Scientific Review Panel

The scientific activities of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences are reviewed by an arm's-length Scientific Review Panel (SRP) of experts from various fields of the mathematical sciences. The SRP meets once a year to make recommendations to the Board on the selection of upcoming scientific activities.


Current SRP Members

Jayadev Athreya (ex-officio) PIMS Co-Director International and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington

Jayadev Athreya

Jayadev Athreya is a Professor of Mathematics and the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington, and the founder of the Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab. He is originally from Ames, Iowa where he graduated from Iowa State University. Athreya completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, took on postdoctoral fellowships at Yale and Princeton, and was previously at the University of Illinois before moving to the University of Washington. He has held visiting positions in the UK, France, and India. Much of his research is in geometry, dynamical systems, and the creative processes of mathematics.

Professor Athreya has co-organized various events sponsored by PIMS including the Pacific Northwest Dynamics workshop. Professor Athreya has also served on the Director’s advisory council, and as Special Advisor to the Director. He is currently the Chair of the 2022 Pacific Rim Mathematical Association (PRIMA) Scientific Committee.


Kristine Bauer (ex-officio) PIMS Co-Director Industrial and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Calgary

Kristine Bauer

Kristine is an associate professor in mathematics at the University of Calgary. She obtained her PhD from the University of Illinois in 2001. Her primary research area is algebraic topology and she is one of the founding members of the Women in Topology network, which seeks to increase the visibility and retention of women in the field by involving them in high-quality collaborative research projects. Kristine has been recognized with the Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award and the GREAT Supervisor Award at the University of Calgary.



Jason Bell is a Professor of Pure Mathematics and University Research Chair, University of Waterloo. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2002 and held a postdoc at the University of Michigan from 2002–2005. He then held a position at Simon Fraser University before moving to the University of Waterloo in 2012. He was Editor-in-Chief of Communications in Algebra from 2016–2019 and has done work in many different areas of mathematics, including both complex and arithmetic dynamics, quantum algebras, Hopf algebras, Poisson algebras, graph theory, matroid theory, design theory, algebraic geometry, mathematical logic, theoretical computer science, the theory of difference and differential equations, algebraic combinatorics, and Diophantine approximation.



Sara Billey Professor of Mathematics and John Rainwater Faculty Fellow, University of Washington. Received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1994 supported by the National Physical Science Consortium Fellowship, 1990-1994. She held an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship and UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship, before joining the Department of Applied Mathematics at MIT in 1998. While at MIT, she received the NSF CAREER Award, 2000-2006 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers under the Clinton administration. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2003. She is an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society and received the Bergstrom Award for Art and Science 2018 with collaborator Timea Tihanyi. Her research interests include algebraic combinatorics, Lie theory, computational algebraic geometry, probability, experimental mathematics, complexity theory, fingerprint databases, discrete geometry and mathematical machine learning algorithms.



Brian Conrey, Executive Director, American Institute of Mathematics

Brian Conrey is the founding Executive Director of the American Institute of Mathematics. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1980. He has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois and Oklahoma State University, and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study four times. He is also a Professor at Bristol University and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University. He serves as an editor of the Journal of Number Theory and is also active in Math Circles and Math Teachers’ Circles. His research interests are analytic number theory and random matrix theory.

Brian Conrey



Denise Feighan, Chief Operating Officer, PIMS

Denise Feighan is the Chief Operations Officer for the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences. She has a BSc. in Biochemistry From the University of Calgary where she worked in various medical research labs. In 2003 she transferred with a neuroscience research lab from the University of Calgary to the UBC Brain Research Centre and became Lab Manager. She joined PIMS in 2011 as Manager of Finance and Administration and became PIMS Chief Operations Officer in 2018.

Denise Feighan






Wilfrid Gangbo is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He received his PhD from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and was previously a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was awarded the 2018-19 Chancellor’s Professorship in Mathematics at UC Berkeley, and he was the Fall 2018 Eisenbud Chair at MSRI. Dr. Gangbo’s research is in Nonlinear Analysis, Calculus of Variations, Partial Differential Equations and Fluid Mechanics. He is a founder of Founder of "EcoAfrica,” an association of scientists involved in several projects in support of African countries.

