For more than twenty years, Virginia Tech has developed outstanding research and educational programs in a variety of interdisciplinary fields. In addition to the basic sciences, several engineering disciplines rely heavily on rather sophisticated mathematical techniques.
Applied mathematics plays a central role in all of modern science and advanced technology. The symbiotic relationship between mathematics and its areas of application is ever growing as more areas of engineering and science become dependent on new mathematical tools and mathematically trained scientists. Applied mathematics is therefore becoming the underpinning of the revolutionary changes taking place in all scientific, engineering and technological fields. These areas are vital to the new industries that will dominate the twenty-first century.
The Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics (ICAM) was formed in August 1987 to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary research and education in applied mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A major goal of ICAM is the enhancement of the historical links among mathematics, engineering and the sciences. Since its inception, considerable progress has been made toward the establishment of a faculty group within ICAM to secure international prominence. ICAM received its first grant in 1988, for $1,369,560 for research in "An Integrated Research Program for the Modeling, Analysis and Control of Aerospace Systems". This is believed to be the largest grant ever awarded to a Virginia university for research in mathematics.
Several recent national studies have concluded that many modern technical problems are best addressed by interdisciplinary teams. With the formation of ICAM, Virginia Tech has assumed a leadership role in the education of future mathematical scientists and engineers needed for these interdisciplinary projects.
ICAM is meeting the growing demand for research in applied mathematics. At the same time it is creating an unparalleled opportunity for the enhancement of educational opportunities for students, post-doctoral researchers and scientists. The Center provides essential exposure for these individuals to leading edge interdisciplinary research in applied mathematics.