LUMS Hosts its First CIMPA Research School with International Mathematicians
Mathematicians from all around the world have gathered at LUMS, both in-person and virtually, for the CIMPA Research School on Algebraic and Combinatorial Methods in Geometry. This is the first time a CIMPA School is being hosted at LUMS, with IBA, Karachi participating as a virtual co-host. Globally acclaimed mathematicians will hold lectures at the University from March 1 – 11 to introduce participants to new and evolving areas of algebra, geometry and combinatronics.
The two-week long activities, organised by the Department of Mathematics at the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering, began with an opening ceremony. The ceremony was attended by the CIMPA Supervisor from the University of Valladolid, Prof. Jorge Mozo Fernandez, as well as LUMS Founding Pro Chancellor, Syed Babar Ali; Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad; Rector, Shahid Hussain and Dean, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering, Dr. Muhammad Sabieh Anwar.
Syed Babar Ali thanked the international speakers and organisers for bringing CIMPA to LUMS and expressed his hope that the deliberations over the course of the School would be fruitful for all the participants.
Prof. Fernandez explained that CIMPA (Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées) is a non-profit organisation, founded in France, for the promotion of Mathematics research in developing countries. He further shared that the purpose behind the CIMPA Research Schools is to connect students in these countries with expert mathematicians. “People, normally, don’t have the opportunity to travel abroad to hear renowned specialists in the subject, and mostly these specialists aren’t in one place to give courses. CIMPA hosts them in countries where students perhaps have less of a chance of meeting these specialists and these speakers.”
Dr. Ahmad reiterated the potential of this School in fostering collaboration in Mathematics research and said, “This event marks a key milestone for LUMS by enhancing our reputation for research and innovation in Mathematics. It also strengthens our ‘Learning Without Borders’ perspective on research and teaching. Here, we strive to break academic, geographic, gender, and socio-economic barriers to innovate and serve the wider community.”
Commenting on the theme of this year’s CIMPA School, Dr. Anwar said, “The areas of algebra, combinatorics and geometry are generally considered to be in the realm of Pure Mathematics and they also represent the best of what human beings can do. As an institution, we are very happy to see this small niche develop in our very confines.”
Prof. Sara Faridi, who has come to LUMS from Dalhousie University, Canada to conduct a course at the School, expressed her pleasure at meeting the women scholars at LUMS. “Academia used to be mostly white people, mostly men, and now academia has changed. As a result, you see people of every colour, every gender at universities. Science benefits from problem solving and thinking of different perspectives, and I really believe we have so many new frontiers to explore because of our diversity.”
The participants and speakers at the School were a reflection of this diversity, and came from different academic institutions both within Pakistan and abroad. The Head of the Department of Mathematics at LUMS, Dr. Imran Anwar, who is instrumental in making this event happen, shared, “It’s a privilege for any university in the developing world to host a CIMPA Research School. This is a forum where our students can build collaborations with internationally accomplished mathematicians through lectures and discussions.”
The CIMPA Research School at LUMS was made possible with the support of the International Mathematical Union, European Mathematical Society, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy.