Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) Industrial Problem Solving Workshops (IPSW) are held annually at a PIMS university. The aim of IPSW is to create a mutually beneficial link between researchers in industry and academic mathematicians. Research workers with industrial and commercial concerns are invited to present one of their current technical problems. Leading specialists from the academic community study these problems in teams during the week-long workshop, and present the results of their study back to the industrial participants at the end of the week. This program provides the necessary opportunities and infrastructure for short, intensive study periods in which industry scientists and a large number of academic researchers work together towards solving challenging industrial problems with a mathematical content.
Problems can come from a wide variety of subject areas, but should be amenable to mathematical modeling and analysis. PIMS publishes a book of proceedings from each IPSW, which is available on-line.
IPSW is one of PIMS' biggest successes. It continues to:
- Foster contacts between academia and industry, often leading to long-term research collaborations.
- Introduce challenging new research areas with a direct bearing on physical problems to academics and their graduate students.
- Develop highly qualified personnel from the participation of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
- Provide Canadian industry with new ideas and approaches to solving current technical problems.
Problems considered at IPSW are chosen by a steering committee consisting of the PIMS Industrial Facilitator and senior scientists who have participated in previous Industrial Problem Solving Workshops. The selected companies pay a small fee to help offset some of the costs of the workshop.
Each year during the week preceding the IPSW, PIMS hosts the Graduate Industrial Mathematics Modelling Camp (GIMMC). The purpose of the camp is to teach graduate students mathematical modelling methods from experts in the field.
A description of some of the problems posed at IPSW & GIMMC in 2008 and 2009:
IPSW 2009 - University of Calgary
Chemotherapy Drug Combinations
IPSW 2008 - University of Regina
Piped Water Cooling of a Concrete Slab
The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) was created in 1996 by the community of mathematical scientists in Alberta and British Columbia, and subsequently extended to both Washington State and Saskatchewan. Their mandate is to promote research in and applications of the mathematical sciences, to facilitate the training of highly qualified personnel, to enrich public awareness of and education in the mathematical sciences, and to create mathematical partnerships with similar organizations in other countries (with a particular focus on the Pacific Rim). PIMS funds Collaborative Research Groups, Post-Doctoral Fellowships and individual events on a competitive basis.