744 Motooka, Nishi-ku
Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
TEL (Office): +81-92-802-4402
FAX (Office): +81-92-802-4405
IMI(Institute of Mathematics for Industry)
Outline of IMI
In today’s functionally advanced society, mathematics is like a light in the darkness that never goes out. Mathematics is actually the foundation of almost all advanced technologies driving modern society such as information security, network systems, CT scans, MRIs, and other medical technologies, airplane and automobile development technologies, smelting-furnace and nuclear-reactor control technologies, scheduling in the transport and distribution sectors, and finance and insurance support systems, as well as technologies for resource exploration, disaster prediction, and even entertainment. Today, there is a need like never before in many scientific and technical fields for research personnel skillful in mathematics and the mathematical sciences, and there is no doubt that this need will continue to grow in the years to come on an international scale.
To meet this global demand, the Institute of Mathematics for Industry (IMI) at Kyushu University was founded on April 1, 2011 as the first institute in Asia for industrial mathematics based on diverse fields of mathematics research.
Mathematics for Industry (MI) is a new research area that will serve as a hub for creating future technologies. It was born with the aim of responding to the needs of the industrial sector by reorganizing and merging pure and applied mathematics into flexible and versatile forms. The IMI is involved in the following activities to promote MI.
・Joint research in response to the needs of industry inside and outside Japan and various types of mathematics research in support of joint projects
・Education and training of junior researchers
・Planning and managing of workshops and international conferences
・Planning and managing of study groups (training camps for solving outstanding problems in industry and other fields)
・Holding of joint seminars between academia and industry and other fields
・Tutorials on mathematical techniques
・Publishing of Proceedings of international conferences, Lecture Note Series, Journal of Math-for-Industry (JMI), and Preprint Series
・Matching and managing internships (long-term doctoral programs, medium-term master’s programs)
・Education from the viewpoint of mathematics beneficial to society (Graduate School of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics of the Faculty of Science)
The following departments have been established in IMI to promote the above activities in an efficient manner.
(1) Division of Advanced Mathematics Technology
This department promotes joint research with companies and researchers in other fields, performs joint research on mathematical problems in the corporate world, and works to solve mathematical problems on consignment. It also researches groundbreaking mathematical techniques and promotes joint research on those techniques.
(2) Division of Applied Mathematics
This department develops mathematical methods to refine existing mathematical techniques and investigates theories having broad application to demonstrate the universality of mathematics. The members of this department will perform joint research on occasion with members of industry and researchers in various scientific fields and will promote theoretical research with an eye to application.
(3) Division of Fundamental Mathematics
This department is staffed with pure mathematicians having an interest in application, who, in cases where the problem is clear but the mathematical technique for solving the problem is not, perform basic research to clarify that technique. The department performs basic research to drive technical innovation.
(4) Office for Promotion and of Collaboration and Consultation
This office is manned by a joint research coordinator in charge of promoting collaboration and providing technical consultation. It serves as an interface between industrial technologies and mathematics.
(5) Visitors Section
This section invites researchers from companies, research institutions, and other universities in Japan and overseas and researches advanced problems to deal with ever-changing problems in the industrial sector.
The IMI stands out from European and American research laboratories involved in applied mathematics and industrial mathematics in the following ways.
・Adopting a long-term view, the IMI brings together researchers in pure mathematics to drive applied research for industry.
While it cannot be predicted when and where mathematics can be applied, basic research in mathematics incorporates an explosive potential for application. For this reason, it is important to assemble a wide range of researchers from diverse fields such as statistics, algebra, and geometry in addition to applied analysis, which is the focus in Europe and the United States.
・Plans are being made to create a forum for obtaining feedback from industry and other fields for use in mathematics research.
The IMI places importance on uncovering new mathematical problems and cultivating new techniques as a science and aims to enrich the field of mathematics itself through collaborative efforts with industry.
The establishment of IMI is expected to have the following ripple effects:
(1) The development of research personnel for both basic and applied mathematics through close cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics of the Graduate School of Kyushu University. Personnel educated by the Graduate School of Mathematics will find that many opportunities are available to them both inside and outside Japan.
(2) Expanded collaboration with other fields of learning by promoting the interdisciplinary research of mathematics. In particular, the solution of mathematical problems in industrial technologies will help to facilitate collaboration between industry and academia.
(3) Promotion of joint research with top-tier researchers from industry and creation of a mechanism that would enable research exchanges with personnel trained at IMI and training for private-sector personnel also studying at the Graduate School of Mathematics. The Institute of Mathematics for Industry will also contribute to a new climate in mathematics research in Japan in which the exchange of researchers between universities and the industrial sector and public institutions will become the norm.
(4) Direct acquisition of knowledge on what industry expects of education at the Graduate School of Mathematics and adoption of a viewpoint emphasizing the smooth education and training of personnel in accordance with the needs of industry. The creation of a mutually cooperative system of mathematics and science education that includes the other graduate schools at Kyushu University can also be expected. This will contribute to exchanges between graduate-school students and postdoctoral researchers equipped with mathematical skills and research institutions and development sites in the industrial sector.
(5) The embedding in Japan of the importance of mathematics research for society and the development of highly competent personnel as a result. A positive effect on secondary education can also be expected.
(6) Development of appropriate evaluation methods for industrial mathematics. This will unveil an entirely new aspect of mathematics research in Japan.
The IMI aims to form one of the top research hubs in industrial mathematics in the world and looks to become a national joint-use research hub within five years of its founding. Furthermore, by maintaining its cooperative relationship with the Faculty of Mathematics, IMI aims to represent Japan as a world-class educational and research institute in mathematics.