The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is dedicated to the advancement and communication of fundamental knowledge in mathematics and the mathematical sciences, to the development of human capital for the growth and use of such knowledge, and to the cultivation in the larger society of awareness and appreciation of the beauty, power and importance of mathematical ideas and ways of understanding the world.
From its beginning in 1982 the Institute has been primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with additional support from other government agencies, private foundations, and academic sponsors and corporate partners. Approximately 2,000 mathematical scientists visit MSRI each year, many for substantial periods.
National Science Foundation Annual Reports DMS-0441170
- 2005-06 (PDF file 2.1MB)
- 2006-07 (PDF file 3.4MB)
- 2007-08 (PDF file 5.7MB)
- 2008-09 (PDF file 9.3MB)
- 2005-10 Summary & 2009-10 Detailed Report (PDF file 6.83MB)
Facts about MSRI
The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, California, is internationally renowned as a center for mathematics research and postdoctoral education. The Institute hosts about 85 researchers in residence at any given time, each a leader in his or her field. They participate in scientific workshops and programs that target the world’s most challenging scientific problems and that last up to one academic year. The Institute is an independent non-profit organization that enjoys extensive support from individuals, foundations, corporations, government agencies, and more than 85 universities and institutions. An indication of MSRI’s reputation is that, since its founding in 1982, the Institute has been one of the largest single projects of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences. MSRI is now also the largest single project of the National Security Agency’s mathematics program.
In addition to pure and applied research, MSRI informs the public about mathematics and hosts an annual workshop in K–12 mathematics education. MSRI public events include the “MSRI Conversations With...” series and public lectures and concerts. MSRI sponsors programs for middle and high school students and their teachers, including weekly Math Circles and Circles for Teachers, the Bay Area Mathematics Olympiad, the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, and a team to the China Girls Math Olympiad.
MSRI relies upon private support to fund these programs. Individuals, corporations, and foundations can support MSRI through grants and through membership in the Institute’s Archimedes Society and Corporate Partners Program. For more information, please contact the Development Office at 510-643-6056, Corporate Relations at 510-642-0771, or Media Relations at 510-642-0448.
Background & Purpose
Established in 1982 in Berkeley, California
Located above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, as an independent, non-profit, research institute.
Sponsored by more than 85 universities and institutions around the world
Dedicated to the advancement of research in pure, applied, and interdisciplinary mathematics
Recognized as the world’s premier center for collaborative research spanning all branches of mathematical sciences and the site of breakthroughs in mathematics leading to progress in science, technology, medicine, and economics
Annually hosts over 2,000 scientific visits by mathematicians from the United States and abroad, including all the recipients of the Fields Medal and the Abel Prize since 1982
Trains the next generation of researchers through postdoctoral fellowships in mathematics
Provides K–12 education programs for students and training for educators
Actively recruits women and underrepresented minorities to participate in its programs
Generates public appreciation of mathematics through innovative scientific, literary, musical, and other cultural events
Resources & Programs
MSRI Research Program 2010–2014
Major Programs: The Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee selects major programs several years in advance. The following programs have been selected for 2010–14:
o Inverse Problems and Applications (2010)
o Arithmetic Statistics (2011)
o Quantitative Geometry (2012)
o Random Spatial Processes (2012)
o Cluster Algebras (2010)
o Commutative Algebra (2012-13)
o Model Theory and Number Theory (2013-14)
Many Workshops Related to the Programs
2011 Summer Graduate Workshops:
