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


Alejandro Adem Director, PIMS [ex-officio] is a Professor of Mathematics at UBC. In 1982 he received his BS from the National University of Mexico, and in 1986 he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, under Bill Browder. After holding a Szegö Assistant Professorship at Stanford University and spending a year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 1990, and remained there until he joined UBC in 2004. Adem has held visiting positions at the ETH-Zurich, the Max Planck Institut in Bonn, the University of Paris VII and XIII, and most recently at Princeton University. Dr. Adem's mathematical interests vary widely over topics in algebraic topology, group cohomology and related areas. He has given over 150 invited lectures, however his toughest assignment was preparing a lecture for the celebrated Bourbaki Seminar in Paris. His monograph "Cohomology of Finite Groups" (jointly written with R. James Milgram) was published as a Springer-Verlag Grundlehren (Volume 309) in 1994, and a second edition appeared in 2005. Dr. Adem served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at UW-Madison during the period 1999-2002. He was awarded an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1992, a Romnes Faculty Fellowship in 1995 and a Vilas Associate Award in 2003. He is an editor for the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. He served as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, and as a member of their Board of Trustees from 2003 - 2007. In 2004, Dr. Adem was appointed Canada Research Chair in Algebraic Topology at UBC; on January 1, 2005, he became the Deputy Director of PIMS, and on July 1, 2008, he became the Director of PIMS.





Kai Behrend Professor of Mathematics, UBC.  He did graduate work under Günter Harder in Bonn (Germany) and received his Ph.D. under Arthur Ogus in Berkeley (California), in 1991.  He was a CLE Moore instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the faculty of the University of British Columbia in 1995.  Dr. Behrend has hold visiting positions at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn (Germany), the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kyoto (Japan), the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley (California), and Imperial College London (England).  Dr. Behrend's research is in Algebraic Geometry.  Most of his contributions are to the field of moduli problems.  He is recipient of the PIMS research prize in 2001, has given the Coxeter-James Prize Lectureship of the Canadian Mathematical Society, is holding a Distinguished Professor award at UBC since 2008, and is the 2011 recipient of the Jefferey-Williams Prize of the Canadian Mathematical Society.




Yakov Eliashberg Herald L and Caroline L Ritch Professor at Stanford University Has research interests in symplectic and contact geometry, several complex variables, singularity theory and low-dimensional topology. He is one of the founders of symplectic topology, a new and active area of research which emerged in 1980s and found important applications in other areas of mathematics and theoretical physics.

Yakhov Eliashberg

Professor Eliashberg was born in 1946 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Russia. He received his doctoral degree in Leningrad University in 1972 under the direction of V A Rokhlin, and in the same year he joined Syktyvkar University in northern Soviet Union as an Associate Professor. In 1988 he emigrated to the United States and in 1989 became a Professor at Stanford University. He is a Member of US National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995, was awarded the Oswald Veblen Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 2001, awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, in 2009 and in in 2013 received the Heinz Hopf Prize from the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.



Peter Guttorp Professor of Statistics, University of Washington and Director of the Northwest Research Center for Statistics and the Environment, is a Guest Researcher at the Norwegian Computing Center, and Affiliate Professor of Statistics at Simon Fraser University. He received his PhD in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, and an honorary doctorate in Engineering from the University of Lund in 2009. Dr. Guttorp specializes in stochastic models in environmental sciences, hematology, atmospheric sciences, geophysics and population biology. He has published extensively both in the statistical and the scientific literature, is the sole author of two monographs on statistical inference for stochastic processes: Statistical Inference for Branching Processes (Wiley, 1991) and Stochastic Modeling of Scientific Data (Chapman & Hall, 1995), section editor for space-time models in Encyclopedia of Environmetrics (Wiley, 2001), and co-editor of Statistics in the Environmental and Earth Sciences (with Andrew Walden; Arnold, 1992) and of Handbook in Spatial Statistics (with Alan Gelfand, Peter Diggle and Montserrat Fuentes; Wiley, 2010). He is co-Editor-in-chief for Environmetrics.

