New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA)

Background, aims and activities of the NZIMA

The New Zealand Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (NZIMA) was established in 2002 as one of the five Centres of Research Excellence selected by the NZ government in March 2002.

The NZIMA is hosted at the University of Auckland and headed by Fields Medallist and Distinguished Alumni Professor Vaughan Jones DCNZM DSc FRS FRSNZ (Berkeley) and Professor Marston Conder DSc FRSNZ (Auckland), with involvement of many of the best pure and applied mathematicians and statisticians from across the country.

The principal aims of the NZIMA are to

  • sustain and develop a critical mass of researchers in concentrations of excellence in mathematics and statistics and their applications,
  • act as a facilitator of access to new developments internationally in the mathematical sciences,
  • provide a focus on a source of high-level quantitative expertise in NZ across a range of areas,
  • assist and promote the engagement and application of mathematics and statistics, to other research disciplines and to NZ business, industry and local government, and
  • foster the development of knowledge and skills in the mathematical sciences in NZ, through encouragement, inclusion and support of students and early-career researchers, and outreach to schools, teachers and the general public.

    It is modelled on similar mathematical research institutes in other countries, notably the Fields Institute (Canada), MSRI (Berkeley), and the Newton Institute (UK). In particular, it will place considerable emphasis on world-class research in fundamental areas of the mathematical sciences and the use of high-level mathematical techniques in modern application areas such as bioengineering, bioinformatics, medical statistics, operations research, and risk assessment.

    Its key activities include

  • the organisation of 6-monthly programmes on themes drawn from a range of fields of significant interest
  • associated workshops held at various locations around NZ
  • establishment of postdoctoral fellowships in the theme areas
  • establishment of PhD scholarships in the theme areas
  • establishment of a small number of scholarships for open competition to research students (from New Zealand or worldwide) in unrestricted areas of the mathematical sciences, on a merit basis
  • establishment of annual Maclaurin Fellowships (*), to enable mathematical scientists from NZ or worldwide to take time out from their usual occupations and undertake full-time research in New Zealand (or partly overseas if based in New Zealand).

    (* Richard Cockburn Maclaurin was a graduate of Auckland University College who went on to study at Cambridge, where he won the Smith Prize in Mathematics and Yorke Prize in Law, and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Mathematics at Victoria University College in 1899, and later Dean of Law and Professor of Astronomy. In 1908 he was invited to become President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and helped transform that institution into the world-class research-based technological university it is today.)

    The NZIMA was formally set up in June 2002 as a partnership between the University of Auckland (its host) and the NZ Mathematics Research Institute (Inc.).

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    Last updated on 5 April 2007 by