Aims and Background

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Aims and Background

The International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) was created in 1990. It is wholly owned by Edinburgh University and Heriot-Watt University and receives funding from EPSRC and the LMS. The creation of ICMS would have been impossible without early support from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, the City of Edinburgh District Council and the Scottish Development Agency. It also benefited from support from Standard Life, Scottish Provident, the London and Edinburgh Mathematical Societies, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The core activity of ICMS is the development and organisation of international workshops and conferences in the mathematical sciences. ICMS has organised well over 100 meetings (see Past Calendars for links to individual meetings). It will also undertake any other activities that meet its main aims (see below). ICMS is funded by its parent universities and by grants awarded by EPSRC and SHEFC (now SFC). In October 2004 ICMS received an award from EPSRC which will fund a large part of its programme of workshops through to 2008, with a further grant for the scientific programme through to 2016. (See Call for Proposals for information on submitting a proposal.) The grant from SFC also ran through to 2008 and supported refurbishment of the premises at India Street and assist with staff costs associated with development and promotion. The LMS provides a grant to support scientists from UK institutions who take part in ICMS workshops.

In April 1994 the Centre moved to 14 India Street, the birth place of James Clerk Maxwell, which was rented from the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation. This historic address housed the administrative staff and provided space for seminars, lectures and workshops for 16 years. It is conveniently situated in the New Town district of Edinburgh which is just to the north of the city centre.

2010 saw ICMS in a new home at 15 South College Street. This building houses a large well equipped lecture theatre and breakout space, as well as being fully accessible to wheelchair users. ICMS administrative staff are based there and share the premises with The Maxwell Institute Graduate School in Analysis and its Applications and members of the Informatics Forum of University of Edinburgh.

    The principal aims of ICMS are

    • to create an environment in which individuals of all cultures and backgrounds can develop the Mathematical Sciences at the highest international level
    • to encourage and exploit areas of mathematics of relevance to other sciences, industry and commerce
    • to cultivate wide appreciation of the power, beauty and ubiquity of the Mathematical Sciences.

    To that end, ICMS has also under taken projects outside its core workshop programme such as:

    • Management of mathematical research publications
      Royal Society of Edinburgh Proceedings A Mathematics
      Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society
    • Adminisrative support for the Scottish Mathematical Sciences Training Centre
      Further information: SMSTC
    • Postgraduate courses, jointly with the Edinburgh Mathematical Society
      Further information: PG Courses
    • ICMS managed the Environmental Mathematics and Statistics Workshops on behalf of NERC and EPSRC.
    • Scottish Industrial Networking Initiative in Mathematical Sciences.
    • Studentships run by BioSS and ICMS. 
    • ICMS ran the Maths Year 2000 Scotland project on behalf of the Scottish Executive.