IIT, TIFR to set up National Centre for Mathematics

A memorandum of understanding to facilitate the establishment of NCM -- the first such institute in the country -- at the IIT-B's Powai campus was signed here Thursday, IIT-B director Prof Devang Khakhar said. Mumbai has the largest pool of mathematicians in India with a majority of them concentrated at IIT-B, TIFR and the University of Mumbai.

Both IIT-B and TIFR possess well-developed mathematics departments of international renown, with the faculty members having strong research groups which would help organise programmes of NCM.

The NCM would be largely modelled on the famous Oberwolfach Mathematics Research Institute, Germany. Established in 1944, it helped Germany re-establish itself as a leading nation in mathematics post-World War-II, Khakhar said.

While the Oberwolfach conducts around 50 international workshops and conference every year, NCM aims to have workshops, conferences, instructional schools round the year for students, teachers and researchers with leading scholars from around the world.

Explaining the vision behind NCM, Khakhar said that research and advanced education in mathematics are vital for the development of science and industry in the country.

"We hope that the centre will become a vibrant hub for discussion of new ideas, will catalyse research and become a vehicle to promote collaborative research," he said. TIFR director Mustansir Barma said that since mathematics and its applications are vital for the country's progress, the NCM would make useful constibution to the mathematical life of the scientific community.

"This would range from conducting research conferences at the highest level, to conducting training programs for PhD students as well as for scientists and engineers engaged in applications of mathematics," Barma said.

Enjoying the status of a deemed university, TIFR was set up in 1945 as a multi-disciplinary institute engaged in research in frontline areas of fundamental sciences, besides being a national centre for nuclear science and mathematics.

The IIT-B was established in 1958 and quickly attained a pre-eminent position in the field of engineering education and research with worldwide recognition.

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