MSRI-UP - a summer undergraduate program for under-represented minority students
K–12 Mathematics Education Programs
o 2007 - Teaching Teachers Mathematics
o 2008 - Learning and Teaching Algebra
o 2009 - Teaching Undergraduates Mathematics
National Association for Math Circles (NAMC) for middle and high school students
Bay Area Mathematical Olympiad(BAMO) with about 350 contestants/year
MSRI Mathematical Circles Library
MSRI Biology Colloquia: Biology for Mathematicians
Dr. Arnold Levine, Evolution of Influenza Viruses (2006)
Dr. Mimi Koehl, Sniffing by Hairy Noses (2007)
Dr. Robert Schleif, Information Storage and Retrieval of Functions of DNA (2007)
Dr. Sidney Brenner, Biology, the Art of the Satisfactory and Drowning in a Sea of Data and Thirsting for Knowledge (2007)
Dr. Alan Perelson, How Mathematics Provides Information About HIV/(2007)
Dr. Garrett Odell, For Making Genetic Networks Operate Robustly, Unintelligent Non-Design Suffices (2008)
MSRI Climate Change
Symposium on Climate Change: from Global Models to Local Action (2007)
Climate Change Summer School (2008)
Economic Games and Mechanisms to Address Climate Change (2009)
Lectures open to the public and usually free-of-charge
Community events on mathematical topics:
o Good News Everyone, Mathematical Writers from The Simpsons and Futurama
o Funny Numbers: An Evening with Steve Martin in Conversation with Bob Osserman, with actors Steve Martin and Robin Williams
o Tomography to Toy Story
o Mathematics in Arcadia, with playwright Tom Stoppard
o Theater, Science and History in “Copenhagen”, with playwright Michael Frayn
o Cinemath, a MSRI film festival
o From Einstein to Koyaanisqatsi — Philip Glass in conversation with Bob Osserman
o A Beautiful Mind, with author Sylvia Nasar and mathematician Dave Bayer
o The Shape of Space — MacArthur Fellow Jeff Weeks
o Fractals and Financial Markets — A Conversation with Benoit Mandelbrot
o Geometry and Physics: From Plato to Hawking — 20th Anniversary Lecture by Sir Michael Atiyah
o Before the Big Bang: a Radical Solution to the Mystery of the Second Law of Thermodynamics - Simons Auditorium Inaugural lecture by Sir Roger Penrose
o M*A*T*H — Alan Alda in conversation with Bob Osserman
Music and Mathematics
The Art of Fugue, Davitt Moroney, Harpsichordist
Christopher Taylor in Conversation with Bob Osserman
St. Lawrence String Quartet with NPR's Rob Kapilow
The John Cage Legacy: Chance in Music and Mathematics, the Merce Cuningham Dance Company
Cavani String Quartet and pianist Sharon Mann
Elizabeth Blumenstock, One is One and All Alone, violin
Tanya Tomkins, One is One and All Alone, Baroque cello
Marcus du Sautoy, Music of the Primes
Christopher Taylor in Conversation with David Benson and Bob Osserman
Funny Numbers: An Evening with Steve Martin in Conversation with Robert Osserman
Mathematics in Arcadia: Tom Stoppard in Conversation with Robert Osserman
porridge pulleys and Pi (biographical video on Vaughan Jones and Hendrik Lenstra, 2001 MSRI program leaders)
Galileo: A Dialog on Science, Mathematics, History and Drama
Fermat’s Last Theorem: The Theorem and Its Proof — An Exploration of Issues and Ideas (from the Fermat Fest)
Documentation of MSRI conferences (DVD format) [http://www.msri.org/communications/vmath/index_html]
Each year, over 200 papers are developed by MSRI members
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications, a book series in 57 volumes published by the Cambridge University Press [http://www.msri.org/communications/books/index.html]
Emissary Newsletter in the Fall and Spring
Bimonthly Outlook by e-mail
MSRI Web Site
Average of 28,500 unique page visits per month at www.msri.org (2009 visit data)
Free archives available for viewing or downloading:
o VMath Archive (streaming video system) of MSRI lectures: the world’s largest streaming video collection of mathematics lectures - over 3,100 video lectures and special events
o Full text of MSRI books (Cambridge University Press)
www.msri.org: Access updated, comprehensive calendar of MSRI programs, on-line publications, media coverage, proposal and application information, fellowship opportunities
- Chern Hall is a three-story building located above the UC Berkeley campus (enlarged in 2006 to 35,000 sq. ft. by architect W.R. Glass Associates) that houses the Simons Auditorium, Edward D. Baker Board Room, Austine McDonnell Hearst library, Strauch Auditorium Outlook, Hearst Foundation Library Video Room, and office facilities.
