UMC Links

Math Institute to Open Office at U of Utah Institute Where Einstein Worked Sponsors Annual Event at Park City

May 20, 2002 — The Institute for Advanced Study’s Park City Mathematics Institute will open a new office in September at the University of Utah’s newly remodeled LeRoy Cowles Bldg., home of the university’s mathematics department.

The Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) is regarded as the nation’s leading program of professional development for mathematics educators, post-secondary students and researchers. It holds an annual three-week summer session in Park City, Utah. It is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J. The IAS is where famed scientist Albert Einstein worked after the Nazis ousted him from his job in Germany in 1933.

“We are absolutely delighted to have the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute establish an institutional presence in Utah, where the program was founded eleven years ago,” said James Carlson, professor and chair of mathematics at the University of Utah. “This will allow PCMI’s programming, especially for high school teachers, to be more available as a strong resource for mathematics education in Utah.”

Begun in 1991 with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study since 1993, PCMI’s summer session includes a variety of courses and programs on math research and education for a few hundred math and physics researchers, educators, graduate students and undergraduates.

“Sponsorship by the Institute for Advanced Study bases the program in a premier research institution with an international reputation for academic excellence,” said PCMI director Herb Clemens, a mathematics professor at the University of Utah. “A permanent office at the University of Utah is not only a homecoming of sorts, but provides a singular opportunity for PCMI to be formally associated with a distinguished university in the same state where our flagship event takes place each year.

The University of Utah office of the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute will be staffed by the program’s senior administrator, Catherine E. Giesbrecht, who will move to Utah from New Jersey.

The IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute provides professional development opportunities for high school teachers, college faculty, mathematics education researchers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and research mathematicians. The program is designed to bring the various constituents of the mathematics community together under one roof for three weeks of intensive lectures and seminars as well as formal and informal interaction among all the participants.

A network of professional development programs at some 20 cooperating universities provide school-year workshops and outreach activities for high school mathematics teachers across the United States. Two of those programs have been located in Utah, one at the University of Utah from 1991-1996, under Carlson’s guidance, and a second at Brigham Young University, begun in 2001 under the guidance of Professor David Wright.

The Institute for Advanced Study exists to encourage and support fundamental research. Founded in 1930 as an independent nonprofit institution, the institute serves all colleges and universities by providing a place where teachers and scholars can pursue new ideas, thereby contributing to the academic institutions where these teachers and scholars base their careers.

For more information about the programs of the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute, see: