UBC Mathematics Professor Malabika Pramanik appointed next director of the Banff International Research Station

Posted on Mon, May 25 2020 11:04:00

Calgary, Alberta—May 25, 2020: Following an extensive international search, the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) is proud to announce Professor Malabika Pramanik as the next Director of the Station commencing on July 1, 2020. Dr. Pramanik, who is Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia, was confirmed unanimously and enthusiastically by the BIRS Board of Directors for this position. The Board wishes to thank the search committee consisting of Arvind Gupta (Chair; U of T), Michael Lamoureux (U. Calgary), Ed Perkins (UBC), Jackie Sturm (Intel), and Tatiana Toro (U. Washington) for conducting such a thorough search.

Malabika Pramanik received her Masters degrees in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, and her PhD in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001. Before joining UBC in 2006, Dr. Pramanik held positions at the University of Wisconsin, University of Rochester and California Institute of Technology. A mathematical analyst, her research interests cover Euclidean harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory, partial differential equations and several complex variables. She is the recipient of two UBC Killam awards one for research and another for teaching, the Ruth E. Michler Memorial Prize, the Canadian Mathematical Society Krieger-Nelson Prize, a 2018 Wall scholarship, and a 2019 Simons fellowship. Dr. Pramanik is actively involved in initiatives that promote diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields, especially through her role as Vice-President for the Pacific region of the CMS and as a co-organizer of programs such as the PIMS Diversity in Mathematics Summer School.

Doug Mitchell, Chair of the BIRS Board of Directors stated that "BIRS is excited to continue its mission as an international resource for the mathematical sciences under the leadership of Dr. Pramanik. I have full confidence in her abilities to take BIRS to new heights.” Mitchell added, “I would also like to use this opportunity to thank BIRS departing director, Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub. Guided by his vision and energy, the past fifteen years have seen BIRS grow and prosper thanks to international partnerships that created a myriad of new opportunities for mathematical scientists worldwide. It was an exciting, fruitful and fun time for me and for the other members of the Board. We shall miss him.”

“BIRS is also indebted to the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta,” added Doug Mitchell. “The BIRS Board is particularly grateful to UBC’s Dean of Science, Meigan Aronson, for her strong support of the world’s mathematical science community through BIRS and for her total confidence in Dr. Pramanik as the new director.”

"Malabika is assuming the directorship of BIRS at a difficult time,” said Dr. Ghoussoub. “But I believe she has what it takes — in values, creativity, and commitment — to navigate this worldwide cherished institution through these rough waters. BIRS is in good hands."

"These are interesting times, when the relevance of mathematical sciences and multidisciplinary research is more central than ever,” said Professor Pramanik. “I am deeply honoured by this opportunity to serve the mathematical community at this critical juncture, when the ways in which we conduct research, teaching and outreach are being revisited. I hope that BIRS with its partners will continue to play a key role in the research landscape within Canada and abroad."

Established in 2003, the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) is a North American research infrastructure that addresses the imperatives of collaborative research and cross-disciplinary synergy, by facilitating intense and prolonged interactions among mathematical scientists from around the world. BIRS’ unique infrastructure ensures a creative environment for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and methods within the mathematical sciences and their vast array of applications in science and engineering. BIRS is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).

For more information please contact:

Danny Fan, BIRS Administrator, birs-administrator@birs.ca

BIRS-CMO-Hangzhou Measures related to the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19, as of May 15, 2020

Posted on Fri, May 15 2020 10:38:00

In view of ongoing travel advisories and physical distancing protocols related to COVID-19, all in-person workshops in Banff and Oaxaca, scheduled in June, July and August 2020 will unfortunately be cancelled. At this time, we offer the organizers the option of proceeding virtually, with BIRS supporting, archiving and broadcasting the participants' talks online. This has been done successfully for several workshops such as 20w5025, which ran from March 04-06, though many of you have expressed the limitations and challenges that such a format presents.

