AMS-MSRI Congressional Briefings
Twice per year, the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) jointly sponsor a congressional briefing. These briefings provide an opportunity for communicating information to policymakers and, in particular, for the mathematics community to tell compelling stories of how our federal investment in basic research in mathematics and the sciences pays off for American taxpayers and helps our nation maintain its place as the world leader in innovation.
Professor David Donoho Gives June Briefing
On June 28, 2017, Professor David Donoho, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Statistics at Stanford University gave a briefing entitled “Blackboard to bedside: How high-dimensional geometry is transforming the MRI industry” for Members of Congress and staff on Capitol Hill.
Donoho explained how federally funded mathematical research transitioned in just 10 years from ‘brainiac’ math journals to FDA-approved medical devices. His Stanford patents on compressed sensing are licensed by both GE and Siemens in their new generation FDA-approved scanners. The improved technology will save lives, reach new demographic groups, and increase productivity in the use of healthcare resources.
The new technology is a game changer for medical care in at least three ways: 1) It decreases cost, allowing health care providers to deliver the same service to more patients in the same amount of time; 2) New populations can receive services. Children can now undergo MR imaging without sedation -- they need to sit still for 1 minute rather than 10 minutes; 3) It saves lives. Neurosurgeons can plan their surgeries and understand in advance what they will see three dimensionally inside someone’s head. Cardiologists can see in detail the motions of muscle tissue in the beating heart.
The increased benefit per dollar spent will result in better use of taxpayer funds, and the return on federal investment in basic science will be quite significant.
Tens of millions of MRI scans annually can soon be sped up dramatically; recent FDA approvals allow 8x speedups in 3D imaging and 16x speedups in dynamic heart imaging. Diagnostic imaging costs US$100 billion yearly and MR imaging makes up a big share of that.
Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer were on hand to give remarks and provide their support of the mathematical sciences and federal funding of basic scientific research. Read Donoho's Report.
See Prof. Donoho's interview regarding this research.
Previous Congressional Briefings:
Beginning in 2017, the AMS is partnering with MSRI to organize and host bi-annual briefings; prior to 2017, the AMS hosted annual briefings.
- December 2016, “How Mathematical Models Predict Emerging Epidemics," presented by Mac Hyman, Tulane University.
- December 2015, "From right triangles to modern cryptography" presented by Ken Ribet, University of California-Berkeley.
- December 2014, "The Future of Mathematics: Education & Innovation" presented by Robert Ghrist, Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Mathematics and Electrical/Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
- December 2013, "How Math Fuels the Knowledge Economy" presented by Mark L. Green, professor emeritus at the University of California-Los Angeles.
- December 2012, "Chaos and Avalanches in Science and Socio-Political Systems" presented by James A. Yorke, professor of mathematics and physics at the University of Maryland.
- December 2011, "Mathematics: Leading the Way for New Options in the Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease" presented by Suncica Canic, professor of mathematics at the University of Houston.
- October 2010, The Gulf Oil Spill: How Can We Protect our Beaches in the Future? presented by Andrea Bertozzi, professor of mathematics at UCLA.
- October 2009, The Movies, the Markets and Mathematics, presented by Stuart Geman, professor of applied mathematics at Brown University.
- September 2008, Can Mathematics Cure Leukemia? presented by Doron Levy, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park.
- September 2007, Mathematics of Ice to Aid Global Warming Forecasts, presented by Ken Golden, professor of mathematics at the University of Utah.
- November 2006, The Necessity of Mathematics: From Google to Counterterrorism to Sudoku, presented by Amy Langville, professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston.
- November 2005, From Katrina Forward: How Mathematics Helps Predict Storm Surges, presented by Clint Dawson, professor at the University of Texas and a member of the Center for Subsurface Modeling in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences; and James Westerink, associate professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame.
- September 2004, Homeland Security: What Can Mathematics Do? presented by Fred Roberts, professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University.
- July 2003, Mathematics is Biology's Next Microscope, Only Better; Biology is Mathematics' Next Physics, Only Better presented by Joel E. Cohen, Laboratory of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities.
- February 2002, Mathematics, Patterns and Homeland Security, presented by Ingrid Daubechies, Princeton University.
- July 2001, Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics, a briefing on this National Research Council Report presented by Deborah Loewenberg Ball and Hyman Bass, University of Michigan and by Roger Howe, Yale University.
- Other previous briefings include:
What Does Water Know About Mathematics, by Mary Fannett Wheeler, The University of Texas at Austin
Calculating the Secrets of Life: Mathematics in Medicine by DeWitt Sumners, Florida State University
Eavesdropping on the Internet: Mathematics and Policy by Carl Pomerance, University of Georgia
Mathematical Transcriptions of the Real World: Fingerprints, Magnetic Resonance and Video by Ronald Coifman, Yale University