Wednesday, February 02, 2011

IMA Special Year on the mathematics of information

Dana Randall mentioned at SODA  that the IMA (the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications) is looking for increased participation from folks in computer science.

Anna Gilbert at the University of Michigan (and former AT&T colleague!) is one of the organizers of the current 'special year' at the IMA, and it's on a topic that I think many theoryCS folks will be interested in: the mathematics of information.
They're taking applications for postdocs (speaking of which) up until February 4 (two days from now!). So get those applications in.

And what's the special year about ? In Anna's words (edited for formatting):

The Mathematics of Information

During the academic year 2011-2012, the annual program at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) at the University of Minnesota will be in the Mathematics of Information.  Information, broadly defined, plays an ever increasingly large role in our scientific and technological endeavors, as well as our daily lives. Collectively, we search the web over billions of times per day, we keep our medical records in digital repositories, we share videos and photos over the web, and we listen to music on MP3 players. Our ability to collect, store, and generate vast quantities of data far outstrips our ability to analyze, process, and understand these data. Many scientific, engineering, and medical applications depend on our ability to handle enormous amounts of complex information. Network engineering involves massive datasets at high speeds, medical imaging generates large data with intricate geometric relationships, and astronomical observations include data at different wavelengths or spectral bands.  Our current technology and scientific tools for information lag far behind our ability to collect enormous amounts of data, our need to analyze that data as efficiently as possible, and, finally, our ability to use that analysis to make sound, timely decisions. 

The special year will include seven workshops with a thematic focus on the mathematics of information and will include topics in mathematics, algorithms, theoretical computer science, machine learning, network analysis, and applications in biology, include medical informatics and group testing for high throughput screening.  Each workshop is designed to be truly interdisciplinary, involving researchers from mathematical sciences, computer sciences, engineering, and other fields.  Interspersed will be Hot Topics workshops, IMA public lectures, and tutorial and/or short courses.  Faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are invited to participate as long-term visitors, New Direction Visiting Professors, or postdoctoral fellows (either at the IMA or jointly with industry).

You can find more information about the individual workshops at the annual program webpage.



9/26-30/11    Workshop: High Dimensional Phenomena

10/24-28/11    Workshop: Large Graphs: Modeling, Algorithms and Applications
11/14-18/11    Workshop: Large Data Sets in Medical Informatics

2/13-17/12    Workshop: Group Testing Designs, Algorithms, and Applications to Biology

2/27-3/2/12    Workshop: Network Links: Connecting Social, Communication and Biological Network Analysis

3/26-30/12    Workshop: Machine Learning: Theory and Computation
5/7-11/12    Workshop: User-Centered Modeling


Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellows applications deadline was January 7, 2011 but applications will be considered until February 4, 2011.

These IMA Postdoctoral Fellowships run one to two years, at the option of the holder, starting August 31, 2011. In the second year of the appointment there are a variety of options to enhance career development, including continued work on the fellow's established research program, participation in the 2012-2013 academic year program, teaching, and working on an industrial project. Postdoctoral fellows receive a salary of $55,000 annually, and a travel allowance.

There is also an option for Industrial Postdoctoral Fellows.  In the second year of the appointment, Fellows can work on a project at an industrial partner. 

Visiting the IMA

You can contact the IMA if you would like to visit for a long period of time during the year or come for a short visit, especially associated to a workshop.  There's more information on general visits and short term visits.

There are sources of funding available for both types of visits and the IMA staff are excellent at making such visits possible.
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