New Collaboration with Fields Institute
Chris is the first international researcher chosen for the new Dean's Distinguished Visiting Professorship position announced last month by the Fields Institute and McMaster University. Fields introduced a similar position with the University of Toronto in 2008.
Chris will be followed by Nicola Gigli from the Université de Nice next September for the second Dean's Distinguished Visiting Professorship position..
"I am honoured to accept the position," says Chris. "Fields has been an important part of most of my post-PhD mathematical career, beginning with a postdoctoral position in 1997." Chris shared an office at Fields with fellow postdoc Patrick Speissegger who's now a Professor with the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Chris and Patrick organized events at Fields and have co-authored several papers. Chris is currently supervising Nigel Pynn-Coates, a postdoc at Ohio State who completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster.
“An important part of what makes the Fields Thematic Programs work is having senior people here, but it can be a challenge for researchers to get away," says Fields Institute Deputy Director Deirdre Haskell. "The Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Professorship position gives them the freedom to come to Toronto and Hamilton for four to six months."
The Dean's Distinguished Visiting Professor is selected by a committee representing the Fields Institute and the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. While it is expected that the position will be filled by a researcher associated with a thematic program at Fields during their period of residency, candidates may also be nominated by any faculty member of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. Nominations can be made either to the Fields Institute Director or to the Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
This new position solidifies a longstanding and close relationship between the Fields Institute and McMaster, says Chair Matheus Grasselli. The University has been involved with the Institute since its founding in 1992 and at least two directors and three deputy directors of the Fields Institute have come from McMaster.
“McMaster is one of the founding Principal Sponsoring Universities of the Fields Institute and has benefited tremendously from participation in its programs and activities," says Matheus, who served as Director of the Fields Centre for Financial Industries from 2017 to 2020. "We have also been deeply involved in the governance of the Institute. The Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Professorship further strengthens our long-standing relationship with Fields. This new initiative will leverage the prestige of the Institute to bring leading international researchers to our campus. The Department of Mathematics & Statistics looks forward to welcoming and collaborating with Chris in the new year,”
Fostering global research collaborations is one of the priorities in the Faculty of Science's 2020-2025 strategic plan. "Collaborating with the Fields Institute to introduce a Distinguished Visiting Professorship advances that key priority in our strategic plan and further enhances our global partnerships and reputation for research excellence,” says Dean Maureen MacDonald,
The Fields Institute is internationally renowned for strengthening collaboration, innovation, and learning in mathematics and across a broad range of disciplines. Annual programming includes a full slate of long- and short-term events, such as specialized, six-month-long thematic programs, multi-day workshops and conferences, public lectures, recurring seminars, outreach activities, and start-up incubation. The Fields Institute promotes mathematical activity in Canada, helps to expand the application of mathematics in modern society, and makes mathematics accessible and engaging for all audiences.