has played an important role in augmenting the international visibility of Indian mathematics and establishing in India an outstanding strength in algebra and algebraic geometry.

Mathematical Sciences in Other Institutes and Research Centers

The early results of mathematical sciences research conducted at Bell Laboratories (now part of Lucent Technologies), founded in 1925, included Walter Shewhart's statistical process control charts of the 1920s, Claude Shannon's information theory and Richard Hamming's error-correcting codes in the 1940s, and the pioneering work of David Slepian on algebraic coding theory in the 1950s.

From its creation in 1931 to today, the Indian Statistical Institute has had an important influence on the development of statistics as a field. The world's first statistical institute when founded by P.C. Mahalanobis, then working part-time in a single room, it currently has more than 250 faculty members and over 1,000 support staff in four major Indian cities. It promotes and pursues all aspects of statistical research, applications, and education.

An example of a different model of mathematical institute, one with a large permanent staff, is the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, established as a distinct entity in 1937. It is also noteworthy that many of the former Soviet Union's mathematicians have worked in institutes devoted to other scientific disciplines or applied technologies.

With its launching of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in the late 1940s, France put in place another research structure whereby approximately 10 percent of that nation's mathematical researchers are funded by the CNRS. These research faculty work in university departments rather than in independent institutes.

Conference Centers

Also inaugurated in the 1940s was a completely new type of institute, the Oberwolfach Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut in Germany. This conference center holds 50 week-long meetings annually, each on a specific theme. In the Second World War's aftermath, Oberwolfach was remarkably effective in reestablishing Germany as a major force in mathematics worldwide. Its success has been attributed to attracting top specialists to serve as session organizers, using a simple scheme for workshops (strictly limited in size), providing superb facilities (including an excellent library and good housing), and encouraging interactions among German researchers and between German mathematicians and the many visiting foreign researchers.

In 1981, France created a similar conference center, the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM), near Marseilles. Supported by the Ministry of Research and the CNRS, CIRM hosts week-long conferences at a well-designed facility.

Worldwide Growth After Mid-Century

The worldwide technology and information revolution in the last half-century has been stimulated and sustained by a global strengthening of and growth in scientific research capability. As part of their efforts to strengthen and nurture their strategic scientific and technological resources, a number of nations created mathematical research institutes.

  • Located at Kyoto University, the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences was established as a cooperative research institute in 1964 with research in the traditional major areas of pure and applied mathematics, as well as in mathematical physics, fluid mechanics, mathematical engineering, and theoretical computer science.


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