room where we could all work together. When I served on the Board of Governors, I saw the careful deliberation that went into selecting, crafting, and launching programs.

Affiliation: 
University of California, San Diego
Current Position: 
Associate Professor

I attended a few conferences held at the IMA over the years. The last time I went was in the Fall of 2011 and it was for a longer stay of 5 weeks. I was gratefully housed very near campus in some university housing. The whole stay was very productive. I attended two workshops (from the same program) during my stay, both very closely related to my interests at that time. The extended stay allowed me to collaborate with a UMN faculty, Gilad Lerman, and a former student of his, Teng Zhang, who were both at the IMA at that time. It also allowed me to start a collaboration with Rebecca Willett and her postdoc at the time, Joseph Salmon. We coincided at one of the workshops. Beyond these specific collaborations, the workshops I have attended at the IMA have always been of high quality and have impacted my research in important ways.

Affiliation: 
University of San Diego
Current Position: 
Assistant Professor

As a beginning grad student, I came to a 2-week workshop at the IMA on higher categories. I had just chosen to do my thesis in that or a related area, and the amount that I learned at that workshop was amazing; it was very intense, but very valuable, and helped shape my time in grad school and my later career as a mathematician. Without that meeting of so many experts, it would have taken me much longer to "break in" to the subject.

Affiliation: 
FICO, Birmingham UK
Current Position: 
Senior Engineer

I have been to IMA for three short periods (one week each). In all three occasions, the welcoming environment made it possible for me and a number of colleagues in Academia to engage in very fruitful collaboration. IMA and its staff provided all sorts of help and freed us from the technical hurdles that often slow down such creative processes.

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