PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Matthew Gutmann, Brown University’s vice president for international affairs, signed a memorandum of understanding Monday, March 26, 2012, with the Insituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), a leading mathematics research institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to promote exchanges, conferences, and research collaborations. The agreement is the first formal partnership between Brown and IMPA and marks Brown’s continuing effort to forge interenational academic ties and to attract talented, motivated students from around the world.
“Thanks to a generous gift from a Brown parent, the new Brown/IMPA agreement will bring together two of the leading centers for mathematics in the world. From faculty collaborations to graduate student exchanges, the new agreement will allow joint lecture series and workshops and foster regular visits between Rio De Janeiro and Providence,” Gutmann said.
While in Brazil, Gutmann is also meeting with senior university administrators, faculty, alumni, and prospective students in São Paulo, Campinas, and Rio de Janeiro.
Approximately 20 faculty and students from Brown’s Division of Applied Mathematics and Department of Mathematics will visit IMPA during the first year of the program. The visits will last from one to three weeks. Collaborations may also precipitate visits from faculty in the School of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. Twelve to 15 faculty and students from IMPA will visit Brown each year, with visits lasting from one week to four months.
“Brown University has been a leader in the study of Brazil in the United States since the 1970s, and particularly since 1991, with the establishment a self-standing, interdisciplinary Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, with its own bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs,” said Luiz Valente, department chair and professor of Portuguese and Brazilian studies and comparative literature. “Brown has long and deep ties to various Brazilian institutions and boasts hundreds of Brazilian alumni from both the College and the Graduate School. Vice President Matthew Gutmann’s timely visit to Brazil strengthens old connections and opens avenues for exciting new collaborations and partnerships.”
To celebrate the signing of the new agreement, David Mumford, professor emeritus of applied mathematics, presented a lecture at the IMPA. Mumford is the recipient of both the National Medal of Science and the Wolf Foundation Prize in Mathematics. His lecture dealt with image warping, a process that manipulates an image to distort shapes visible in the image, including its applications to both art and medical imaging.