Themed Programs

Special Foci and Other Programs with a Common Theme

DIMACS’s signature activity is its special focus (SF) program. Each SF is a multi-year program of coordinated activities addressing a broad, important topic and comprised of activities including workshops, visitors, and seminars. Open to all interested participants from all over the US and around the world, each special focus emphasizes an area that is poised for rapid advancement, has high potential for scientific, industrial, or societal impact, and is likely to spawn lasting collaborations and research activities. In addition to the special foci, DIMACS is home to a variety of programs and initiatives that are not designated as special foci but also conduct activities that share a common theme.

A more comprehensive list of past DIMACS programs is archived here.


Themed Programs – Running Now

2018 – 2020   Special Focus on Continuous and Discrete Optimization

2016 – 2018   Big Data Initiative on Privacy and Security

2015 – 2018   Special Focus on Cryptography

2013 – 2018   Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013+


Special Foci and Special Years – Concluded

2012 – 2017  Special Focus on Information Sharing & Dynamic Data Analysis

2012 – 2017   Special Focus on Energy & Algorithms

2011 – 2017   Special Focus on Cybersecurity

2007 – 2014    Special Focus on Algorithmic Foundations of the Internet

2010 – 2013    Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory

2008 – 2011    Special Focus on Hardness of Approximation

2004 – 2011    Special Focus on Information Processing in Biology

2001 – 2011   Special Focus on Computational & Mathematical Epidemiology

2006 – 2010   Special Focus on Discrete Random Systems

2003 – 2009    Special Focus on Communication Security & Information Privacy

2004 – 2008    Special Focus on Computation & the Socio-Economic Sciences

2001 – 2006    Special Focus on Data Analysis & Mining

2001 – 2005   Special Focus on Computational Information Theory & Coding

2002 – 2005   Special Focus on Computational Geometry & Applications

2000 – 2004    Special Focus on Computational Molecular Biology

2000 – 2003    Special Focus on Mathematics & Foundations of Computer & Information Science

2000 – 2003    Special Focus on Next Generation Networks Technologies & Applications

1999 – 2001    Special Year on Computational Intractability

1998 – 2000    Special Year on Large Scale Discrete Optimization

1996 – 2000    Special Year on Networks

1994 – 2000    Special Year on Mathematical Support for Molecular Biology

1997 – 1999    Special Focus on DNA Computing

1997 – 1999    Special Year on Massive Data Sets

1996 – 1998   Focus on Discrete Probability

1995 – 1996    Special Year on Logic and Algorithms

1993 – 1994   Special Year on Massively Parallel Computing

1992 – 1993    Special Year on Combinatorial Optimization

1991 – 1992    Special Year on Graph Theory and Algorithms

1990 - 1991    Special Year on Complexity Theory of Interactive Computation

1989 - 1990    Special Year on Discrete and Computational Geometry

Other Themed Programs & Initiatives

ccicada.png CCICADA: With roots as a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, CCICADA is a homeland security center based at DIMACS. It focuses on developing data analytic tools and systems to anticipate and respond to threats to the safety and security of the public. CCICADA conducts research and leads events and activities that emphasize data analytics in homeland security.

Implementation Challenges: Implementation Challenges use experimentation as a companion to theory to gain more holistic perspective on the performance of algorithms. The over-arching purpose of a Challenge is to assess the practical performance of algorithms for a particular problem class, while fostering interactions that transfer ideas between research areas related to algorithms, data structures, implementation, and applications. Each Implementation Challenge culminates in a workshop that brings together the participants in the competition.

Reconnect Workshops: Reconnect conferences expose faculty teaching undergraduates to current research topics that are relevant for classroom presentation. Each summer features a topic that is presented in a week-long series of lectures and related activities led by an expert in the field. Participants engage in research activities and in writing materials that will be useful in the classroom.

Sustainability Initiatives: DIMACS leads or has led a number of activities and events that address topics in sustainability.