Three Decades of DIMACS: The Journey Continues was held November 21–22, 2019 at the Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center in New Brunswick. The event brought many old friends of DIMACS and one new one—Governor Phil Murphy! The following is the text of a Facebook post about the event by the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.
The Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, (DIMACS), celebrated its 30th anniversary with a two-day conference this past Thursday and Friday that drew scholars from across the nation and an appearance by Governor Phil Murphy.
DIMACS, formed in 1989 as part of an initiative by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is a collaborative led by Rutgers University with partners that include Princeton University and major companies such as Nokia Bell Labs and AT&T Research.
Murphy told conference-goers that DIMACS is part of a culture of scientific innovation that for years defined New Jersey and continues to be a key factor in the state’s economic health.
“I see the direct connectivity between the research and academic pursuits undertaken at DIMACS and the economic future of our state,” said Murphy, who spoke Thursday afternoon at the Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center.
Governor Murphy added: “I’ve said it many times that this state was Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley. There is a reason why names like Edison and Einstein, and places like Bell Labs, and Sarnoff Labs, and yes, DIMACS, are synonymous with New Jersey; quite simply, it’s because we always took scientific and mathematical research and its applicability to the real world, and its connection to the real economy, seriously.”
Fred Roberts, the outgoing director, who has been involved in DIMACS since its start, said the major accomplishments include integrating research and education, bringing together industry and academia, and “addressing real problems in the world, and finding ways we can make a difference.”
Indeed, DIMACS’ work has had specific applications to topical issues that include cyber security, energy, and public health. DIMACS has worked in Africa on a number issues, including the role of mathematical modeling in fighting infectious diseases.
For the 30th anniversary, scholars from across the world wrote reflections about DIMACS.
“When you take a look at the reflections by the people whose lives have been affected by this place and its activities, it’s truly humbling,” Roberts said.
Here's to another 30 years!