IPAM Responds to COVID-19 Epidemic
The unprecedented societal disruption caused by the COVID-19 epidemic did not leave IPAM and its programs by the side. Our Spring program, on Hamilton-Jacobi Partial Differential Equations, had to be converted to a fully on-line format. Despite these disruptions, IPAM continues to successfully fulfill its mission – connecting mathematics to different areas of science and technology. Thanks to gargantuan efforts of our staff, we are able to utilize remote collaboration software such as Zoom, Slack and MediaWiki, to enable our participants to exchange ideas and work together. Our first-ever fully virtual workshop was a great success, with great talks and engaging discussions.
IPAM continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in relation to our program portfolio. We anticipate that our RIPS summer student programs will involve a substantial on-line component. Our Graduate Summer School on Mathematics of Topological Phases of Matter has been postponed. At this point, it is early to say what impact there will be on the Fall long program on Autonomous Vehicles. We have also made the difficult decision to postpone celebration of IPAM’s 20th anniversary, originally scheduled for October 2020.
While many of us are missing IPAM’s social atmosphere and recognize that nothing in the virtual realm will ever replace in-person discussions, we know that we can continue to stimulate progress in mathematics while keeping everybody’s health and safety as the utmost priority. And, of course, we are looking forward to the time we can gather for IPAM’s afternoon tea again!
Director, Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics