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
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 Energy & Algorithms
2011 – 2017 Special Focus on Cybersecurity
2010 – 2013 Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory
2008 – 2011 Special Focus on Hardness of Approximation
2006 – 2010 Special Focus on Discrete Random Systems
2001 – 2006 Special Focus on Data Analysis & Mining
2000 – 2004 Special Focus on Computational Molecular Biology
1999 – 2001 Special Year on Computational Intractability
1996 – 2000 Special Year on Networks
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
Other Themed Programs & Initiatives
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.