The offer of a virtual workshop does not replace the original opportunity to conduct an in-person workshop. As announced earlier, we will try our best to accommodate cancelled workshops when BIRS, CMO and IAS-Hangzhou are able to resume regular operations safely. For the time being, we strongly urge the organizers to consider the virtual workshop as an interim meeting platform.

If organizers decide to run their workshop online, we ask them to check this link: https://www.birs.ca/announcements/2020-03-17/covid-19_update1 to see how BIRS can help in setting it up.

Thank you for your understanding. I wish all of you good health in the days ahead.

Nassif Ghoussoub, FRSC, OC
Scientific Director, Banff International Research Station

Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani

Posted on Tue, May 12 2020 11:47:00
Maryam Mirzakhani

May 12 is The Women in Mathematics Day, in honour of Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman and first Iranian to be awarded the Fields Medal before her death at the age of 40. Join the screening of Secrets of the Surface, the Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani, on Tuesday, May 12 at 3:00pm PDT at www.birs.ca/live to celebrate her life, her mathematical work, and her impact on future generations.

Secret of the Surface

Thanks to Zala Films and womeninmaths.org for granting BIRS permission.

About the Film

Filmed in Canada, Iran, and the United States, Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field. In 2014, she was both the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored by mathematics’ highest prize, the Fields Medal.

Mirzakhani’s contributions are explained in the film by leading mathematicians and illustrated by animated sequences. Her mathematical colleagues from around the world, as well as former teachers, classmates, and students in Iran today, convey the deep impact of her achievements. The path of her education, success on Iran’s Math Olympiad team, and her brilliant work, make Mirzakhani an ideal role model for girls looking toward careers in science and mathematics.
(Source: http://www.zalafilms.com/secrets/#about)

CMO Measures related to the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19, as of April 15, 2020

Posted on Wed, Apr 15 2020 11:53:00
In view of ongoing travel advisories and physical distancing protocols related to COVID-19, all in-person CMO workshops scheduled in June and July 2020 will unfortunately be cancelled. At this time, we offer the organizers the option of proceeding virtually, with BIRS supporting, archiving and broadcasting the participants' talks online. This has been done successfully for workshop 20w5143, which ran from March 15-20, though many of you have expressed the limitations and challenges that such a format presents.

The offer of a virtual workshop does not replace the original opportunity to conduct an in-person workshop. As announced earlier, we will try our best to accommodate cancelled workshops when CMO is able to resume regular operations safely. For the time being, we strongly urge the organizers to consider the virtual workshop as an interim meeting platform.

If organizers decide to run their workshop online, we ask them to check this link: https://www.birs.ca/announcements/2020-03-17/covid-19_update1 to see how BIRS can help in setting it up.

Thank you for your understanding. I wish all of you good health in the days ahead.


José Seade
General Director, Casa Matemática Oaxaca
Professor Universidad nacional Autónoma de México

Nassif Ghoussoub,
Director, Banff International Research Station
Professor of Mathematics,The University of British Columbia

BIRS Measures related to the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19, as of April 15, 2020

Posted on Wed, Apr 15 2020 09:04:00
In view of ongoing travel advisories and physical distancing protocols related to COVID-19, all in-person BIRS workshops scheduled in June 2020 will unfortunately be cancelled. At this time, we offer the organizers the option of proceeding virtually, with BIRS supporting, archiving and broadcasting the participants' talks online. This has been done successfully for workshop 20w5143, which ran from March 15-20, though many of you have expressed the limitations and challenges that such a format presents.

The offer of a virtual workshop does not replace the original opportunity to conduct an in-person workshop. As announced earlier, we will try our best to accommodate cancelled workshops when BIRS is able to resume regular operations safely. For the time being, we strongly urge the organizers to consider the virtual workshop as an interim meeting platform.

If organizers decide to run their workshop online, we ask them to check this link: https://www.birs.ca/announcements/2020-03-17/covid-19_update1 to see how BIRS can help in setting it up.

Thank you for your understanding. I wish all of you good health in the days ahead.

Nassif Ghoussoub, FRSC, OC
Scientific Director, Banff International Research Station
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