One of the largest single projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Mathematical Sciences
Supported by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources
Archimedes Society (annual campaign)
Museion donor level Dinner-Lecture Series in Berkeley and New York
Gauss Society (planned giving)
Capital campaign (target $7.3M; actual $11.9M)
Simons Endowment Challenge ($10 million endowment: $5 million challenge grant)
Support from more than 85 Academic Sponsors, who send graduate students to summer programs and participate in governance
o Kresge Foundation
o Hearst Foundations
o Mosse Foundation for Arts and Education
o Sea Change Foundation
o Clay Mathematics Institute
o Math for America
o Koret Foundation
o Noyce Foundation
o Moody’s Foundation
o Akamai Foundation
o Microsoft Research
o Pacific Journal of Mathematics
o IBM Almaden – Research
o CME Group
o Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
o DE Shaw and Company
o Mathematical Association of America
o SS Chern Foundation for Mathematical Research
o Sunlin and Priscilla Chou Foundation
o LucasFilm Foundation
o Wolfram Research
Endowments, Special Research Appointments, and Awards
The Cha Family Endowment for Scholars, a gift of Johnson M. D. Cha, supporting visiting mathematicians living in (or who are citizens of) China, Taiwan or Hong Kong
S. S. Chern Endowment supports visiting mathematicians from China
Clay Senior Scholars, distinguished visiting scholars supported by the Clay Mathematics Institute
The Eisenbud Professorship, a gift of The Simons Foundation, supports distinguished visiting professors to MSRI
Simons Foundation Endowment, a gift of Jim and Marilyn Simons, provides general operating support to MSRI
Simons Visiting Professors, a gift of The Simons Foundation, supports distinguished professors at MSRI
Viterbi Endowed Postdoctoral Scholars, a gift of Andrew and Erna Viterbi and the Viterbi Family Foundation, supports postdoctoral scholars at MSRI
Anonymous Fund, supports coffee mugs for members at MSRI
CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications, awarded annually to an individual or a group, to recognize the vital impact quantitative research and application play in shaping global financial markets
MSRI Points of Excellence
MSRI is the world’s premier center for collaborative research across the whole spectrum of the mathematical sciences.
MSRI is an acknowledged leader of activities for the public understanding of mathematics. These popular events include interviews with playwrights (Tom Stoppard, “Arcadia”; Michael Frayn, “Copenhagen”; David Auburn, “Proof”), musicians (Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Christopher Taylor) and public personalities (Funny Numbers with Steve Martin and Robin Williams, M*A*T*H with Alan Alda). These events are nationally distributed in a unique series of videos.
For over twenty-five years, MSRI has been one of the largest single projects of the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation.
MSRI is the largest non-classified mathematics project of the National Security Agency, which supports the Institute as the best resource for strengthening the pool of mathematicians available to assist the government.
MSRI is one of the world’s most sought-after and successful centers for postdoctoral training.
MSRI is the primary model for institutes in Canada, England, Russia, Korea, and Singapore.
MSRI’s “VMath” archive of mathematical lectures in video is by far the world’s largest. It contains talks by the majority of today’s great mathematicians.
MSRI has hosted every Fields Medalist since the Institute was opened in 1982. (The Fields Medal is Mathematics’ version of the Nobel Prize.)
Some 2,000 scientific visits to MSRI each year, by mathematicians from around the world, make the Institute an ideal center for sharing information and spreading ideas through the mathematical community.
With more than 85 Academic Sponsors, MSRI has the broadest base of community support of any mathematics institute in the world.
MSRI is one of the few world centers involved in the entire spectrum of mathematical activity, with programs ranging from K–12 mathematics and public understanding of mathematics to the most advanced current research. MSRI leads the nation in the development of math circles for top tier students as well as for students just learning to love and engage deeply in mathematics.
MSRI’s physical plant, with its Simons Auditorium, over 40 offices, and striking views of San Francisco Bay, is one of the most desirable mathematics destinations in the world.
MSRI has the strongest program of outreach to minorities of any United States mathematics institute. Led by a committee of distinguished minority mathematicians, its successes range from the first Conference of African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences, to residential summer programs for under-represented undergraduates considering careers in research, to after-school math programs in impacted school districts, and to the highly successful series of workshops held at the SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science) national conference to raise the awareness of upcoming MSRI programs in a group that might not otherwise participate in these activities.
MSRI has become a magnet for private philanthropic support of mathematics, as witnessed by the successful completion in 2004 of a $12,000,000 capital campaign for building improvements and the launching of a $10,000,000 drive for endowment.