Founded in 1982, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) is an NSF-funded visitors’ institute that has grown to become among the most influential math institutes in the world. Located on the University of Minnesota campus, it is one of eight NSF Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes. The IMA has no permanent faculty, but rather is a flux of visitors and postdoctoral researchers.
The IMA aims to achieve synergy between mathematics and its applications, develop transformative mathematical research through interdisciplinary exploration, strengthen and broaden the workforce that confronts pressing challenges facing science and society, and effectively communicate the role of mathematics in our world. The IMA utilizes many strategies and mechanisms to realize these goals, from its annual thematic program to hot topics workshops to seminars and public lectures.
Each year, a field of research, “thematic program,” is chosen and premier mathematicians and applied scientists work together to identify and address that field’s most critical topics and challenges. The annual program has proven to have the greatest impact on accomplishing the IMA’s mission.
The highly collaborative nature of the institute attracts more than 1,000 mathematicians and other scientists annually to visit the IMA. Collaborating at the IMA is not about just solving problems. It’s about identifying opportunities and challenges where math is the answer and where one solution can carry over to many other disciplines, from biology and psychology to astronomy and medicine and everywhere in between.
More than 200 postdoctoral candidates from around the world compete each year for two-year fellowships to work with the distinguished researchers at the IMA. The IMA’s postdoctoral program is among its greatest assets. A major goal of the IMA is to expand the talent base engaged in mathematical research applied or relevant to interdisciplinary investigations. At the IMA, postdocs receive high-level training and guidance.
The IMA is a vital component of the mathematical sciences infrastructure in the United States, and contributes to and advances the health, prosperity, and security of the nation. The IMA is located at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, Lind Hall. It enjoys a close affiliation with the School of Mathematics, the College of Science and Engineering, and the Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics.