Memorandom from Nov. 2nd Meeting at UBC

Nassif Ghoussoub (nassif@MATH.UBC.CA)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 23:58:54 -0500


MEMORANDUM from November 2nd Meeting at UBC.

A meeting was held at UBC on Nov. 2 regarding the proposed "National
Network for Research in the Mathematical Sciences". Present were Jon
Borwein, John Chadam, Nassif Ghoussoub, Ed Perkins and Luc Vinet.
The Network would have three main centres or nodes: the Centre de
Recherches Mathe'matiques (CRM), the Fields Institute for Research in
Mathematical Sciences (FI), and the Pacific Institute for the
Mathematical Sciences (PIms). Every effort is being made to
structure the Network so that the professional societies, other
institutes, local networks and other key components of the
Mathematical Science Community will play a direct role in the
Network. It was agreed that the development of such a Network would
offer enormous benefits to the scientific community, and would
encourage the participation of a large and diverse group of
mathematical scientists from all parts of the country.

The likely restructuring of the Targeted Program and
Collaborative Special Projects (CSP) Program (which funds the CRM and
FI) into a Research Partnership Program was discussed. This new
grouping includes a component to fund "Mini-Networks" which appear to
be fixed duration collaborations with an industrial "receptor".
[More details may be found on Camel's NSERC pages.] The present
intention is to seek partial funding for the "Research Network for
the Mathematical Sciences" from a less restrictive version of the new
Mini-Network program. Portions of such a modified Mini-Network
Program could eventually fall under the auspices of the Research
Grants Program. A "Letter of Intent" for such a funding application
will be jointly prepared in time for the December 15 meeting of CORG
(Commmittee on Research Grants) and the subsequent January 5 meeting
with NSERC President Brzutowski and senior NSERC officials in
Vancouver. In view of the interest the proposed Research Network
received this past August from members of the NSERC Executive, this
appears to be a natural course of action. Broad input from the
Community is being sought on this initiative. It will be discussed
in the Chairs meeting at the CMS Winter Meeting on December 10th.

As mentioned above, there were, however, some concerns as to
whether or not this new NSERC Research Network Program will be made
accessible to researchers in basic science. It is essential that
this Program - and many of the other reworked programs - genuinely
be available to Mathematical Scientists. A letter will be sent to
NSERC in the near future detailing our concerns on this important
issue.

Jon Borwein, John Chadam, Nassif Ghoussoub, Ed Perkins and
Luc Vinet.

November 20, 1995