Math institute gets largest NSF grant ever

July 20, 2005

The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications in Minnesota has received the largest math research grant ever made by the National Science Foundation.

The $19.5-million, five-year grant was awarded Wednesday, and firmly establishes the institute as the top math institute in the nation, University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The institute brings together mathematicians, biologists, engineers, psychologists and other scientists and technicians to give practical application to abstract disciplines.

Researchers associated with the institute have, among other things, developed an undetectable system to spot enemy aircraft and a math-based system to diagnose serious heart problems,

"Mathematicians used to work alone and do very esoteric work and no one understood what they were doing," Institute Director Douglas Arnold told the Star Tribune. "Very few places run meetings of biologists and engineers and mathematicians and computer scientists. We're the gardeners, and we plant the seed."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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