In addition, the committee seeks your input on particular questions such as:


    Whether you have ever been at an institute, and if so, what was the impact or result of that experience for you?


    What would be the optimal number of NSF-supported mathematical sciences research institutes in the United States?


    Do the current institutes satisfy the needs of mathematical scientists in providing free research time?


    Do special years at institutes on specific mathematical fields occur frequently enough to sustain the needs of the fields?


    If you think more American mathematical sciences research institutes would be desirable in principle, would you favor their creation if it took money away from individual research grants?


    Would you favor their creation if the money came as an add-on to the mathematical budget, similar to add-ons for large experimental or research laboratory facilities in other sciences (such as in physics or biomedical research)?


    What specific kinds of institutes does the U.S. need? Should there be an American ''Institute" facility analogous to that at Oberwolfach whose purpose would be to host short conferences?


    Should there be a regular program in the mathematical sciences that supports special years at individual universities?


    Should there be mathematical sciences research institutes that run instructional conferences for graduate students, as there are in Europe?


    Does the U.S. need another institute similar to the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications that would promote interaction between mathematics and other fields (rather than mainly with industry)?

    Respondents to the request included individuals in academia, industry, and government, as well as mathematical sciences professional society leaders, with the bulk of the respondents being academics. The majority of respondents (77) were U.S.-based mathematical scientists; a few comments were also received from European scientists.

    The research backgrounds of respondents represented a broad spectrum of the mathematical sciences, including what is traditionally considered pure mathematics (32), classical applied mathematics (13), theoretical and applied statistics (12), computational modeling and simulation (11), and several closely connected other disciplines (9). For academic respondents, the institutions represented ranged from Group I through Group III universities (as defined in AMS, 1996, pp. 1501–1502).

    Main Themes in Responses Received

    The general community that responded was extremely well disposed toward the concept of research institutes in the mathematical sciences.

    The prevailing opinion of respondents was that a collection of mathematical institutes, properly constituted, would be well positioned to help the mathematical sciences meet new

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