Large sum for sums sums up sums’ importance

6 Oct 2006

The largest ever single award to mathematics research in the State has been made to a research programme at University of Limerick.

Some €4.34m is to be invested in the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI), a Science Foundation Ireland-funded initiative.

The investment will help create more than a dozen new research fellows and postgraduate students in applied mathematics and has been established to facilitate a closer working relationship between mathematicians and researchers from industry, finance, economics, engineering and other academic disciplines.

The programme is headed by Professor Stephen O’Brien and will receive the funding for research to be conducted over five years.

“This is the largest single award ever made to mathematics in this country and signifies a recognition of the academic and strategic importance of applied mathematics in a growing economy,” said O’Brien.

“This initiative will lead to the employment of over a dozen new research fellows and postgraduate students in applied mathematics dedicated to formulating and solving real problems, a new cross-institutional fourth-level postgraduate programme and outreach and summer schools aimed at demystifying mathematics in the eyes of second-level students and the general public.”

MACSI will develop a strategy for the solution of problems which arise in science, engineering and industry in Ireland and will involve collaboration with industries such as Analog Devices Limerick, Dell Computers, Diageo, Waterford Crystal, Boston Scientific, Kostal and Transitions Optical.

It will establish an interdisciplinary collaboration between Irish mathematicians and enterprise partners with a view to forming an expert group in mathematical modelling and simulation of real processes in industry, science and engineering.

MACSI will also develop a graduate programme to produce mathematicians with expertise in the area of applied mathematical modelling.

By Elaine Larkin