There are many complex problems in Engineering, Finance, Medecine and Management. Some
of these problems can be formulated in an abstract, mathematical way where there structure
can be easily seen. Exact or approximate numerical solutions can be found. Recognizing the
most common classes of abstract problems is one of the main aims of our undergraduate programmes,
both for our own students and the service courses we teach for other Science and Applied Science
Departments, Economics and the Business School. When an Industry or Government agency hires one
of these students, they are indirectly getting the benefit of our mathematical expertise. Our
graduate students and Post Doctoral Fellows working in Industry bring these skills at a higher level.
Between known applications of mathematics and mathematical research lie many problems of industrial
interest. Our department has history and interest in working on these industrial mathematics problems.
Collaboration between our faculty members and companies and government agencies can take several forms:
contract work, graduate student internships, and larger collaborative research projects. Internships and
larger projects can be supported by initiatives of the MITACS NCE.
Our department is especially interested in the internship programme. It is a way we feel we can make
Canadian Industry more competitive, give our graduate students valuable experience, and give
ourselves new mathematical challenges.
If you feel that your Canadian company or government agency has a complex problem that could benefit
from our department's mathematical expertise, you should contact me:
Brian Wetton, Industrial Mathematics Coordinator, wetton@math.ubc.ca, (604) 8225784
Your problem might be suitable for the annual problem solving workshop run by
PIMS. Experience has shown that much of the effort in such situations
is in converting the industrial problem into a suitable mathematical form (modelling). Somee patience
and commitment is required for this process, on both sides. Most academic mathematicians will
want to publish the mathematical aspects of any research work they do.
Our department is loosely divided into research groups. Brief descriptions of the mathematical
interests of these groups in lay terms can be found using the index on the left. If one of these
groups clearly matches your question of interest, please contact the industrial liaison in that
group directly.