Peter Guttorp



Pavol Hell Professor of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, received his undergraduate education at Charles University in Prague during1964-68, his MSc from McMaster University in Hamilton in 1970, and his PhD from the Universite de Montreal in 1973, all in Mathematics. His PhD study was under the direction of Gert Sabidussi. He has been a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, at Rutgers University, and, since 1980, he has been at Simon Fraser University, where he was promoted to full professor in 1983. He has held a number of visiting positions – at Universite de Nice - Sophia Antipolis, Charles University Prague, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Universite de Bordeaux, National Sun Yat Sen University Taiwan, and elsewhere. He was elected Chair of the Executive Board of the SIAM Activity Group in Discrete Mathematics, 2006 – 2008, and during his term worked to establish the SIAM Denes Konig Prize in Discrete Mathematics. He has served on the NSERC Grant Selection Committee 331, Computing and Information Sciences – B, 2005 – 2008. He is a co- founder of the CanaDAM series of biennial Canadian conferences on Discrete and Algorithmic Mathematics, and has served on many program, executive, and budget committees for the conference (as well as for other conferences). He has served on the editorial boards of several mainstream journals in discrete mathematics, and is currently the managing editor of the Journal of Graph Theory. Since 2008, he has also served on the BIRS Scientific Advisory Board. His research interests include graph algorithms, optimization, constraint satisfaction, and complexity, with emphasis on homomorphisms of graphs and digraphs.

Pavol Hell





Philip HolmesEugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics has been at Princeton since 1994. He directed the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics until 1997, and again in 2010-11.

Phillip Holmes

Dr. Holmes is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and of the American Mathematical Society. He has held various positions including Director of the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell (81-86); Chaire Aisenstadt at the Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, Universite de Montreal (85-86); Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (88-89). In 2001 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Holmes is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and of the American Mathematical Society. He has held various positions including Director of the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell (81-86); Chaire Aisenstadt at the Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, Universite de Montreal (85-86); Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (88-89). In 2001 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.




George "Bud" Homsy Deputy Director of PIMS UBC. His field of research is fluid mechanics and hydrodynamic stability and he has published over 150 papers in the leading journals of the field. Professor Homsy has held many positions, including Vice-Chair and Chair of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, two terms as Department Chair at Stanford, Chairman of the Board of USRA, one term as Department Chair at UCSB, and the Associate Editorships of both SIAM J. Applied Math and Physics of Fluids. He is a Fellow of the APS, a Bing Fellow at Stanford University, and has been the Midwest Mechanics speaker, the Talbot Lecturer at UIUC, and the Bachelor Visitor at DAMTP, Cambridge in addition to many visiting professorships in the US and Europe. He was the Principal Investigator for the production of "Multimedia Fluid Mechanics" (Cambridge 2001), and its second edition (2008). He is the recipient of the APS Fluid Dynamics Prize for 2004 and was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2006.



Niky Kamran James McGill Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University received his licence en sciences mathematiques from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in 1980 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Waterloo in 1984, where he was the Ph.D. gold medalist. He was the first recipient of the Andre Aisenstadt Prize in 1991 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002. From 2006 to 2008, he held a Killam Research Fellowship awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. His research interests are in differential geometry, partial differential equations and mathematical physics.




Stephen Kudla Professor of Mathematics and Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto received his doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook in 1975, with Ph.D. advisor Michio Kuga. After spending a year as a member at the IAS in Princeton, he joined the mathematics department at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall of 1975. He moved to Toronto in 2006. He was awarded Sloan Fellowship in 1981 and was an invited speaker at the ICM in Beijing in 2002. He was awarded the Max-Planck Research Prize in 2000 and the Jeffrey-Williams Prize of the Canadian Mathematical Society in 2009. He has been an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics since 2004 and has (co-) organized many research programs, including 4 Oberwolfach meetings, a thematic program at the Fields Institute in the fall of 2008, and a session at the joint Canada-France Congress on Mathematics in Montreal in the summer of 2008. His research interests include classical modular forms, automorphic representations, the theta correspondence, L-functions, arithmetic geometry and Arakelov theory.

Stephen Kudla



Gregory F. Lawler Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Statistics at the University of Chicago received his Ph.D. in 1979 under the direction of Edward Nelson at Princeton University. Before moving to Chicago in 2006 he held faculty positions at Duke University (1979--2001) and Cornell University (2001--2006). He has held visiting positions at many places including the Courant Institute, the University of British Columbia, the University of Cambridge, and several universities in France. He was awarded a Sloan Fellowship (1986), was named a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1991) and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2005), and received the George Polya Prize from SIAM (2006, jointly with O. Schramm and W. Werner). He is a probabilist who studies fine properties of random walks and Brownian motion with a particular interest in processes with strong interactions arising in statistical physics. In the last decade, he has concentrated on the two-dimensional case where conformal invariance plays a crucial role. He was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing in 2002. He was a founding editor of the Electronic Journal of Probability, has served as editor-in-chief of the Annals of Probability, and is currently an editor for the Journal of the American Mathematical Society. As well as many papers, he has authored or co-authored six books.



