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August 2nd, 2012

UMinn–NSF math institute to host Materials Genome workshop

Published on August 2nd, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org


The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, located at the University of Minnesota and one of the eight NSF-sponsored Mathematical Sciences Institutes, will be holding what sounds like a really good multiday workshop on the Materials Genome Initiative Sept. 12-15, 2012.

According to an IMA web page on the event, the goal of the workshop is

“[T]o mobilize the mathematical sciences community to respond to the opportunities created under the Materials Genome Initiative. The planned workshop will gather researchers in mathematical sciences and those in materials sciences from academic institutions, industry and national laboratories, as well as representatives from US government agencies and professional societies. The goal is to foster the involvement of the community in the MGI. The desired outcome is interdisciplinary research activities that address the new upcoming challenges in materials research, and the development of new mathematical tools to meet these challenges.

“The workshop program, which includes scientific presentations, panel discussions and informal discussions, has been designed to identify research opportunities and to provide networking opportunities for researchers. An educational component of the workshop will foster dialog and explore modes of collaboration with community colleges in developing curricula to prepare future workforce to meet the employment opportunities brought about by the MGI.”

There is an obvious need for the networking and establishing collaborative opportunities, so this is a timely program although more of these will likely be needed. I also thinks it’s particularly wise that they have included the community college educational component in the discussions, given some of the forecasts about the coming shortage of a semi-professional workforce with capabilities in managing and interpreting complex data.

According to Fadil Santosa, director of the IMA, the workshop is open to any professional (i.e., PhD level) working in a related field in science or math. An applicant form is available here. Santosa tells me that some NSF financial aid may be available to facilitate attendance.

Often these workshops are precursors to a formal request for proposals from the NSF, so this is clearly worth watching.

For those that can’t attend, all is not lost: Santosa says summary documents will likely be prepared and he also expects that videos or other recordings of the sessions will be available. (The IMA has already built a nice library of other lectures and presentations, including a several on modeling, data extraction and industrial applications.)


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