Title: Dear Colleague Letter - Mathematical Sciences Innovation
Incubator (MSII) (nsf14063)
Date: 4/22/2014
NSF 14-063
Dear Colleague Letter - Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (MSII)
April 22, 2014
Dear Colleagues:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Mathematical
Sciences (DMS) aims to enhance the synergistic relationships between
the mathematical sciences and other NSF-supported disciplines through
the Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (MSII) activity. The
MSII activity encourages and supports new research collaborations
among mathematical scientists and other scientists and engineers
working in NSF-supported research areas of high national priority by:
* facilitating DMS co-review and co-funding of multi-disciplinary
research collaborations involving mathematical scientists;
* providing leverage for investments of non-DMS NSF programs in
projects that include mathematical scientists; and
* providing a uniform mechanism through which collaborative research
teams involving mathematical scientists can request DMS co-review.
The ideas, tools, and language of mathematics and statistics play
important roles in every area of science and engineering research
supported by the NSF, and it is widely recognized that interactions
between the mathematical sciences and other fields catalyze
developments in both.
Examples of this mutual influence abound. For instance, probability
and statistics arose and developed from observations about games of
chance in the 16th century, mortality in the 18th century, Brownian
motion in the 19th century, and genetics in the 20th century. The
observations both provoked questions about the physical world and
sparked new mathematical and statistical ideas and methods that helped
answer those questions. But these new developments in the mathematical
sciences reached far beyond the initial questions and areas; they
helped to solve new problems in physics, biology, engineering,
geosciences, and economics, and in combination with other areas of
mathematics, they gave rise to entirely new fields of research.
Uncertainty, stochasticity, and enormous volumes of data are salient
aspects of 21st century problems; coping with these features builds on
the advances of the previous 500 years. A similar history appears for
most other areas of mathematics; only the names, dates, mathematical
issues, and particular contacts with the tangible world are different.
The Division of Mathematical Sciences wishes to foster the
participation of more mathematical scientists, from every area of
mathematics and statistics, in such important interdisciplinary work.
In support of this goal, the MSII activity provides funding to
catalyze the involvement of mathematical scientists in research areas
where the mathematical sciences are not yet playing large roles.
The MSII activity will emphasize scientific research areas of high
national priority that would benefit from innovative developments in
mathematics and statistics. As pointed out in references ^[1][1] and
^[2][2], modern communication, transportation, science, engineering,
technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend
on the mathematical sciences. Success in meeting crucial challenges
currently facing the nation in these areas will rest on advances in
mathematical sciences research. The increasingly important challenges
of deriving knowledge from huge amounts of data, whether numerical or
experimental, of simulating complex phenomena accurately, and of
dealing with uncertainty effectively are some of the areas where the
mathematical sciences will play a central role. Other promising areas
where mathematical scientists could play larger roles include research
on the power grid, the brain, and optics and photonics. Collaborative
research projects involving mathematical scientists have the potential
to transform the nation's ability to respond to these and many other
challenges.
Areas of national high-priority scientific research in fiscal year
2014 identified by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy
(reference ^[3][3]) include:
* Advanced Manufacturing
* Clean Energy
* Global Climate Change
* Research and Development for Informed Policy-Making and Management
* Information Technology Research and Development
* Nanotechnology
* Biological Innovation
The MSII activity will support research projects in these and other
areas of national priority that are managed by NSF programs outside of
DMS and that involve mathematical scientists in the research.
Proposals submitted to these programs outside of DMS are eligible for
support through the MSII activity. (Proposals submitted to DMS are not
eligible for MSII funding.)
National Science Foundation programs addressing these areas of
national priority in which mathematical scientists are not yet playing
large roles are listed on the MSII web page:
[4]http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505044&org=DMS
To apply for MSII support, after submitting a proposal to a non-DMS
program for a research project that involves mathematical scientists,
or a supplement request to include new mathematical scientists in a
research project supported by a non-DMS award, the Principal
Investigator must send an e-mail message specifying the name(s) and
affiliation(s) of the mathematical scientist(s) and the NSF proposal
ID to [ [5]DMScofunding@nsf.gov ]. Transmission of this e-mail message
will constitute a request that DMS consider the proposal or supplement
request for MSII funding.
MSII funding recommendations will be based on the intellectual merit
and broader impacts of the proposed research, with particular emphasis
on:
* likely impact of the involvement of mathematical scientists in the
project;
* the extent to which the mathematical sciences play an essential
role in the proposed research project;
* novelty of the proposed collaboration or research topic; and
* potential for impact of the research project in furthering
mathematical sciences research.
Mathematical scientists are encouraged to consider establishing new
research collaborations with researchers in other NSF-supported
disciplines and to make collaborators aware of the possibility of MSII
support for the activity.
Michael Vogelius
Division Director
Division of Mathematical Sciences
-----------------------------------------------------
References:
^[6][1] Fueling Innovation & Discovery, National Academies Press, 2012
[[7]http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13373]
^[8][2] The Mathematical Sciences in 2025, National Academies Press,
2013 [[9]http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=15269]
^[10][3] U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum
M-12-15, "Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2014 Budget"
[[11]http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/m-12-15.pdf]
References
1. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#ref1
2. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#ref2
3. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#ref3
4. http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505044&org=DMS
5. mailto:DMScofunding@nsf.gov
6. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#rref1
7. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13373
8. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#rref2
9. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=15269
10. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.html#rref3
11. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/m-12-15.pdf