Mark Lewis Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, Killam Research Fellowship holder, Director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Alberta received his BSc from the University of Victoria in 1987 and D. Phil from Oxford in 1990. After a postdoc at the University of Washington he joined faculty at the University of Utah in 1992 before moving to the University of Alberta in 2001. He has held visiting positions at Imperial College, Princeton, Minnesota, and Oxford. His research involves mathematical modeling of biological processes, involving interplay of science and mathematics, where ideas from each lead to advances in the other. Professor Lewis's work develops techniques in stochastic processes, dynamical systems and partial differential equations and has led to significant advances, for example, in modeling territorial pattern formation in wolf populations, predicting population spread in biological invasions like the West Nile virus, and assessing the effect of habitat fragmentation on species survival. Research prizes include the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society Research Prize and the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize for Exceptional Research in Mathematics.

Mark Lewis



Michael L. Overton Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics and chair of the Computer Science Department at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University received his B.Sc. from UBC in 1974, along with the Governor General's Gold Medal for Arts and Sciences. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is a fellow of SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) and of the IMA (Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, UK). He served on the Council and Board of Trustees of SIAM from 1991 to 2005, including a term as Chair of the Board from 2004 to 2005. He is a member of the Council of FoCM (Foundations of Computational Mathematics) and served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 2001 to 2005 and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fields Institute from 2001 to 2004. He currently serves on the editorial boards of SIAM Journal on Optimization (for which he was the Editor-in-Chief from 1995-1999), the IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis (for which he was an Editor-in-Chief from 2007 to 2008), SIAM Review, and Numerische Mathematik. His research interests are at the interface of optimization and linear algebra, especially nonsmooth optimization problems involving eigenvalues, pseudospectra, stability and robust control. He is the author of “Numerical Computing with IEEE Floating Point Arithmetic” (SIAM, 2001).

Michael Overton




George Papanicolaou Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University, received his Ph.D. at the Courant Institute, NYU in 1969 and joined the faculty there becoming a professor in 1976. In 1993 he moved to Stanford University where he has been professor of mathematics since that time. In the past he has been interested in waves and diffusion in inhomogeneous or random media and in the mathematical analysis of multi-scale phenomena that arise in their study. Applications come from electromagnetic wave propagation in the atmosphere, underwater sound, waves in the lithosphere, diffusion in porous media, etc. He has studied both linear and nonlinear waves and diffusion, in both direct and inverse problems. He is now working on assessing multiple scattering effects in imaging and communication systems, including time reversal arrays. Another recent interest is the use of asymptotics for stochastic equations in analyzing complex models of financial markets and in data analysis. Prof. Papanicolaou is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, won the SIAM von Neumann Prize in 2006 and also the William Benter Prize in Applied Mathematics in 2010.

George Papanicolau


Raman Parimala, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor at Emory University, Atlanta received her Master's degree at Stella Maris College, Chennai and her Ph. D. degree in 1976, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. She was a Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research before she moved to Emory Univeristy. She has held visiting positions at several institutions including the MSRI, Berkeley, EPFL, Lausanne, ETH, Zurich and Université Paris-Sud, Orsay.

Raman Parimala

Dr. Parimala has given a number of special addresses including the Coxeter lectures at the Fields Institute, Toronto in May 2013; Noether lecture of the AWM, at the joint AMS-MAA national meeting at San Diego, January 2013 and the Bernoulli Lecture at EPFL Lausanne, December, 2012. She also gave a plenary lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians, Hyderabad, 2010 and a sectional invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians, Zurich, 1994.

Dr. Parimala is on the editorial boards of a number of Mathematics Journals and is currently the editor in chief of the Journal of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society. Her research interests include quadratic forms, Brauer groups, algebraic groups and homogeneous spaces.



Linda Petzold Professor of Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Computational Science and Engineering Program, University of California at Santa Barbara, received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1978 from the University of Illinois. From 1978-1985 she was a member of the Applied Mathematics Group at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, from 1985-1991 she was Group Leader of the Numerical Mathematics Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and from 1991-1997 she was Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Petzold is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. She is a Fellow of the ASME and of the AAAS. She was awarded the Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software in 1991, the Dahlquist Prize in 1999, and the AWM/SIAM Sonia Kovalevski Prize in 2003.

Linda Petzold



Tatiana Toro Professor of Mathematics, University of Washington received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1992. Since 1996 she has been at the University of Washington where she became a Professor in 2002. She has held positions at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and UC Berkeley. From 1996-2000 she held a Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and from 1994-98 she held an NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Dr. Toro's research areas include geometric measure theory and partial differential equations. She applies techniques from these two fields to study free boundary regularity problems with very rough boundary data. These problems arise naturally in physics and engineering, where the free boundary may appear as the interface between a fluid and the air, or water and ice. She has also worked in the problem of constructing good parameterization for sets satisfying some minimal geometric requirements (for example: snowballs).