The Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (AARMS) will host its first Industrial Problem Solving Workshop (IPSW) from July 3 to July 6 at Dalhousie University.  These workshops have been successfully operating elsewhere in Canada for over twenty years, but there has never been one hosted in the Maritimes.

About IPSWs

The main goals of an IPSW are to build connections between researchers in industry and academia.  Four companies based in Atlantic Canada will present problems related to their interests, and participants will break into teams to explore solutions to these problems.  The problems come from a variety of subject areas, but all are designed to be approachable by students and postdocs with backgrounds in pure mathematics, modelling, scientific computing, computer science, or data analysis.  Each problem group will be led by a university faculty member with expertise relevant to the technical challenge at hand, but participants with a wide range of interests and expertise are welcome.  Over the course of the four-day workshop, problem groups will work collaboratively to explore possible solution strategies to the technical challenges and propose longer-term research directions, as well as make connections to a larger group of companies and academic researchers with similar interests.

Industrial connector event

Springboard Atlantic will sponsor an industrial connector event during the IPSW, tentatively scheduled for July 5.  More details will be posted as they are available.

Financial support

AARMS will provide residence style accommodation for all postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, or undergraduate students attending the IPSW.  Residence rooms will be available from Monday, July 2 to Friday, July 6.  In addition, limited travel support is available for participants that apply before May 15, 2018.  If your attendance at the IPSW is contingent on obtaining travel support, please do not book your travel before you hear back from us.

Important dates

  • June 15, 2018: Application deadline for all participants (travel support still available)
  • July 2, 2018: Arrival day
  • July 3, 2018: Industrial presentations
  • July 5, 2018: Industrial connector event (tentative)
  • July 6, 2018: Participant presentations


Industrial partners and problems

The Black Arcs is a company focused on putting people at the centre of land use planning using a lightweight simulation of citizen mobility that let users change the layout of a city.  A key part of this simulation involves communicating key geographic features as efficiently as possible.  Traditional maps contain redundant information that can be difficult to process at a glance, so some adjustment is needed.  The canonical example of this is the iconic tile-based map of the New York subway system designed by Massimo Vignelli.  The goal of this problem will be to develop algorithms that automatically generate similar tile-base maps from real-world transportation networks.  Students with a background in graph theory, geometrical transformations, or related computational algorithms should be able to attack this problem.

Detection of anomalous behaviour of individuals in a crowd is a common problem in computer vision. Various applications require the automated detection of crowds scattering, individuals moving against the normal direction/flow of a crowd, or individuals suddenly changing speeds. Optical flow is a well documented machine learning technique in computer vision used to track features in a video stream over multiple frames. EhEye is interested in developing optical flow algorithms capable of detecting when individuals in a crowd, or the crowd as a whole, show signs of fighting.  Students familiar with linear algebra, python, Matlab, machine learning and/or statistical analysis will be well suited to make progress on this problem. 

There is increasing use of remote sensing technologies in the marine renewable energy sector to mitigate against the technical challenges and costs of operating at sea. One such technology, land-based X-band radar, has been implemented at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in-stream tidal energy demonstration site in Minas Passage, Nova Scotia, to provide spatial maps of surface velocities, eddies and wakes. Using this data in addition to texture analysis methodology and model data, this problem will focus on a developing a methodology for wake characterization. The wakes behind topographic/bathymetric features will serve as the "test cases", but with an eye towards applying this methodology to turbine wakes, the characterization of which is critical to array planning and environmental impact assessment.  This problem is sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS).

Verifying that technical system designs implement the intended system behaviour is an increasingly difficult task. QRA develops products that allow clients to rapidly query, analyze, and definitively verify the presence of expected behaviour and the absence of unwanted behaviour in complex model-based designs. These rely on the translation of technical engineering designs developed in Simulink into formal logical statements suitable for analysis by automated theorem provers (ATPs).  Translation algorithms are not unique, and the way in which systems are posed to ATPs can have huge implications to computational cost.  The goal of this problem is to understand how to optimally encode engineering designs for analysis by ATPs.  Students familiar with mathematical logic or theoretical computer science will be interested in this problem.

Apply to the 2018 AARMS IPSW

Application deadline is May 15 for participants requesting travel support; June 15 otherwise

Apply now