Rutgers Conference Will Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Leading Math and Computer Science Center


Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 19, 2019) – The Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick will celebrate its 30th anniversary at a conference on Nov. 21 and 22.

At the time of its founding, the DIMACS grant award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was the largest award Rutgers had ever received. Gov. Thomas H. Kean was there for the opening of the center, and Gov. Phil Murphy will be there to celebrate the center’s three decades of excellence.

The conference – Three Decades of DIMACS: The Journey Continues – will take place at the Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center, 10 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick.

DIMACS was founded as a prestigious NSF-funded Science and Technology Center (STC), selected in a nationwide competition that had simple requirements: do cutting-edge science, develop impactful educational programs, transfer technology and be a partnership among academia, industry and government.

DIMACS research, education and outreach themes include computer science theory, artificial intelligence and machine learning, discrete mathematics, statistical physics, sustainable environments and epidemiology.

The many speakers scheduled at the conference include: MacArthur Fellow Deborah Estrin of Cornell Tech; National Medal of Science recipient Simon Levin of Princeton University; and computer security expert Joan Feigenbaum of Yale University speaking on the emerging topic of computer science and law.  

Also delivering remarks are: Rance Cleaveland of the National Science Foundation; Peter March, executive dean and distinguished professor of mathematics in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick; Christopher J. Molloy, chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick; and Fred Roberts, director of DIMACS.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., will be presented the Science Coalition Champion of Science Award by Rutgers and Princeton, which partnered in the founding of DIMACS.

DIMACS has 14 academic and industrial partner institutions and 350 affiliated scientists. It has brought more than 30,000 visitors to Rutgers and New Jersey through its workshops and visitor programs, hosted over 150 postdoctoral researchers, engaged more than 700 undergraduates in summer research projects and provided novel instructional materials to high school classrooms across the country.

The center’s research has led to more than 75 books and thousands of research articles. DIMACS research has led to breakthroughs that include:

- Contributing to the development of whole new fields such as computer-aided verification, prediction markets, differential privacy and statistical physics.

- Contributing to the sequencing of the human genome and pioneering the development of DNA computing.

- Developing cryptographic tools to protect privacy in electronic toll collection.

- Producing new tools for health surveillance and new approaches to threats such as Ebola and Zika.

- Providing new methods for allocation of electrical power in times of shortage.

- Playing a crucial role in launching the field of statistical physics, leading to major new investments at the Microsoft Corporation.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks, DIMACS led the Rutgers Homeland Security Research Initiative and developed a subsidiary unit, the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA), funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Through CCICADA, DIMACS has collaborated on research projects with the highest levels of the U.S. Coast Guard by pioneering the field of maritime cyber security; helping the Coast Guard save millions of dollars through more efficient usage of its vessels and aircraft; and hosting the national rollout of the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Strategy.

DIMACS has worked with every major professional sports league by developing new tools for security and screening at NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB stadiums. DIMACS has also worked with the N.J. State Police, N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and other state agencies, contributing ideas, advice, tools and products.

For more information on the conference, please contact DIMACS acting deputy director Tamra Carpenter at tcar@dimacs.rutgers.edu or 848-445-4631.

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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at neal.buccino@echo.rutgers.edu

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