Seven-figure sum for maths research

6 May 2008

Funding of almost €3m has been made available for four new research projects under the Mathematics Initiative by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

The Mathematics Initiative aims to facilitate closer links between Ireland’s mathematicians and researchers in industry, science, engineering, finance, education and other sectors.

The award-winning projects are based at University College Cork (UCC), Dublin City University (DCU), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and University of Limerick (UL).

“The four research projects to successfully secure funding under this latest Mathematics Initiative have each illustrated vision, purpose and foresight in how Mathematics is applied to a variety of research areas,” commented director general of SFI, Professor Frank Gannon.

“While diverse in their subject matter, the projects have, as a common theme, the enhancement of Ireland’s reputation across all fields of mathematics.”

SFI received a total of 14 applications from seven higher education institutions and all applications were assessed by a panel of international expert reviewers.

The ‘Statistical Methods in Biomedical Imaging’ project headed by Professor Finbarr O’Sullivan at UCC will receive €990,818 over four years. The proposal focuses on the development of new statistical theory and methods stimulated by the emerging new role for quantitative diagnostic imaging in medical research. A unique element of the project is a study to develop, implement and test perfusion scanning with CT and MRI scanners available in Ireland.

The Edgeworth Centre for Financial Mathematics, led by Dr John Appleby at DCU, will receive €995,260 over four years. This interdisciplinary project in financial mathematics brings together teams of researchers in mathematics and finance with practitioners from financial institutions.

The De Brun Centre for Computational Algebra, based at NUIG and led by Dr Graham Ellis, will receive a grant of €500,000 over four years. Three teams of researchers at NUIG will examine inter-related areas of computational algebra, focusing on innovative projects with direct relevance to applied mathematics and engineering.

The Bio-Statistics & Informatics (BIO-SI) project at UL, led by Professor Gilbert MacKenzie, will receive €500,000. This joint research programme involves collaborative work with medical and bio-scientists and aims to develop new methods and models to address substantive research questions and to provide a major focus for statistical science in Ireland.

By Niall Byrne