Wilfrid Gangbo




Alex Kontorovich is a Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University. He received his BA from Princeton, followed by a PhD from Columbia. Before Rutgers, Kontorovich taught at Brown, Stony Brook, and Yale. In 2013, he received the American Mathematical Society's Levi Conant Prize for mathematical exposition. His research in number theory, geometry, and dynamics was recognized by an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Simons Foundation Fellowship, and a von Neumann Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2017, Kontorovich became a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and was elected Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Quanta Magazine, as Dean of Academic Content at the National Museum of Mathematics, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Experimental Mathematics.

Alex Kontorovich




Bryna Kra is the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University. She earned her doctorate from Stanford University and held positions at the University of Jerusalem in Israel, the Institute des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in France, at the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, and Pennsylvania State University, before joining the faculty at Northwestern University in 2004. She was awarded the Centennial Fellowship of the American Mathematical Society in 2006 and the Conant Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 2010, and was elected an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012. In 2016, she became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2019 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Kra works in ergodic theory and dynamical systems, particularly on problems motivated by combinatorics and number theory.

Marni Mishna




Robert Lipshitz, Professor of Mathematics, University of Oregon
Robert Lipshitz is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oregon. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2006, and then moved to Columbia University as an NSF Postdoc and then faculty member. He moved to the University of Oregon in Eugene in 2015. His research applies symplectic geometry, partial differential equations, homological algebra, and stable homotopy theory to study problems in low-dimensional topology.

Robert Lipshitz





Douglas Nychka Director of the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research. Douglas Nychka is a statistical scientist with an interest in the problems posed by geophysical data sets or, more generally, by substantive problems in science and engineering. His current interests are in quantifying the uncertainty of numerical experiments that simulate the Earth's present and possible future climate. His statistical expertise is in spline and spatial statistical methods especially as they are applied to large geophysical data sets and numerical models. He has a Ph. D. in Statistics (1983) from the University of Wisconsin and he subsequently spent 14 years as a faculty member at North Carolina State University. He assumed leadership of the Geophysical Statistics Project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 1997, a program funded by the National Science Foundation to develop collaborative research and training between statistics and the geosciences. In 2004 he became Director of the Institute of Mathematics Applied to Geosciences (IMAGe). IMAGe is an interdisciplinary component of NCAR with a focus on transferring innovative mathematical models and tools to the geosciences. He has received the Jerry Sacks Award for Multidisciplinary Research (2004), the Distinguished Achievement Award Section on Statistics in the Environment (2013), the Achievement Award for the International Statistics and Climatology Meeting (2013). He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Doug Nychka



Anthony Quas, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria and PIMS Site Director

Anthony Quas is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Victoria. He is an expert in ergodic theory and dynamical systems. Key tools in his research are probability and linear algebra. He is the Site Director of PIMS at the University of Victoria, and served as Interim Deputy Director of PIMS for the academic year 2018-19.

Anthony Quas




Rachel Ward, Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas

Rachel Ward is the W.A. "Tex" Moncrief Distinguished Professor in Computational Engineering and Sciences — Data Science and Associate Professor of Mathematics at UT Austin. From 2017-2018, she was a visiting research scientist at Facebook AI Research. She is recognized for her contributions to sparse approximation, stochastic optimization, and numerical linear algebra. Prior to joining UT Austin in 2011, Dr. Ward received the PhD in Computational and Applied Mathematics at Princeton in 2009 and was a Courant Instructor at the Courant Institute, NYU, from 2009-2011. Among her awards are the Sloan research fellowship, NSF CAREER award, and the 2016 IMA prize in mathematics and its applications.

Rachel Ward



Ozgur Yilmaz (ex officio) PIMS Director and Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia

Ozgur Yilmaz

Özgür Yilmaz is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the mathematics of information and data. He received his PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University in 2001. He held a postdoctoral position at University of Maryland, College Park before joining UBC in 2004.

Dr. Yilmaz serves on the editorial boards of various journals including Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis. He is affiliated with several institutes at UBC, including the Institute of Applied Mathematics, Data Science Institute, and CAIDA, and has served as the Deputy Director of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) from 2019 - 2020. He has been involved with PIMS in many capacities, most recently as one of the leaders in the Collaborative Research Group (CRG) in High Dimensional Data Analysis.