Dear Colleague Letter, July 2012

Dear Colleague,

As you know, interdisciplinary research and training has been increasingly important in higher education. Many complex problems we face present unique challenges that require a team with a spectrum of expertise. Many job opportunities require new skills in a variety of fields that we need to train our students in. In the GW Strategic Plan, which is currently underway, "Innovation through Interdisciplinary Collaboration" is listed as one of the four major themes. We are excited with the opportunities this will bring us in the years ahead.

We would like to invite you to explore some collaborative opportunities involving mathematical sciences. This direction offers many exciting opportunities as many disciplines are becoming increasingly quantitative. At the National Science Foundation, the Division of Mathematical Sciences is the only division that funds collaborative research with every other division. We see a good possibility for substantial contributions that we can make together. Our current plan includes the following activities. We welcome new ideas from you.

1. Mathematical Application Seminar (supported by the GW University Seminar Fund). This is a seminar we started in 2008. Thanks to the generous funding from the GW University Seminar Fund, this seminar has brought people together from GW to exchange research interests. We plan to continue this seminar during 2012-13. While most talks will continue to be given in the Math Department, we would like to have some talks hosted by various departments. We hope such "Traveling Seminar" talks will increase the interaction between colleagues in mathematics and other fields.

2. GWIMS Competition (supported by the GW Center and Institute Facilitating Fund). We would like to start an internal competition for small grants that will provide support for interdisciplinary collaborations involving mathematical sciences. These grants can provide some support for the faculty who will use the time to work on joint external proposals. A brief description of the proposed external grant, a list of PI/Co-PIs, information for the external grant program including a website, and CVs of the PI/Co-PIs will be needed. An independent review committee will evaluate the proposal and recommend funding decisions to the non-conflicting members of GWIMS. Anyone interested in the competition should send an email to gwims@gwu.edu.

3. GWIMS Coffee Hour. We plan to start the GWIMS Coffee Hour in Fall 2012. We hope this will create informal interactions with potential for more outcomes. This is tentatively scheduled to be on Fridays 2-3pm, during the regular Coffee Hours of Mathematics Department. On selected weeks, the Coffee Hour will be GWIMS Coffee Hour; we will announce the dates on the GWIMS website later.

We would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about GWIMS. The George Washington Institute for Mathematical Sciences (GWIMS) is a new institute charted by the OVPR in 2011. Our mission is to promote collaborative research and training activities between mathematics and other fields. We seek research and training opportunities in cutting-edge applications of mathematical sciences in areas with emerging needs for mathematics. GWIMS will serve as a hub for researchers with different backgrounds to communicate with each other on their work, to explore collaboration opportunities on interdisciplinary research and training, to connect GW with outside leaders, and to increase the reputation of GW as a research center in the nation's capital. More information can be found at the Institute for Mathematical Sciences website.

View the members of GWIMS. You are welcome to contact any of us if you have any interest or any question, or simply want to say hi. You can also contact us at gwims@gwu.edu. If you wish to be informed of updates of these opportunities, including information of our seminar and coffee hours, please send us an email to gwims@gwu.edu so we can add you to our email list.

Thank you and we look forward to working with you!