Structure and Governance

Unique Structure of PIMS

PIMS is unique in several ways; most fundamentally because of its distributed structure. Most institutes organize events at a central location where international scientists are brought in residence; PIMS, on the other hand, has a site at each of ten major universities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Washington State. PIMS also has affiliate sites at Portland State University, Athabasca University and the University of Northern British Columbia. PIMS events are organized at each of these sites, and PIMS researchers are distributed throughout the network.

This distributed structure has been extremely successful, and has revitalized the mathematics departments in Western Canada. The strong presence of PIMS at the university level gives it access to a vast reservoir of scientists of all disciplines. Indeed, over the years PIMS has been able to break down disciplinary barriers and today the PIMS community extends beyond mathematics and statistics departments, and has come to include scientists in areas such as physics, biology, engineering, informatics, operations research and economics.

PIMS is institutionally binational (the University of Washington is a full member) and it is the only institute of this kind in mathematics. This unique international structure projects PIMS beyond the boundaries of Canada, notably towards the Pacific Rim, to allow Canada to benefit from international scientific and economic developments.


Administrative Structure and Funding for PIMS

The central office and the Director of PIMS are located at the University of British Columbia. Each of the ten member universities has a PIMS site office, a site director and an administrative support person. The role of the site directors is to look for local opportunities and synergies, while the PIMS site offices provide administrative assistance for organizing PIMS events locally. The administration of PIMS is overseen by a Board of Directors, with membership consisting of the V.P. Research and Deans from each of the member universities, as well as distinguished scientists and representatives from the business, industry and resource sectors and professional societies. Scientific events are adjudicated by an independent Scientific Review Panel composed of internationally renowned mathematical scientists.

PIMS receives funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the member and affiliate universities. Its international events are cosponsored by funding agencies such as the US National Science Foundation and by international partner institutions. The PIMS annual budget is approximately $2.2 million.